Why Quepos is the Ideal Place to House Sit for Travellers

We had an inkling that Quepos would be an ideal house sitting location for travellers, and it turns out we were right.

During our first house sit in Costa Rica, we were living well for less up in a small mountain town called Pursical. The house sit was completely incredible, however we weren’t able to explore much of Costa Rica and instead contentedly wiled away our time ambling around the local farmer’s market, drinking coffee on the porch and watching Mad Men.

Charlie Marchant in Costa Rica 1
Me in Quepos after the farmer’s market on Saturday morning.

Quepos is completely different. The town is home to an many long-term expats, though the neighbourhood we’re staying in is authentically Tico. With Manuel Antonio National Park only 15 minutes away by bus, Quepos also attracts a lot of backpackers. The mix of locals, expats and travellers makes for a vibrant and varied community.

House sitting here is ideal for travellers because it offers the best of both worlds. The area is exploding with things to do, and we’re super glad to have been able to stay here for longer, living in the local community and getting to know the people in the neighbourhood. Want to know why we think this area is so awesome?

Natural Beauty & Diverse Wildlife

The area around Quepos is rich in natural beauty, from white sand beaches to dense jungle, and is therefore the perfection place to discover Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife. Manuel Antonio National Park was where we saw raccoons, sloths, titi monkeys and capuchin monkeys for the very first time.

Cheeky capuchin in manuel antonio - charlie on travel
This cheeky capuchin monkey stole a peanut butter sandwich from a tourist standing next to me. I promptly ran away with my camera just in case.

Town Living & Café Culture

Though Luke and I would happily house sit in the middle of nowhere, we do also enjoy what comes with living in a town. Being able to browse book stores, go out for coffee, and get whatever you need whenever you need it is nice.

Quepos and the road to Manuel Antonio are big on café culture and our inner outer coffee addict has been able to indulge. For the best coffee in town you’ll want Café Milagro, for sweet treats and a beautiful view then opt for Café Emilio, for a good red wine in the evening check out the very free spirited Café Bohemia.

Town life Immaculada Quepos Costa Rica - Charlie on Travel 2
Walking around Immaculada in Quepos, a great way to either get sunburnt or caught in a rainstorm.

Local Food & the Farmer’s Market

As a self-confessed healthy eater and a vegetarian who only buys locally sourced dairy, the Quepos area has been ideal. The local farmer’s market, on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, has plenty of variety when it comes to fruit and veggies. You can also get hold of artisan cheese and sometimes even natural yoghurt are if you’re really lucky.

One of the benefits of house sitting in a local neighbourhood is access to a local bakery and sodas. In our neighbourhood, a small bakery called Don Pan sells just pan de coco (coconut bread) and pan de canela (cinnamon bread). It’s delicious and freshly baked. Our all time favourite soda is Soda Angel, tucked away near the football pitch on the hill to Manuel Antonio. Typical Costa Rican casados are cooked up fresh.

Villa Vanilla spice farm, where they grow organic spices and offer farm tours, is also awesome.

Charlie at Quepos farmers market - Charlie on Travel
Picking our veg at the Saturday morning farmer’s market.

Taking Spanish & Yoga Classes

Of course, other than having our caffeine fix, the main benefit of being in a town is the availability of Spanish lessons. Our Spanish teacher, Os, has been awesome and we’ve actually started to make some decent progress with our speaking and listening by attending regular classes three times per week. I still have no idea what the baker around the corner is talking about though, but it’s definitely not bread or cake.

Spanish isn’t the only class we’ve been attending. Like all other health conscious travellers, we’ve also succumbed to the yoga bug whilst we’ve been here. We’ve tried doing yoga at home but turns out we’re just not really motivated to do it without being told to. In Manuel Antonio, the Holis Wellness Centre runs donation classes where anyone – tourists and locals – can drop-in for a yoga class and donate whatever amount they can. We ended up in the aerial yoga class, which we turned up to having no idea what is was. Turns out, it’s yoga hanging from the ceiling!

Charlie's first aerial yoga session
Me in my first ever aerial yoga session.
Luke during aerial yoga class
Luke doing a slightly better job than me in aerial yoga class.

Community Spirit

What has really shone about the neighbourhood we’re house sitting in is the community spirit. People gather to watch football on the sports field, the children have been drumming loudly to practise for Costa Rican independence day, nearly everyone I pass on the street says hola! to me and quite a few of them actually want to have a conversation (despite my broken Spanish).

Community spirit in Quepos - Charlie on Travel
A local football game in Imaculada, Quepos.

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll also know that during our 6 weeks here we’ve rescued two stray kittens that we found meowing, shivering outside in the rain storms. A local animal rescue group, Paws, were able to help us out with advice and a local woman has adopted both of them. When she came round to collect the first kitten, she was carrying a box with another kitten that looked exactly the same. When we found the third kitten, who looked uncannily like the other two, we realised there must be a whole litter of these tiger striped cats roaming the neighbourhood. Three and counting…

Kitten 2
Kitan, our first rescued kitten.

I’m definitely going to be reluctant to leave when our 2 month house sit here comes to an end at the beginning of October. That said, I’m also looking forward to travelling on, exploring more of Nicaragua, returning to the mountain house in Puriscal in November and heading over to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.

What do you think of Quepos? Would you like to travel here?

Charlie Marchant

Charlie is a long-term traveller from the UK who writes about simple ways to travel sustainably, including how to become a house sitter and slow traveller, eating local and vegetarian, and making responsible travel choices.

12 thoughts on “Why Quepos is the Ideal Place to House Sit for Travellers

  1. Sounds lovely, Charlie! I would love to try house sitting- the fact you can do it for 2 months straight is amazing! is that a normal length of time? Spending days learning spanish and yoga is right up my street too.

    1. Hi Joella, I love house sitting! The amount of time can vary, mostly we get offers of 1 week – 2 months. We try to take the longer house sits mostly as it makes the travel expense of getting there more worth it, we can save more money and explore the area more. We take shorter ones if we happen to be in the particular area at the right time anyway though. We actually house sat for house sitters who are in a 4 year house sitting contract! They just have a rent free home here in Costa Rica!

  2. I would love to travel there! It looks like you had a really wonderful time house sitting! I’m very interested in house sitting in latin america and have been reading blogs about it, reading yours made me fall more in love with the idea! Would you look at that cat!! Naawww.

    I love the way you blog too – loads of pictures, if you havn’t had the areal yoga pictures I wouldn’t have beleived you. That looks like fun! :)
    Stacey recently posted…What to packMy Profile

    1. Hey Stacey – it really is awesome! I hope that you’ll get to Latin America sometime as travelling and house sitting here are really great experiences. And yes, such adorable kittens! And thank you, that’s very sweet of you to say – I’ve been working on my photography a lot, it’s by no means ideal but far better than it was a couple of years ago haha!

  3. Thanks for writing about your house sitting experience in Quepos. It looks great. We recently signed on for a house sitting assignment near Uvita, which is in the same area. We will definitely take your advice on shopping in the local farmers’ market; our favorite way to find the freshest fruits and veggies at good prices. The yoga looks like fun too.
    You didn’t mention how you traveled around the area. Did you rent a car, ride the bus, use taxis or just walk? With so much to explore in Costa Rica in so many different parts of the country, we have found transportation to be a major expense, and not always easy to figure out.
    Neil recently posted…Eating In and Dining Out in Costa RicaMy Profile

    1. Hi Neil, thank you for reading and congratulations on finding a house sit in Uvita. The farmer’s markets are so excellent, I can’t recommend them enough.

      As for transport, we never rent a car as this is far too expensive for us. We were in a neighbourhood about 10 mins from Quepos central and would just go out onto the road and flag down a collectivo (a taxi that picks up multiple passengers). The ride would only be $1. There are tonnes of them and you’re literally never waiting for more than 2 mins. Then if we were travelling up to Manuel Antonio we would take the bus, which leaves every 15 mins from the main station. As our house sit had 3 dogs, we would never go further afield than that really. However, we have travelled through the whole of Costa Rica and across to Nicaragua and Panama by bus. The buses in Costa Rica are, for the most part, excellent.

      Hope this helps! And good luck with your house sit :)

  4. This post is so helpful, thank you! What are your thoughts about this area for a family with young children (2, 4)? Are the buses pretty easy/safe to Manual Antonio? Are the beaches good for kids or is it rougher waters? Also, were you there in September/October? That is when we were planning but I know its rainy season :( Thanks!

    1. Very welcome, glad it was helpful! Manuel Antonio area is perfect for young children, though it’s better not to be out in Quepos in the late evening/night with young children as I heard from local expats that there are some drug related activities, and also a number of homeless. Quepos by day is very safe though! The buses are very, very easy. They leave from Quepos bus station in the centre of town (it’s a small town) every 10-15 minutes all day. The beaches are great for kids, soft sands and the waters are usually calm but like all of Costa Rica can be rough at certain times of the day. Yes, we were there from August – October, during rainy season. The weather was perfect. Rainy season in Costa Rica really isn’t that rainy… Usually it’s warm and clear in the day, and then rains between 5pm-6pm and then clears right up again. The only places we experienced really bad weather during rainy season were in high up mountain towns, Arenal in particular, and around the volcanoes. The weather in Quepos and MA was gorgeous!

  5. Hi Charlie, I’m open to house sitting just about anywhere for the experience. How best to look into house sitting and how exactly does it work? Thanks Charlie😊

  6. Hi Charlie
    Did you ever visit the Naranjito area inland from Quepos. I am thinking of renting a house there and would love to hear your thoughts.
    Thanks

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