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Rancho el Rio, a Natural Paradise/Farm Combo on the way to Monteverde in Lake Arenal

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vacation rental description

WATER FRON HOUSE overlooking the river, in a Birder's Paradise with over 100 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 áreas trails, 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. We have mountain bikes for rent for those who love cycling.


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 brown 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).

vacation rental location

property availability

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Last modified on 08-13-2014 at 11:17 PM.

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veronica sheehan 8302-2522

cottage rental amenities

  • Property Type
    • 1 story cottage
    • floor area 1130 sq. ft.
  • Meals
    • catering available
  • Location Type
    • water view
      • You can see and hear the river right from your house kitchen and porch
    • waterfront
      • Over a mile of river with natural pools, little waterfalls and lots of water birds, little fish and many other river critters
    • mountain view
      • Mountain views from Rancho El Rio are fantastic!
  • Theme
    • adventure
    • romantic
    • family
    • away from it all
    • budget
    • sports & activities
  • General
    • living room
      • A rustic desk and bookcase in addition to living room furniture makes you feel right at home
    • wood stove
      • Free fire wood
    • parking
      • Plenty and private behind our property gate
    • internet
      • Free WI-FI
    • towels provided
    • fitness room / equipment
      • Weights
    • washing machine
      • available on-site
    • telephone
      • You have your own phone line. Free calls within Costa Rica
    • linens provided
  • Kitchen
    • dishes & utensils
      • Pots, pans, dishes, cups, glasses, bowls, blender, pot holders, wine-glass opener, can opener, spatulas, baking dishes, etc. etc.
    • pantry items
      • 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
    • coffee maker
      • Using the typical Costa Rican style
    • toaster
      • Brand new, large
    • refrigerator
      • Brand new, large fridge with freezer
    • stove
      • Brand new medium size, three burner gas stove
    • oven
      • Brand new medium-sized oven/toaster combination on low counter for easy handicap access
    • kitchen
      • 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!
  • Dining
    • dining area
    • dining
      • The open dining area is attached to the porch and open, you can see the landscape and hear the river while you eat.
  • Pool / Spa
    • communal pool
      • Several natural river pools to provide hours of fun
  • Bathrooms
    • 2 bathrooms
    • bathroom 1: toilet, shower, watch the outdoors thru a slotted window while you shower
    • bathroom 2: toilet, shower, rustic, slate walls and flooring
      • 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.
  • Bedrooms
    • 2 bedrooms, sleeps 6, beds for 4-6
    • bedroom 1: 1 double, An additonal full futon can be placed in this master bedroom
    • bedroom 2: 1 bunk bed, Hand-crafted rustic bunk bed. Baby crib/play pen available
      • Very spacious so a wheelchair can easily manuver around the ultra-comfortable double bed. Closet built for easy access on high or low levels. Door handles easy to open with one hand. Rustic, hand-crafted furniture.
  • Entertainment
    • foosball
    • games
      • cards, horse-shoes, home-made 'mechanical' bull, traditional equestrian games, mountain bikes for rent, horse-back tours at half-off for guests.
    • toys
      • leggo´s, asorted toys
  • Outside
    • bicycles
      • Mountain bikes available to rent either on or offsite
    • outdoor grill
      • Free fire wood
    • lawn / garden
      • Lots of fruit trees. There are several acres of forest in the 112 acre-farm.
    • 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.
  • Suitability
    • minimum age limit for renters
    • events allowed
    • pets considered
      • Contact us about your pet prior to making the reservation. $300 refundable deposit required.
    • wheelchair accessible
      • Special low and roll-under stove and kitchen counters and sinks, VERY spacious, wide doors, etc. Easy to reach closet and cabinet spaces. Car can come near house for easy access.
    • children welcome
  • Notes
    • 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!

activities and attractions in Lake Arenal Costa Rica

  • Attractions
    • churches
    • playground
    • restaurants
  • Leisure Activities
    • bird watching
    • eco tourism
    • scenic drives
    • walking
    • sight seeing
    • wildlife viewing
    • horseshoes
    • horseback riding
  • Sports & Adventure Activities
    • equestrian events
    • swimming
    • cycling
    • mountain biking
    • hiking

contact owner

please fill in the form below to inquire about this rental.


  • owner veronica sheehan
  • phone 8302-2522
  • 2nd phone 2647-1291

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payment methods

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vacation rental rates

Rental Basis:
Per property
Rental rates quoted in:

Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekend Weekly Monthly * Event Minimum Stay
All year round
Feb 14 2014 - Feb 14 2015
2 nights
My Standard Rate
2 nights

Additional information about rental rates

Charge beyond 2 guests $5
CASH only upon arrival
deposit required for only for reservations of two weeks or more
cancellation fees apply
$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.

email owner

veronica sheehan 8302-2522

Lake Arenal cottage photos at a glance

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email owner

veronica sheehan 8302-2522

traveler reviews for this lake arenal cottage rental

So beautiful!

Review submitted: July 20, 2014   Date of arrival: July 16, 2014

This is an amazing place. I don't know where to start to describe the experience our family had here, other than to say it exceeded our expectations. Veronica, Alex and Stuart are knowledgeable, passionate about the environment and could not be more helpful- we did not want to leave!
Hi lights were, horseriding around the ranch, seeing monkeys- an albino one, zip lining and visiting the cloud forest, swimming in the river, birding with Stuart, soaking in local outdoor hot pools, eating authentic cuisine ..........
Please visit- you will love it too I promise!!!!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


Rustic Elegance

Review submitted: May 21, 2014   Date of arrival: May 6, 2014

Absolutely exquisite. A rustic Costa Rican home in the old style with modern conveniences, kitchen, bath, on a river. The river sounds and fauna wash over making the sleep deeply replenishing. The family is amazing transforming this historic property back to a sustainable living demonstration.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, pet-friendly, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


Beautiful local Costa Rican ranch experience!

Review submitted: April 8, 2014   Date of arrival: March 16, 2014

If you are looking for an off the beaten path local Costa Rican experience, then come to Ranch El Rio. We spent 8 days at this ranch with no other plans but to enjoy. Veronica and family were there to greet us and welcomed us to their ranch with a wonderful tasty treat of warm cheese tortillas, cashew fruit juice and coffee. The ranch house was very large with a huge open kitchen with all amenities for cooking great meals to enjoy on the large front porch surrounded by trees overlooking river. We enjoyed just sitting on front porch morning and night breathing in nature, swims in the river, hikes on their property, the best bird hike by 11 year old Stewart ( smart, kind, amazing boy), feeding all the animals in the morning with Stewart, horseback ride, meeting some local people...don't miss man with butterfly operation and buying local eggs and tortillas from neighbor Olga. Veronica and family were wonderful hosts and provided us with many tasty local treats such as fresh squeezed orange juice, mangos, and organic coffee. We did not have a car, but I would recommend having one in this area if you want to go off ranch for local activities. Overall, a memorable stay and would recommend.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 4


Reviews are the subjective opinions of travelers and not of, Inc.

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veronica sheehan 8302-2522

Lake Arenal vacation rental

This vacation rental has been listed since 02/11/2013.