Rancho Naturalista

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Central Valley Eco Lodges, Costa Rica Eco Lodges | Comments Off on Rancho Naturalista

Location: Turrialba
Price: $145-$145/night
Features: guided nature walks, bird-watching


rancho naturalista


Rancho Naturalista is a welcoming, relaxed and sprawling 125-acres birding lodge that is housed within a rich-ecology boasting primary pre-montane slope rainforest reserve. The private nature reserve is home to more than 430 recorded species of birds, many of which can be spotted at the lodge’s open upstairs terrace. Rancho exudes a warm, unpretentious and friendly ambiance that is designed to maximize the wilderness experience for visitors. The resort has successfully managed to marry the ruggedness of a natural reserve with the comfort of a top notch vacation retreat. Everything from the near-perfect weather to the delicious fresh home-cooked food (made from hand-picked local ingredients) seeks to help visitors achieve a sense of communion with nature. Rancho Naturalista is the preferred getaway for several bird-watchers, nature photographers, hiking enthusiasts and naturalists.

Activities and Amenities

The popularity of Rancho’s birding tours are amply clear when activities at the lodge are categorized into birding and non birding pursuits. Customized-guided birding tours are the highlight of this ‘upscale with rustic touches’ lodge. Since the bird haven shelters over 400 species of birds along with innumerable varieties of moths and colorful butterflies, self and guided bird watching tours (with expert and knowledgeable birder guides) are very popular among nature enthusiasts. A resident ornithologist, present at the site, also helps guests get as much information as they want about the staggering variety of aerials. Non birding activities involve whitewater rafting, canoeing, horseback riding, taking Spanish and dancing lessons, shopping at Turrialbs and visiting Lake Angostura and the Guayabo National Monument.

Rancho Naturalista also has a well-stocked reference area (located inside the lodge’s main building), which offers guests’ access to several bird related books along with internet access.

Service and Accommodation

The service at Racho Naturalista is characteristically homey, warm and friendly. Their well-trained staff members ensure that guests are comfortably settled and will go out of the way to offer you any information you seek about the natural surroundings. There are night guards on duty for guests who need any assistance at that hour along with friendly guides who will help decipher the mystique of the rainforest for Rancho’s guests.

Accommodation at Rancho Naturalista is available is the form of 15 comfortable and tastefully decorated rooms. There options range from rooms with balcony views to an exclusive casita featuring an independent veranda. The main building of the lodge is quaint Spanish-colonial type structure, which has a plush seating room, spacious dining areas and Rancho’s famous birding balcony (recording over 250 species of birds).

A majority of the rooms are located on the upper level of the two-story lodge and are adjacent to the birding balcony and other amenities. All rooms have attached private bathrooms. The décor is upscale and contemporary, with hints of rustic elements in keeping with the spirit of the lodge. Ever room in the lodge contains a comprehensive welcome pack (which includes an exhaustive bird checklist) with detailed information about everything guests need to know about their stay at Rancho Naturalista.


The high season rates for a stay at Rancho Naturalista is $ 145 USD per person per night with meals. Price includes lodging, 3 meals per night stay, coffee, tea and fruit juice and maid service. Price doesn’t include the 13% tax. Bird watching guides fees are $ 50 USD per group (of up to 5 people) for an entire morning of guided touring and $ 40 USD for an entire afternoon of guided tour (for up to 5 people) to be paid directly to the guide. For groups larger than 5 persons, the guiding fee can be fixed by negotiating directly with the guide.