Fodor's Expert Review Rancho Humo Estancia

Pozo de Agua, Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The most comfortable way to experience the birds and wildlife of the Tempisque wetlands is to roost at this new eco-boutique hotel, a luxurious version of a traditional hacienda, set in a private reserve directly across from Palo Verde National Park. The highlight here is a guided tour in an electric "safari" cart along earthen dikes through a spectacular wetland, teeming with raptors and aquatic birds, along with crocodiles, wild boar, and deer. Rooms and suites in the handsome, modern ranch are startlingly modern, combining a stark, Mondrian palette of red, black, and cream with an interesting mix of contemporary furniture, antiques, local collectibles, and large-scale wildlife paintings. Beds and linens are top drawer, and bathrooms are spacious and sleek, with vessel sinks and rainforest shower heads. All rooms have air-conditioning and huge picture windows with screens, and most have private decks. There's a large deck with a curvaceous pool featuring a mosaic of a jabirú, the red-necked stork that serious birders hope to see here. Staff are a little shy but very accommodating. Meals, included in the rate along with the wetlands tour, aim at sophistication but aren't quite there yet. The feast for your eyes is the main event here; be sure to bring binoculars and cameras.


  • wetlands setting
  • incredible bird-watching
  • most luxurious hotel in the area


  • meager portions at meals
  • dusty gravel road for 26 km (16 miles)




Phones: -2698–1197


3 rooms, 5 junior suites, 2 family suites
Rate Includes: All meals

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