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“A Wonderful way to start our vacation!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Toucan Rescue Ranch

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Toucan Rescue Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Simi Valley, California
Level Contributor
285 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
“A Wonderful way to start our vacation!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2012

I arranged for a tour of the Toucan Rescue Ranch thru the hotel we were staying at on our first full day in Costa Rica. My husband & I were picked up at our hotel and after a short 1/2 hr drive thru the city and countyside we arrived at the Toucan Rescue Ranch. We were greeted by Leslie with a warm hello and she began her tour of her wonderful place. She started her tour with pictures of what the animals looked like when they arrived at her place. ( very sad to see the shape most were in ). Then she told the story of each animal, their names and how they arrived at her ranch. She had birds of all kinds, a monkey, sloths, a Kinkajou, etc. Everyone of those animals loved her and she loved each and everyone of them back. The highlight of the tour though was being up close to some of the baby sloths that she was taking care of! She had two toed and three toed ones and they were the most adorable little creatures! They were kept in little baskets all bundled up in blankets, and when she moved the blankets to reveal the sloths, the most cutest little faces would emerge!
I was so glad that we had booked Leslie's tour of her place. She does a great job with all these animals that would have not lived had she not helped them. She has no special funding to help with the costs of taking care of them so it was nice to know that the money spent for the tour will go into helping with the costs of running the Toucan Rescue Ranch.
After taking her tour, we had a better understanding of where each of these animals lived in Costa Rica and the different kinds of toucans there are here.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JstLv2Crz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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200 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Spring
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2012

We stayed with Leslie and Jorge at the small finca that is developed as a bed and breakfast and shelter and rehabilitation for injured, abandoned, and abused animals. We arrived in the middle of a crisis--a two-toed sloth had been brought to Leslie after being rescued from barbed wire. The vet had arrived, workers were there, and here we came. Leslie showed us our delightful quarters and asked us to make ourselves at home until the vet completed his exam of the sloth. There was plenty to take in. The grounds offered much to see--lovely landscaping, views, and cages of recuperating animals. There were toucans, owls, macaws, a kinkajou, spider monkey, eagle, and I believe a porcupine, but the sloths stole my heart.

There are two guest houses, and I understand that both of them are just alike. Our spotless little house is well furnished, comfortable, and decorated with canvases of Leslie's Costa Rican animal photography. There is a nice kitchenette with beverages available in the fridge for a nominal purchase if the free Costa Rican coffee doesn't suit your fancy. The kitchenette opens to the dining area next to a comfortable couch providing a nice area to thumb through the Costa Rican reading materials provided. A charming bamboo screen separates the living area from the sleeping quarters which consist of a very comfortable queen-sized bed, a double bed, and a set of bunk beds. Leslie is thoughtful in providing bedside ear plugs for late sleepers, or in our case, serenadees of a night bird outside the room that just would not shut up all night long. We learned that it sings only during the time of year that we were there. I was glad for the soft earplugs and pillows.

The guest house accommodates a family of six very well. The vaulted ceiling is finished in fine bamboo which adds a nice airy coziness (?) to the space. The bathroom is decorated nicely and has a roomy shower with one of those awful electric showerhead contraptions found all over Costa Rica, with which I doubt I will ever become comfortable. My husband laughs. I sponge bathe.

The house aside, just visiting with and getting to know Leslie and Jorge was the height of our visit, or, perhaps it was getting to hold and rock and baby sloth while we talked real estate with Jorge. Then, one must consider the really big variety of species that have been brought to the ranch for care and rehabilitation. Learning the circumstances of how each animal arrived, its chances for returning to the wild, and how large an investment Leslie and Jorge provide for its well-being is really what a visit to the ranch is all about. Leslie conducts the tour, taking into consideration how much of the background facts of an animal's pre-ranch life is appropriate for the age group in the tour.

Another highlight was a visit to Leslie's living room where several sloths slumbered or exercised. We saw them before we helped ourselves to a hearty Costa Rican breakfast prepared in Leslie's kitchen. Leslie's beans and rice are the BEST!

I look forward to returning to Toucan Ranch to volunteer. It would be a wonderful way to pass vacation, or perhaps even retirement. Do yourself a favor and make the visit. Both adults and children will be enchanted with the animals and Leslie and Jorge.

Room Tip: Both guest houses are the same--delightful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Silver Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2012

My husband and I did not stay in the guesthouse because we had already made overnight arrangements before learning of the Toucan Rescue Ranch...but I would stay there in a heartbeat and hope to get back to CR to do so! Leslie gave us a great tour, she is an extremely warm person and relayed the stories of the animals to us with great detail. She is so passionate about what she does and this comes across as she recounts the history of each resident - whether temporary or permanent. The tour is educational and fun, even with a little rain (they have huge umbrellas to borrow). When the sprinkles let up she brought out one of the large sloths so we could see him close up and watch him climb on a small tree. Completely mesmerizing! If you like animals and learning about rescue efforts, do not miss this place, absolutely amazing opportunity. I want to go back to volunteer someday.

Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Rachel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

Wow! Couldn't have imagined a better ending to our CR trip. For some reason Toucan Rescue Ranch is not mentioned in any guidebook, and I can't remember how we stumbled upon it, but I'm so glad we did!
This is a wonderful place, a small finca, actually, which serves as a rescue shelter for hurt, abandoned and sick animals. The earnings from two cabins that are on the grounds of the ranch are used to fund the rescue operation. Lesley and Jorje, the owners are lovely and caring people who really invest themselves in the noble cause of saving animals and expanding the knowledge of their visitors as to Costa Rican wildlife, the effects of deforestation and human footprint on the local fauna, and aspire - quite successfully - to make a difference. We were honored to stay at such a wonderful place and add so much more to our knowledge of Costa Rica nature.

As to the lodging - we stayed at the newer cabin, a beautifully appointed little home away from home. with a comfy queen sized bed, a twin and a bunk bed, a fully equipped kitchen (though we were too tired to cooked and enjoyed a take-out dinner), a living space with a small library, and beautiful views of the area and the ranch. Lesley and Jorge even supplied us ear plugs - probably because of previous comments about the noise the animals make early in the morning. We didn't hear a thing (mind you, after almost 2 weeks of waking up with the birds, we were probably used to chirping and squeeking...).

Our kids (12, 10, 6) LOVED the ranch and begged to stay longer. While it is definitely not a petting zoo or anything like that (and good thing it is not - the animals are cared for and respected), the kids were deeply engaged and affected by the stories of each animals (Lesley took us on a tour of the ranch with detailed explanation and pictures depicting each animal's plight), seeing their interest and care, Jorje let them give some animals their breakfast. For the kids, that was the highlight of the trip, and they are still asking - several weeks after we got home - for updates of the animals whereabouts.

One last thing - we stayed there the night before our flight back. I would advise you to do the same, or at least after you've visited some reserves. After seeing the animals so up close, anything else can be a disappointment.

Also, the ranch is about 30 minute drive from the airport. I was worried about the drive time, but it was the perfect place to stay the night before the flight, and so much better than any chain hotel!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DanaMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

This was the first 2 days of our first visit to Costa Rica - and what a way to start. Both Lesley and Jorge do some amazing and very humbling work here, rescuing and caring for toucans, sloths and owls (plus some other guests, which Lesley can't say no to).

We were travelling with 3 children and stayed in one of their 2 guesthouses - it was spotlessly clean and very comfortable with a double, single and bunk beds, small kitchen and veranda overlooking the garden. We awoke to the sounds of clucking, chirping and whatever sound a kinkajou makes (look it up!). The kids helped feed the owls, birds and baby sloths, and we all loved hearing Lesley's stories of how the animals came to be with her.

Breakfast was plentiful, and Jorge ordered takeaway food from a local restaurant for our dinner. This was typical of their hospitality and helpfullness.

This was a truly memorable experience, and we felt that we helped to contribute to something special. It gave our children a great perspective on Costa Rica and conservation.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheWyke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Ramon, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2012

We visited the ranch for a day trip not an overnighter as we live in Costa Rica. We did view the cabinas and would have no problem recommending them to family and friends who come to visit. Being able to wake up to the sounds of nature in this setting and enjoy the animals would be an awesome experience.

My husband, teenage daugther and I enjoyed our tour and time with the animals. So much so we're looking forward to returning. I can honestly say that this was one of the best adventures we've had in the six years we've lived here. Definately worth a visit even if you don't stay overnight!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CRJen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2012

I've been to Costa Rica several times before and it was great to come across this place and try something different. I got to see a lot of wildlife and learn about their natural history as well as how they are rehabilitated for release. I didn't stay at the bed and breakfast but spent a lovely afternoon touring the property and learning about their mission. The enormity of the task they have set themselves up for in rehabilitating local wildlife is impressive. Your visit will fund their efforts and is definitely worth the trip here. You won't regret it, promise!

Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank rojas444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Toucan Rescue Ranch

Property: Toucan Rescue Ranch
Address: San Josecito, Heredia 40601, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Heredia > Heredia
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Heredia
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Toucan Rescue Ranch Hotel Heredia
Toucan Rescue Ranch Costa Rica/Heredia

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