We spent a weekend here with the Birding Club of Costa Rica, and we saw many bird varieties. Our hosts were amazing, especially Lisa, who is very kind, helpful, and extremely knowledgeable about the birds and local points of interest. The food was wholesome and delicious, served family style, with the meat being raised right on their farm. There are many trails to hike for wildlife viewing; bring your binoculars for the birds that prefer to keep their distance. They have hummingbird feeders where you can view the "locals" close up. They also have a night light that they leave on to attract moths and bugs so that in the morning you can watch the birds that come in to dine. Our group had two bird guides and they were both excellent. Lisa can hook you up with them. We stayed in cabina #7 which was rustic but adequate and comfortable; I only had a peek at one of the rooms in the Lodge but it seemed more nicely appointed than our cabina. Overall, we had a lovely experience. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because the signs posted to help you find the place are somewhat lacking, making it difficult to find. When you see the first Hydroelectric sign (white) on the right side of the road, Rancho Naturalista's sign is darker colored and right behind it, but almost hidden and hard to see as you whizz by. When you see that white Hydroelectric sign, stop and look up and to the left, where you will see another sign for Rancho Naturalista, about 20 feet up their gravel driveway which begins across from the white Hydroelectric sign. Plan to arrive during daylight, because the place i.s easy to miss. Our phone navigation and GPS led us astray to a location well past the turnoff. We had to double back and ask locals for directions (in Spanish). Best to have 4 wheel drive for the long, steep, gravel driveway up the hillside. When you come to a fork in the driveway and wonder which way to go, LOOK UP to see the sign to direct you to the left and not toward the house on the right; this sign is also easy to miss because it is so high up. This is a nice place and definitely worth going. Be sure to ask Lisa if you have questions or need anything, she is an amazing hostess. They should definitely put up more signs (further from the turnoff) on the main road to help get you there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The premier birding lodge in Costa Rica, Rancho Naturalista is among the finest in Central America. There are plentiful hummingbirds on the large, open upstairs balcony where you can view the distant smoking volcano. Over 430 species of birds have been recorded in the area. You can hike and bird the trails on your own, and excellent guides are available as well. At Rancho Naturalista the atmosphere is warm and relaxed, and the staff are friendly and welcoming. This comfortable lodge is famous for its excellent food, well prepared, and made with the best fresh local ingredients. (All meals are included.) The weather is almost perfect, not too hot and not too cold. Rancho Naturalista is a wonderful getaway for bird watchers, hikers, and nature lovers! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rancho Naturalista Turrialba
- Rancho Naturalista Hotel Turrialba
- Rancho Naturalista Costa Rica/Turrialba