Part of a national wildlife refuge, this is the most comfortable and affordable base for bird-watching, crocodile spotting, and nature appreciation on this side of the Río Tempisque. The 1,000-acre property is also a cattle ranch and salt producer, with nearby salt flats and a freshwater lagoon that attract wading birds (and crocodiles that snack on them). The hotel also organizes boat tours through the Abangares mangroves and alongside Palo Verde National Park. The wood cabins are modest but comfortable, with verandas and big screened windows that let the light and breeze in. But because most of them are duplexes, they don't afford a lot of privacy, so ask if you can get a freestanding one. The rancho restaurant serves buffet-style Italian and Costa Rican meals, including beef raised on the ranch.
Take the signed turnoff at Km 155 of the Pan-America Hwy. and drive along a gravel road, about 13 km (8 miles) southwest to the lodge, Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica
/2289–6655-office in San Jose; /2661–4090-lodge