Rancho Naturalista

20 km (12 miles) southeast of Turrialba, 1½ km (1 mile) south of Tuís, then up a rough road, Turrialba, Cartago, 30502, Costa Rica

Unparalleled bird-watching within a 160-acre private nature reserve with more than 450 recorded species, plus first-class food and comfortable lodging are the reasons nature lovers from all over the world stay here. During high season, two resident bird guides are on hand to help you find sought-after hummingbirds such as the snowcap and black-crested coquette, and more. Even if you are not a birder, the trails are excellent for hiking, and there's horseback riding up into the surrounding mountains. The two-story lodge is upscale modern, with rustic touches, as are the comfortable, separate cabins. Gourmet-quality meals (included) are served family style in the indoor and outdoor dining rooms, both of which have beautiful views of the Turrialba Valley and volcano. Birding guides cost extra: $70 per group (up to five people) for morning excursions, $50 for afternoons.

PROS

  • birder's paradise
  • hiking trails for guests
  • warm atmosphere
  • gourmet meals included

CONS

  • some rooms are a little dated
  • not a convenient base for day trips
  • rough final stretch of road to get here

HOTEL INFO

Phones: -2554–8100 | 888-246–8513-in North America | -2554–8101-for reservations

HOTEL DETAILS

15 rooms
Rate Includes: All meals

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