Rancho El Rio, a Natural Paradise/Farm Combo on the Way to Monteverde
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- Minimum stay:2 nights
- Pets considered:Yes
- Wheel chair accessible:Yes
Monteverde cottage description
A Birder's Paradise with over 90 bird species identified by certified guides: Rancho el Rio is another slice of heaven that the owners of Casa Cielo in Monteverde are now making available to guests. It is 112 acres of a unique combination between nature at its best and a real working ranch. You get it all: Over one mile of river front with natural pools, forested areas, mountains with beautiful ocean views, cattle pastures, orchards, and of course, lots of trees, such as palm/coconut, banana, plantain, noni, star fruit, bread fruit, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, passion fruit, mangoes, avocadoes, cashews, are all around.
The guest house is spacious and rustic. The furniture is mostly hand-made...even the flooring on the large patio overlooking the river was hand-milled. It is right by the river so you can see and hear the rush of the water all the time while you are there--a natural sound that induces relaxation and a state of well-being.
The weather is magnificent! It is warmer than Monteverde, but not as hot as the beach, so different wildlife can be seen there, such as howler monkeys, iguanas, geckos, salamanders, frogs, tons of birds (herons, birds of prey, parrots, egrets, song birds, toucans, etc.). At night you can build bon fires by the river and even camp there just for fun!
There is a TON of things to do. You can help milk the cow, feed the chickens, geese, turkeys, and fish and tend to and ride the horses, see the sheep, water buffaloes and oxen. The river itself provides hours of fun. Children (and adults!) love to jump off rocks into natural pools and wade around looking at the fish and finding beautiful rocks and tiny creatures. There are several traditional games, such as our home-made mechanical bull and other equestrian games. Collecting and eating coyoles (tiny coconut-like fruits that you crack with rocks) and other fruits to make fruit drinks is quite popular too. Night or daytime hikes by foot or on horse- back through the ranch and the surrounding town are a true delight. Discounted rates to guests. We have mountain bikes for rent for those who love cycling (also at discounted rates for guests).
Please see our other reviews on TripAdviser.
ALL OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ARE WEATHER-PERMITTING.
It is located right on your way to Monteverde from either the San Jose or Liberia airports. It is along route 605, 3 km south from the intersections of route 605 and 606.
Coming from the Liberia airport, you would turn left on the road right past the Lagartos Puente (Lagartos Bridge) and go for 11.5 km. , then make a right, and the Ranch´s driveway is along a white fence, a few meters after you make the turn. To go to Monteverde, you would continue on for another 3 km. then make a slight left and turn onto route 606.
From the San Jose airport you can go 2 ways. Make a right at the Rancho Grande Gas Station and go until you get to El Sol Restaurant, then make a left and go exactly 3 km and make a sharp left, and you are there.
OR… make a right from HWY 1 (Interamerican Highway) onto directly onto route 605 and go 11.5 km., then make a sharp right and you are there.
Rancho El Rio is 2 hrs from the Liberia airport and 2.5 hrs from the San Jose airport. It takes 50 mins to get to Monteverde. It is an hour away from a lovely beach, Playa Dona Ana. It is close to the tiny rural community of Guacimal.
In this area of the country people still ride on horse-back to work and get around, use oxen to cart things from place to place and raise cattle... this is the real Costa Rica. There is a tiny restaurant-bar nearby or you can drive 3 km. to a much larger restaurant at the intersection of route 606 and 605. But you can just bring all your food in for the duration of your stay and cook onsite or purchase home-made meals. The kitchen is fully equipped. You can also buy lots of organic dairy products right from the people living nearby, eggs, and many other produce, not to mention eat from what is available at the Rancho. We provide you with free organic coffee during your stay as we are coffee producers in Monteverde.
Remodeled to suit and accommodate the needs of the handicapped, the house is spacious and all on one level.
It has all the amenities: telephone, wi-fi, hot water shower, stove, fridge, fully equipped large kitchen, 2 bedrooms (1 with a double bed and one with bunk beds), living/dining room with a futon that sleeps two additional guests, towels and linens provided, 2 full baths inside. There is a very large covered porch overlooking the river with a swing, a hammock and a sofa-bed, and a smaller one by the front of the house. There is a wood stove for cooking outdoors and a large wood grill (we provide you with free firewood).
- 1130 sq. ft.
- 1 story
- Vacation Rental
- Dinner - Booking Possible
- Breakfast - Booking Possible
- Catering Available
- Housekeeper Optional
- Wheelchair Accessible:
- Pets Considered:
- Minimum Age Limit For Renters
- Events Allowed
- Children Welcome
Bedrooms: 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6, Beds for 4-6
Bathrooms: 2 Bathrooms
- Extra large gorgeous bathroom with lots of space for a wheelchair. Roll right into shower stall (no steps or bumps of any kind). Shower handle moves up and down to accomodate height, or becomes detached, easy temperature regulator. Roll-under sink for extra comfort on wheelchair. Very safe (ande beautiful) anti-slip real stone floor....moreless
Kitchen & Dining
We provide you with free organic coffee as we are coffee producers in Monteverde. We also have some kitchen essentials such as salt, pepper, etc. We often have enough fresh milk from our cow to share...moreless
Outdoor, FULLY equipped, super-spacious kitchen that accomodates a wheelchair. Roll-under sink, low (and taller) counters, roll-under gas burners. Hear and see the river while you are cooking!...moreless
- Dishes & Utensils:
- Washing Machine:
- Linens Provided
- Towels Provided
- Hiking through our trails is a favorite of birdwatchers. Horse-back riding and mountain bike rental discounts to our guests. We have horses to accomodate your level of experience. Day and Night tours on horse-back. A home-made 'mechanical bull' provides a TON of fun for young and old alike!...moreless
Deck / Patio:
Very large terrace inlaid with slices of old tree trunks. It overlooks the river so while you are there, you can relax in your hammock, swing or sofa listening to the sound of the rushing river....moreless
- Lawn / Garden:
- Sports & Activities
- Away From It All
Location & View
- Equestrian Events
- Horseback Riding
- Mountain Biking
- Wildlife Viewing
- Bird Watching
- Sight Seeing
- Eco Tourism
- Scenic Drives
- 3 km. south off the intersection of routes 605 and 606, on route 605. GPS: N 10.19204, W 84.74440 This is a birdwatcher's dream come true. It is just amazing how many species of birds you see and how close you can get to them. In this area of the country people still ride on horse-back to work and get around, use oxen to cart things from place to place and raise cattle... this is the real Costa Rica. There is a tiny restaurant-bar nearby, or you can drive 3 km. to a much larger restaurant at the intersection of route 606 and 605, you can also join a Costa Rican family for meals or have them delivered to you. Buy lots of organic dairy products right from the people living nearby, eggs, and other produce, not to mention eat from what is available at the Rancho. There are individuals that still make things by hand and a trip into the nearby town of Guacimal can show you how. The weather is warm, yet not as hot as the beach...just right for bathing in the river and whatever other outdoor activity you like to do. There is a rainy season, but even then, it normally does not rain all day. The river may not always be accessible, though. Because of the lower altitude and different weather, you get to see totally different wildlife than you do in Monteverde proper. People also seem to enjoy hiking more as the air is not so thin (you don't get as winded). The terrain has some mountains, but also flat areas that lend themselves to walking, biking and gentler horse-back riding....moreless
ReviewsWrite a review
Loved Our Visit
Loved Our Visit
Rustic living on the ranch--just what we needed! Thank you Veronica, Alexander and Stuart for opening your gates to the public. We adored every minute of our visit, whether relaxing on the porch or in the river, just off the back porch, hiking or horsing around the property, we couldn't have asked for more. Bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper though, because this place is full of joyful life!
- Guest Mary K.
- Date of stay 02/15/14
- Review Submitted 03/01/14
Recommended for: Age 55+, girls getaway, adventure seekers, families with young children, sightseeing.
Tropical Ranch Paradise
Tropical Ranch Paradise
Where to start! After having spent a wonderful week in June at their other property, Casa Cielo, nearer to Monteverde, we spent the first week of July at Rancho el Rio. As always, Veronica was the perfect host and there to greet us upon arrival. We then took a quick tour of the property to get our bearings and so we'd know where to pick the bounty of bananas, mangos, avocados, coconuts, starfruit, etc, from their trees. The cottage is perfect, lots of space with a great patio for relaxing and cooking on the BBQ while watching the river run by. An astonishing variety of birds are constantly on the move around the property and Veronica's son, Stuart, provided us with a great tour during which we saw Spectacled Owls, Keel-billed toucan, Chestnut-billed toucans, tanagers, and many others. While hiking on our own we came across Howler Monkeys, parrots, and many others. During the week we spent a day at the beach at Playa Dona Ana. A beautiful location near Puntarenas but because of all the rain the water was like chocolate milk...best left for the dry season. A highlight of the week was our horseback ride with Veronica, Alex and Stuart up to a waterfall. None of us had been there before and it was a real treat! Like something from a postcard with a beautiful pool at the bottom to swim in. To make it complete, a Blue Morphos butterfly entertained us during lunch. After the horseride we thought we could use a long soak in hot water so we travelled to Arenal and Tabacon thermal resort for the day (an interesting 3 hour drive from the ranch). A gorgeous place with lots of natural-looking lounging pools for adults and a larger pool for the kids. All in all, it was a terrific vacation to a beautiful location that was made even better by the wonderful family that shares it!
- Guest Steve (Palm Bay, FL)
- Date of stay 06/28/13
- Review Submitted 08/01/13
Recommended for: Age 55+, romantic getaway, adventure seekers, families with young children, sightseeing.
Wow, what a beautiful paradise! The cottage is set on over 100 acres of land, and the day we arrived Veronica took us on a hike to get us a little oriented which was great! She knew we were nature lovers (especially birds) and knew exactly what to point out to us. She showed us a great spot in the river to go to and the next day we packed a picnic and lapped up the beauty of the surroundings sitting in a pool in the river with rushing water on our backs (sshhh, we went skinny dipping!!!) We saw the elusive manakin bird and numerous others. We picked mangoes and I relaxed on the beautiful porch overlooking the river in the hammock with a book. It's a real working ranch so is also perfect if you have children as they can be involved with the animals! The cottage is rustic, simple, spacious and comfortable with beautiful hand made furniture. It's a fantastic getaway from fast paced life to relaxation in this beautiful area of Costa Rica!
- Guest Elizabeth M. (Kelowna,BC,Canada)
- Date of stay 05/02/13
- Review Submitted 05/26/13
Recommended for: Age 55+, pet owners, people with disabilities, romantic getaway, adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers.
A Lovely Get-Away
A Lovely Get-Away
Rancho El Rio is a very special place run by a charming couple, Alex and Veronica, who go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable. The scenery is stunning and the peaceful sounds of the river rushing below the patio are mesmerizing and oh, so relaxing. With the porch positioned on the side of the steep hill leading down to the water, you feel like you are perched in the treetops. When Toucans come to visit - as they did for us - you look out at them at eye level as they flit from tree to tree. Although we never saw any Howler monkeys, we could hear their calls frequently and knew they were nearby. As a horse lover, I was especially excited to be able to ride and these horses are well-trained, safe animals but with spirit and enthusiasm. Obviously, they are not your typical plodding beasts bored with the same old monotonous work. With Veronica as our guide, we roamed around the huge 112-acre ranchland, checking out the new baby water buffaloes, the herd of cattle and the stunning "spirit rock" which stands like a sentinel on a hilltop. Like many of their horses, my mount was a rescued horse but she was more than willing to take off at a comfortable canter as we explored the hills on the property. When we stopped at the river we took a refreshing dip in the shallow rapids to cool off, sitting down among the rocks and letting the water wash over us. Delightful! If you want, you can stay busy with hikes around the ranch or along the country roads, going for a dip in the river's several swimming holes, watching the farm animals (watch out for those geese!) or visiting one of the attractions of the Monteverde area. Or you can just snuggle down into the hammock or the swing and while your day away reading or napping or just enjoying the beauty of Nature surrounding you.
- Guest Kat (Santa Eulalia, Atenas, Costa Rica)
- Date of stay 05/08/13
- Review Submitted 05/14/13
Recommended for: People with disabilities.
This is fantastic!
This is fantastic!
This place is fantastic! The scenery is gorgeous and there is so much to do. The roomy house features a large porch overlooking a rushing river. The river runs through about fifty acres of property, and features five swimming holes, shallow rapids to play in, and rocks to sun on. The ranch has lush pastures with sharp hills and gorgeous vistas of surrounding mountains. There is a forest with hiking trails. Birds are everywhere. My husband and I have spent 2 months in Costa Rica, traveling every few days, and this is his favorite place. He enjoys the birding and the hiking, while I enjoy riding the horses, which are a cut above the average trail horse. Veronica and Alex are very nice. They are more than willing to offer advice or make reservations. They try to make sure you have everything you need, More details: Veronica speaks fluent English. Alex, who grew up nearby, and I had fun laughing while I struggled with Spanish. and he practiced his English. You can be as much or as little involved with them as you wish. On my first visit, I spent an afternoon talking to Veronica and then half a day riding with them, but my husband and I pretty much went our own way, birding and hiking. On my second visit with my granddaughter, we spent almost all of our time on the ranch. We fed the chicks, watched a group of howler monkeys (with 2 babies) until we go tired, saw a coati mundi, rode horses, and swam everyday. The wrangler patiently taught my granddaughter how to ride (she was scared). We even ate a typical Costa Rican dinner with Veronica and Alex one night. You are close to other attractions as well. I took my granddaughter to ziplining in Monteverdi (1 hour away.). We also visited the rainforest, hiked over the suspension bridges, and watched villagers collect and process honey. Bugs: You don't have to worry about mosquitoes as we only had one bite. Veronica assured us we had to worry about the little ticks (but no lyme's disease) in the pasture, and my granddaughter did get 2 bites. We had maybe 10 bites in the week we were here, but they were small and inconsequential. We used insect repellant. Bring lots of water-resistant suntan lotion. Afternoons are best spent in the water, or on the porch. Safety: You are very safe here. Get your groceries in a large town, like Liberia or San Jose, prior to arrival.
- Guest Zoe (Fort Smith, AR USA)
- Date of stay 03/18/13
- Review Submitted 03/23/13
Recommended for: Age 55+, girls getaway, pet owners, people with disabilities, romantic getaway, adventure seekers, families with young children, sightseeing, families with teenagers.
|Dates||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
|All year round
Feb 14 - Feb 14, 2015
2 night min stay
|My Standard Rate
2 night min stay
Additional information about rental rates
$5 for each additional guest beyond 2 guests
For a 7 night reservation, we take one day off the total.
For a two-week reservation, we take three days off the total
For a three-week reservation, we take five days off the total
For a four-week reservation, you get one entire week free.
****ALL TAXES AND FEES ARE INCLUDED****
cash only upon arrival
deposit required for reservations of two weeks or more
cancellation fees apply
- Taxes Included
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- Nearest Airport: Liberia at 111 Kilometres
- Nearest Ferry: Puntarenas at 55 Kilometres
- Nearest Motorway: Highway 605 at 0.2 Kilometres
- Nearest Beach: Playa Dona Ana at 51 Kilometres
- Nearest Barpub: Restaurant-Bar El Punto at 0.4 Kilometres
- Nearest Restaurant: Restaurant-Bar El Punto at 0.4 Kilometres
Year Purchased: 2012
About the owner: Alexander was born in the San Luis Valley in the Monteverde region and has lived all his life here. He started working when he was 11 years old helping his father herd oxen to take milk to the local cheese factory. At the age of 15, he began working for the Children´s Eternal Rain Forest, then he worked for InBio (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad) researching snails all over Costa Rica, he then worked for ProNativas, an non-profit organization that promotes the use of native ornamental plants as a conservation effort. He believes in changing the world one person at a time, starting with ourselves. He uses his farms and ecotourism business, his family and neighbors to help visitors understand the intimate connection that we have to the land. These neighbors, the local farmers and housewives get to benefit from the tourism that comes to this very rural area and get to share their own wisdom. Everyone wins. Veronica was born in Mexico and spent 25 years in the States. She worked as a biologist, then as a licensed clinical social worker in various settings including private practice with people suffering from chronic physical illnesses and hospice care. She arrived in Monteverde a few years ago with her 5 year old son, Stuart. She founded PAWS costarica (Promotion of Animal Wellbeing Society), a non-profit organization to help educate people regarding the responsible and compassionate treatment of animals. She believes, like Alex, in changing the world from the inside (OUR inside) out. Everything we do, our choices and lifestyles sum up to our current state of affairs… we have the power to choose again so we can heal ourselves, our planet and all living beings. Stuart is 10 years old and attends the Monteverde Friends School. He shares our family dream of enjoying the simple things and having lots of fun caring for our farm animals and bird-watching. Our dream for Rancho El Rio is to achieve sustainabilty in harmony with nature.
Why the Owner Chose Monteverde:
We absolutely LOVE the river, which is why we called it Rancho El Rio (rio means river). The river is our source of joy and healing and our source of energy to begin conservation efforts in area of the country with few environmentalists and even fewer resources. We like all the wildlife that gathers in this oasis, eating the fruit, drinking the water, raising their little families along with ours. The weather is also a big draw. Not as cold as Monteverde, so it is warm enough to run around in shorts, but not as hot as the beaches. It is also close to everything. We like being in the real Costa Rica, interacting with the neighbors, growing more of what we eat, living a very simple life.
The Unique Benefits at this Cottage:
This is a place where we can live in harmony with nature. It is a true paradise, not just for our guests and ourselves, but for the many animals and plants that can live undisturbed. There is enough space for us to have a working farm, and to share with the wild life. We like to watch the squirrels work away at a coconut, a large iguana climb a tree, a toucan enjoy taking chunks of a plantain and swallowing them whole, and a bat come in and out of the porch to catch the insects that the light attracts. It is a true oasis for the MANY migratory and local water birds as we have set aside several acres of totally undisturbed forest and river side. Expert bird guides have identified over 100 different species of birds on our 112 acre farm. The other unique thing is that the farm is nestled in the Real Costa Rica... we get to interact with the local people at the natural pool by the house, we see people up and down the street on horse-back and driving oxen with carts full of things and we join them in their activities. Yet, when we want to alone, we can retreat into our very own private reserve deep into our land and just be.
- Primary: +506 8302-2522
- Secondary: 2647-1291
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Awe-inspiring cliffs, a deep pool & shallow rapids serving as a natural spa
Walk along our trails and make stops to refresh yourself and swim in the river
Well-lit living área with full-size rustic futon, desk, books and games
Gorgeous, spacious, screened-in, fully-equipped kitchen overlooking the river
Sleep soundly listening to the sounds of the river on this ultracomfortable bed
Toucans come right to our porch... get up close and personal with the wildlife
A family of keel-billed toucans lives right behind your cottage
Wildlife abounds everywhere you look!
Fun, fun, fun!
Deep relaxation and rest is what you will find right on your back porch
Our new rice plants... come see all the crops!
Our front gate: Welcome to our lush tropical paradise
Enjoy a horseback ride through the ranch's mountains and see the gorgeous views!
Hand-crafted strudy bunk bed made from recycled tree branches
Well-lit, rustic, second bathroom helps acommodate the needs of a large family.
Find the myriad of epiphytes and birds living in our trees
Experience what is like to live in a real working ranch
The magestic Montezuma Oropendula... Get your camera ready!
Get close to our newest addititon, Cafe Molido, born January 2nd 2013
Shower yourself in this large, rustic and naturally non-slip stone bathroom
Shhh... walk quietly on our trails and you too may get to see the Spectacled Owl
We practice organic agriculture the old-fashioned way
Come help us hand-feed our resident sheep, Francisco, Campana and Marilyn
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This listing was first published here in 2013.
Date last modified - Friday, February 21, 2014
2 Bedroom / 2 Bathroom
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