Spectacular Mountain Views. Ask About Our Three Night Special.
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- Minimum stay:Contact owner
- Pets considered:Yes
- Wheel chair accessible:No
Terlingua cottage description
Incredible sunrises and sunsets especially in the summer months. Living out in the wilderness sharpens your senses, the wildlife, the smells the sounds. Life at the end of the road. comfortable and quiet accommodations in the wilderness, tarantula ranch is over a hill and two miles away from the nearest paved road. Swafford road literally dead ends at the gate to our compound. The cottage(casita) is a four room facility. It has one bedroom with a full size bed the other room has a queen size futon and a full size futon. It has a full kitchen with a new gas range and new full size refigrator. It also has a microwave, plates, flatware, coffee maker etc. The cottage has been remodled and has sautillo tile floors,custom cabinets in the kitchen, his and her sinks in the bath and the highest rated insulation in the walls and ceiling.The cottage has a porch to the west which is nice to have breakfast on during the warm months although you may have to share with two friendly burros and an appalosa horse. They are the worlds biggest beggers. Watch where you step! I'll try and have some carrots in the frig so you can give them a snack, only one carrot each as equines have a delicate digestive system. The cottage has real electricity and water from a well. We have a real septic system that works. We have 220 fenced acres and another 120 acres outside the fence line here at the compound. As a result we have several hikes to great vistas right out your front door. One of my favorites is Jack Eden Mesa. i own the highest peak on Jack Eden and it's nice to sit on top with your 360 degree view where you can see Texas, The Big Bend National Park and Mexico while eating lunch. The guest cottage sleeps four but if you have six people in your party i have another room that sleeps two. It has a queen size bed, its own bath and a walk in closet. In addition to a shower the bath also has an antique cowboy bathtub.Bring your bubble bath. This room is only a short distance from the guest cottage and is used for overflow. in addition to property here at the compound Tarantula Ranch llc also has other properties in the area. One in particular is at a lower elevation (warmer) for our winter time sunworshipers. It's common to have 75 to 80 degree days there in the winter. That property also has pictographs both Indian and Spanish. i have a jeep and can take two people at a time on a jeep tour to my various properties. you can sign up for that when you make reservations. At the end of a day of playing in the big bend it's nice to kick back with a drink in our hot tub that sits on a cliff facing west, listening for coyotes and looking for shooting stars. We also have an observation deck that hangs out over that same western cliff that the hot tub is on. The big bend has some of the darkest skies in the world. here at Tarantula Ranch you are an easy drive( by west Texas standards) to all the tourist attractions in the area,the national park, the state park,river rafting outfitters,horseback riding,jeep tours, the Terlingua ghosttown where good food, good drinks,good music and good times are alive and well.
Keywords: remote,spectacular vistas,friendly burros and horse will interact with you,wide open spaces, great sunrises and sunsets.
- Vacation Rental
- Guests Provide Their Own Meals
There is no charge for pets but are subject to the owners approval. Six dogs call tarantula ranch home and they have the run of the place. Aggressive dogs will not be allowed. We cannot be responsible for your dogs safety.To avoid problems you should keep your dog near you,and it should come when called....moreless
- Children Welcome:
- Clothing Optional/Nude Sunbathing Nearby
- Non Smoking Only
- Long-Term Renters Welcome
Bedrooms: 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 6, Beds for 6
- Queen size Beds (1) queen size futon, Double Beds (2) one is a real bed the other is a double bed futon. The instructions say it sleeps two adverage size people., Sleep Sofa or Futons (2) at this point we also have a blowup bed on a stand. it blows up and deflates by a built in motor. it is queen size. who knows how long it will last before someone sits on it with a knife. we also have a queen size futon that is strong and will last....moreless
Bathrooms: 1 Bathroom
- 1 bathroom with his and hers sinks,1 toilet and a shower.
Kitchen & Dining
- Coffee Maker
- Cooking Utensils
- Air Conditioning:
- Parking For RV/Boat/Trailer:
- Washing Machine:
- Clothes Dryer:
- Towels Provided
- Linens Provided
- Parking Off Street
- Hair Dryer
- Living Room seats 7
- Iron & Board
- Music Library:
- Video Library:
at ranch headquarters we have a computer you can use to check your e mail if you didn't bring yours. you will also wi fi at the guest cottage. i'll give you the wi fi password when you check in....moreless
- Wireless Internet:
Pool & Spa
with me as a member of terlingua ranch property owners association you can go with me to the pool for free or pay $5.00 per day without me. i'm a sunworshiper and i have the skin cancer to prove it so usually i am at the pool on warm days. that usually makes the $5.00 a moot point. this pool is one of the two most beautiful pools in brewster county,texas....moreless
- Deck / Patio:
- Outdoor Grill
- Tourist Attractions
- Sports & Activities
- Away From It All
Location & View
- Mountain View
- Water Tubing
- Rock Climbing
- Whitewater Rafting
- Massage Therapist
- Golf Privileges Optional
- Equestrian Events
- Mountain Climbing
- Mountain Biking
- Wildlife Viewing
- Live Theater
- Eco Tourism
- Horseback Riding
- Paddle Boating
- Scenic Drives
- Bird Watching
- Sight Seeing
ReviewsWrite a review
This is the REAL Big Bend!
This is the REAL Big Bend!
Our four-night stay at Curt's Tarantula Ranch house was the highlight of our eleven-day road trip to West Texas with a guest from Thailand. His detailed description decidedly helped us narrow our choice for accommodations in Big Bend. It can truly be said that Texas is another country, but the Big Bend area of Texas is like another planet! The skies are stunning for star gazing, sunrises, sunsets and cloud formations. Curt's stories are as colorful as the vistas, and he never seems to lack for authentic, enthusiastic attention to his guests' comforts and interests. We spent a morning with him on a tour of his land that included ancient cliff dwelling petroglyphs. His extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna, geology, cultural anthropology, weather and never-to-be-found-in-a-guidebook information of the area was amazing. Advice to those who stay at his ranch house: book a longer tour with him; we wish we had!. Our short stay in the area was divided with beautiful hikes in the Big Bend National Park (Curt can advise you on the best for your interest and ability levels), a rafting trip down the Rio Grande River with Far Flung tours, and a must-do drive to Santa Elena canyon in the park. Curt's family of rescued animals stole our hearts. They added life to an area of Texas that can otherwise seem hauntingly still and quiet (we loved it!). Maggie the burro, Helen Keller the deaf/blind dog, Billy her best friend (another burro) and not-to-be-forgotten Hagen and Daz (the pair of rescued chocolate labs) entertained us at the ranch house. After leaving Curt's place we went north to Fort Davis to another VRBO rental. We didn't think a four-day stay at Tarantula Ranch would have us feeling "homesick" for Curt's place. To complete the review tips for potential guests: the description and photos were accurate to the amenities, the house is rustic but comfortable, Curt was very helpful in answering our questions and seeing to our needs during the stay, I would definitely recommend this property to friends and relatives who want a true West Texas experience (not for chocolates-on-the-pillow or eek!-a-spider types). Thanks, Curt, for a wonderful stay. It truly set the standard for the rest of our trip to West Texas.
- Guest With metta (Hallettsville, TX)
- Date of stay 10/23/13
- Review Submitted 11/08/13
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing, age 55+, pet owners.
Fabulous host, beautiful vistas, fun critters
Fabulous host, beautiful vistas, fun critters
Our family of 4 (daughters aged 7 and 9) stayed at Tarantula Ranch for a week in May. Our host, Curt Swafford, was very personable and informative about local sites and activities, as well as the flora and fauna of the region. :-) We were welcomed with a pitcher of margaritas for my husband and me, and fresh made lemonade for the girls and some delicious garlicky popcorn. He took us on a personal tour of the area on his property where we saw petroglyphs and beautiful scenery, followed by a visit to the local golf club pool. There are many pets on the property who are all very friendly and entertaining including 2 horses, 2 donkeys, a variety of dogs, and a cat. Curt even led each of the girls (who are crazy about horses) around the property on a couple of bareback rides on Cody, the resident sweetheart equine. Additional outings that we experienced included a tour of the Ghost town, a canoe trip down the Rio Grande (though as expected, water levels were very low), a 3 hour horseback trail ride, and a couple of day hiking excursions into Big Bend Nat'l Park. I rated the rental as a 4 instead of 5 just because it was very rustic, and for my "city girl" needs, I think I would have been good with a bit less than a week being as close to the desert nature as we were. Overall, though, a fantastic experience. Our family will definitely treasure the memories made!
- Guest Kristen G.
- Date of stay 05/25/13
- Review Submitted 09/04/13
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing.
~ THE GREAT ESCAPE ~
~ THE GREAT ESCAPE ~
The title says it all! We stayed at the Tarantula Ranch for 5 days, totally surrounded by the natural beauty. We did not spend much time at Big Bend State Park even with its scenic views, we preferred to stay within the spacious property that Curt owns and enjoy the seclusion that living in the desert truly feels like. He took us on a hiking adventure to see petroglyphs and the amazing egg. Be sure to ask Curt for direction to a Mexican restaurant that we all went to after our hike. Best Mexican food we had ever had! We had our 13 year old dog with us, all of the critters got along extremely well. And what can you say about a man that rescues animals that other people have neglected and abused. We also got something more than what was expected, a new friend. We shall be seeing you again in the fall Curt.
- Guest D & K (Texas)
- Date of stay 05/13/13
- Review Submitted 06/08/13
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing, age 55+, romantic getaway, pet owners.
We arrived 5/8-5/13 had great time,great Host.Did not get to all that we wanted! So we will be schduling sometime in Oct .I believe that says enough!! Thanks Curtis Michael& Karen
- Guest M&K (Lake Jackson,Tx)
- Date of stay 05/08/13
- Review Submitted 05/26/13
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing, romantic getaway, pet owners.
the headquarter of brewster county!
the headquarter of brewster county!
We stayed at the tarantula ranch for two weeks in February. We had an magnificient time. The views, solitude and general ambiente of the ranch are like nothing we had ever seen or experienced before (we are a mixed-european family). We travelled with two very small children (6 months, 3 years) and they loved it also. The 3-year old was absolutely thrilled by the small "zoo" that share the property (burros, horses, dogs). All animals were used to having people around and seemed to like the frequent visits and were very well behaved. Curtis was the best host we could wish for. He helped us a lot with practical and general advice. It was a very comforting idea to have him around, in this place of absolute solitude. He always made sure everything was fine with us and we knew we could always count on him during the stay. We also had some adventures together! We went out shooting guns on his property, saw indian carvings in the rocks and went horse-riding together. We would surely have wished to stay longer. In any case, if west-Texas will be invaded by German or Belgian tourists in the next few years, we are partly to blame (sorry)
- Guest spazio (berlin)
- Date of stay 02/17/13
- Review Submitted 05/15/13
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, families with young children.
My husband and I stayed at the Tarantula Ranch for 4 nights. We really didn't know what to expect of the area but Curt was an excellent, gracious and most helpful host. He is very knowledgeable of the area and is never short on stories. All of animals at the ranch are just as friendly. Your pants will be full of dog fur and your face wet with kisses from Haagen. Be prepared to rub the bellies of all the animals because they love it. Wait to plan or pay for any adventures with the local travel adventure guides. Curt has access to some very interesting sites and is more than happy to spend time touring with you. The Big Bend National Park is full of beautiful scenery as is the ranch. On our final morning, we unfortunately woke to a flat tire. Curt went above and beyond to assist us with fixing our flat and sending us in the right direction to get to a closer town for repairs. If you truly want to be in the middle of the desert, Tarantula Ranch is the place to be. Accommodations were adequate and comfortable. Just remember to have plenty of WATER, GAS and TIRES!!
- Guest Shelly Z. (Ponder, TX)
- Date of stay 05/04/13
- Review Submitted 05/10/13
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, age 55+, romantic getaway, families with young children.
Everything we had hoped for
Everything we had hoped for
We spent 2 wonderful weeks at Tarantula Ranch – our first trip to Texas to escape some of Canada’s winter. The ranch provided a perfect opportunity to experience the rugged, desert back country right outside our door but with the comfort of a hot shower, equipped kitchen and a real bed. We enjoyed getting to know the burros, horses and dogs – well loved, friendly pets. Curtis was an exceptional host providing all of the basics plus. Accompanying he and the big dogs to see the various pictographs was a true highlight of our trip. We appreciated very much his recommendations for hiking and ensuring that we saw all of what the area has to offer. It was amazing to hike out the door to Mesa Jack Eden – seeing white tailed deer and road runners on route! The breath taking views are truly 360’ with “big skies” all around. We were fortunate to experience the beginning of spring with many desert flowers in bloom. A memorable and very worthwhile vacation get away! Thank you again Curtis for making our first trip to Texas so welcoming.
- Guest Ellen (Wyebridge, Ontario)
- Date of stay 02/04/13
- Review Submitted 04/05/13
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, age 55+, romantic getaway, pet owners.
What an adventure!
What an adventure!
This was my first time to Big Bend. My husband had camped and hiked all over the national park and desperately wanted to share his love for Big Bend with me and our youngest child. So, I set about looking for somewhere to stay, because I'm not really a "tent camping" kind of girl. Then, my parents wanted in on the action, as they too had heard the stories my husband told. I found the Tarantula Ranch on VRBO, and sent Curtis an email...could he possibly handle three generations from one family? Of course he could! And it turned out that he offered the guest bedroom in his personal home for my late sixties parents. I wasn't sure how this would work out....we'd never even met Curtis. And, when he met us at the entrance to his property, I was a little freaked out from the rough ride up the mountain to the cabin. Heck, we couldn't even see any houses! We finally arrived and were greated by the two burros, two horses and four of the six dogs. We found fresh lemonade in the fridge, his yummy popcorn waiting on the kitchen table, and a carafe of margaritas that I believe I drank all by myself over the next four days. Curtis was a wonderful host....I can't imagine anyone better. So personable and accomodating! The cabin was cute and comfortable too....much better than a tent! He took us on a tour of his property and my kids loved those dogs. Big Bend was an adventure of a lifetime for me and my family, one that we will never forget. Thank you Curtis for everything you did during our stay. I did like the satellite tv too...even though we were supposed to be roughing it. One more thing....his pictures on this site are gorgeous, but they still can't compare to the real thing. Be sure to drive down to Lajitas and toward Presidio for some incredible up-close views that are breathtaking....I actually yelled out loud at one point as we were driving, and I heard the same shouts from a passing car after we got out to take pictures, so I know I'm not the only one who was being a geek. :) Thank you for everything Curtis!!
- Guest Wacoans (Waco, TX)
- Date of stay 03/10/13
- Review Submitted 03/16/13
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing, families with young children.
Beautiful desert experience!
Beautiful desert experience!
A friend and I stayed in the Tarantula Ranch cabin for three nights (the last night for free!). Curtis is a fantastic host and we had a great time as we explored Big Bend. He was a wonderful guide and took us to see petroglyphs and the amazing scenery of the Terlingua desert. He also showed us around Big Bend National Park and was very knowledgeable of the history of the area. The cabin was clean and welcoming and we enjoyed visits from the horses and burros each morning. Staying there, we really got a feel of life in the desert - private and isolated (no curtains on the bathroom windows!) but beautiful when you take a closer look. What seems bare and desolate from a car window is actually teeming with color and life when you get out and walk around. Biggest disappointment - never saw a tarantula! I was fascinated by the rain catchment and filtration system Curtis employs as a backup system - made me have a new insight about water - or lack of it. Terlingua and Study Butte are interesting towns - we visited the ghost town cemetery, the Mosasaur exhibit, and ate at the Starlight Theatre and the Chili Pepper Cafe - both had great food. We joined a group of people on the Theatre porch watching the full moon come up over the mountains and enjoyed live music there both nights. We shopped at the Painted Feather,a tiny gift store where Dani, the proprietor, sells her wonderful original art, handmade jewelry and crafts. We enjoyed talking to the eclectic residents of the area and really got an idea of life in the desert. It beat staying in a sterile motel room with everything at your fingertips - by getting out and exploring we have a new appreciation of the things we take for granted in the city. I recommend this property for anyone with a sense of adventure who wants a deeper understanding of the beautiful Big Bend.
- Guest PM Traveler (Simonton, Texas )
- Date of stay 10/29/12
- Review Submitted 11/18/12
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, age 55+, families with young children.
My wife and i stayed here for several days on our honeymoon and enjoyed it very much. The cottage was clean and was well-equipped. The views from the porch were fantastic! Curt (owner) was a pleasure to meet as well. He was courteous and went out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed and were ok around the ranch and getting in and out of the sometimes challenging road, but was also very respectful of our privacy which we really appreciated. We would heartily recommend the place. Be sure to ask Curt about his special Swafford popcorn and lemonade when you meet him!
- Guest evan (Versailles MO)
- Date of stay 11/03/12
- Review Submitted 11/10/12
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing, age 55+, romantic getaway.
$139.00 for one night,$119.00/night for 3 nights,$109.00/night for 5 nights. 7 nights for the price of 6 @$109.00= $654.00. 13% hotel tax,a one time cleaning fee: $60.00. 50% deposit for reservation,balance due 30days prior to stay. cancelletions: your deposit will be refunded(less $50.00 and any credit card/paypal fees) provided you cancel more than 30days from check in. breakage deposit: there will be a one time fee of $49.00( non refundable) in lieu of you having a $500.00 damage deposit being held until check out. i'll try and work with you if you had rather do the refundable breakage deposit.
Note: Until confirmed, rates are subject to change without notice.
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Year Purchased: 1996
About the owner: I am a native texan. I am a retired coach. On my ranch i live with six dogs, two horses ,two burros and two cats.the two burros and one of the horses are rescues. five of the six dogs are rescues. one of my rescue dogs was born blind and deaf. her name is Helen Keller.both cats are rescues. You will meet them all when you come to Tarantula Ranch and will learn each of their stories.
The Unique Benefits at this Cottage:
Breakfast with burros,hikes to great vistas right out the front door. For the golfers, i can save you about $16.00 on your green fee at blackjack crossing golf resort in lajatis.
- Primary: 432-371-2784
- Secondary: 432-897-4433
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southwest view from hot tub
billy, one of our juvinel deliquents....i mean burros
moonrise over tarantula ranch
cotton,THE RANCH DOG!!!
ariel view taken during the drought of 2011,guest cottage is largest bldg. on rt
sunrise at tarantula ranch
haagen and daz, twin brothers, chocolate labs,rescued from the midland,tx.pound
view from the hot tub
Guest cottage on a foggy morning
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This listing was first published here in 2011.
Date last modified - Tuesday, December 03, 2013
1 Bedroom / 1 Bathroom
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