This cabin and its sister homes, Casa Inspiracion, Rancho el Rio and their newest addition, La Granja, fund all the animal welfare, environmental and social welfare programs their owners run at the Sustainability Demonstration Center depicted in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN3SdOncMTU&feature=youtu.be
The Center is located along the main route to Monteverde and right now there is a SPECIAL PROMOTION: FREE TOUR of an animal sanctuary, the historic Sustainability Demonstration Center, an Organic Farm, and the surrounding tropical paradise of forest & river! Other special ADVENTURE, CULTURAL, SPANISH LANGUAGE, RURAL, AND NATURAL EXCURSION packages for a unique Costa Rican experience with DISCOUNTS available! Contact us for more details.
WATER FRONT HOUSE overlooking the river, in a Birder's Paradise with over 100 bird species identified by certified guides: Rancho el Rio has now a sister home in the same paradise property. It is our new rental called La Granja (listing 787565). Rancho el Rio is 112 acres of a unique combination between nature at its best and a farm with farm animals and crops. 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.
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 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 for the first morning of your stay as we are coffee producers in Monteverde and want to make sure you have an awesome start to your first morning with us! If you want to purchase more organic coffee for your stay or to take home, you can order it through our food order form via email.
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).
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.
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.
Their work with their ecotourism business, their Sustainability Demonstration Center, and the community helps visitors understand the intimate connection that we have to the land. The entire community gets to benefit from the tourism that comes to this very rural area and get to share their own wisdom. Everyone wins.
Stuart is 12 years old and attends the public school in Guacimal. He shares our family dream of enjoying the simple things and having lots of fun playing soccer and bird-watching.
Our dream is to achieve sustainability in harmony with nature
veronica sheehan purchased this cottage in 2012
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.
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.
I could not be happier with our stay at the tranquil Rancho El Rio. I have so many wonderful things to say about it that it's hard to know where to start. First, we used only a map, no gps coordinates and found the place extremely easy to find. We were greeted by the youngest member of the family, Stewart, who is one of the most mature young teenagers I have met. He was an encyclopedia of knowledge on the flora and fauna of the area and was always willing and available to help with questions, or to give guided tours of the farm.
The farmhouse itself is magical. It is impossible not to relax and enjoy the peaceful setting. The pictures do not do it justice. I was prepared for any onslaught of spiders, ants, scorpions, or other wildlife, but found very few critters roaming around the open air living area. It felt very safe and clean. I was able to sip coffee and watch my 3 children (ages 8, 7, and 2) run around with the friendly dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, turkeys and peacocks in the yard. My city kids were enchanted with helping feed the animals, care for the baby chicks and pet the 5 day old calf.
The river is clean and refreshing to swim in and there were areas that were perfect for our 2 year old to wade and swim. We took a horseback ride to a more remote part of the river and were surrounded by surreal beauty.
Veronica, her family and all of those working on the farm were kind and helpful, but also not intrusive. They were immediately responsive to any need. We also had the most amazing meals delivered every evening.
Do not make the mistake of booking only a few days here, you will want to stay longer! It is an easy drive to Monteverde, but away from the tourist traps. The weather was also much preferable, cooler in the evenings and mornings (shorts and light sweatshirts) and warm (but not overbearingly so) during the day.
I did not feel like a tourist here, it felt like our family was staying at my long-lost Costa Rican cousin's farm. I left feeling peaceful and refreshed. It is truly a gem to be treasured.
The ranch is just the place for you, if you are going to spend sometime in Monteverde but would like to avoid the hotels and other tourist traps. It's a 40 minutes drive from Monteverde's zip-line and other attractions, a unique experience for nature lovers with kids. The farmhouse is on top of the river and connected to hiking trails. The kitchen is equipped, you can buy local food supplies with Veronica's assistance or order an authentic dinner delivered to the house. Veronica, Alex and son Stewart are great. We spent one afternoon horse back riding, visited the Sustainability Demonstration Center, kids played with the pets and enjoyed the RIO.
We stayed at the farm in the middle of our trip. Later, to end the vacation, we stayed at a big name high-end resort. My Facebook comment while at the resort? "I am not the mega-resort kind of girl anymore, I miss the porch at Veronica's farm!" The experience on this farm changed me forever. Backed in January when I was planing the two-week trip for my family I thought : Um, four nights in a modern condo on a beach to relax so we will be prepared to "rough it" in the cabin at the farm...", and then two nights at a nicer hotel in the volcano town and finally a "reward" for us at the all-inclusive resort to wrap up the trip. I was totally wrong, I wish I could swap the unmemorable beach resort time for the farm time.
As much as this was definitely the right place for me and my family, as much as I wish we had spent much more time there, I can see how it might not be right for everybody. If you don't find chickens and piglets wandering around your feet while you drink your morning coffee on the porch entertaining, this might not be the place for you. If you are looking for a place where you can pick up the phone and order room service any time, day or night, this might not be the place for you. (Which is not to say Veronica and the others were unhelpful. They were extremely kind and helpful. But this isn't a 'hotel' like that.) If you are looking for a base from which to see the sights, you may find the quietly beautiful isolation of the farm to be a bit too far off the beaten path. If your reaction to finding a (non-stinging variety) scorpion in the kitchen is to freak out, this might not be right for you. If your reaction is to say "Wow, COOL!", and help the kids look up on Google exactly what kind of bug this is, this place will make you happy.
Our recent visit to Costa Rica spanned three different areas and three different homes — this was by far our favorite. The home itself is the part that is easy to describe… it’s simple, but comfortable. The kitchen has all the basics you need to cook in—but we HIGHLY recommend arranging to have Tina (one of the locals) come by to prep dinner for you, or supply you with empanadas, tortillas and other goodies. Her food was the best we had in all of Costa Rica.
The location is awesome. Guacimal is a neat little town, and the house is perfectly isolated. Your back porch looks out on a small river, and you fall asleep to its burbling sound every night. When the days got hot, we ducked down to the river for a swim (there are several small pools that make for easy, safe swimming). And this is a working farm. When we were there the grapefruit and oranges were in season, and we were allowed to harvest yuca for our meals. Farm to table eating was never easier.
But what makes this perhaps our favorite-ever vacation home is the people. Veronica, the owner, is on a mission. She runs the local cooperative, advocating for the town and recounting Guacimal’s history for visiting students. She is remarkably warm and helpful. Jose and Albert live on the Rancho el Rio property and quietly ensure you have a perfect experience. Jose helped our kids feed the baby piglets every morning. Even more incredible, when we wanted to hike, Jose led us through the property’s trails. Ahead of us, Albert had swept a jungle path, and then constructed a dam in the river to make for the best ever swim. These two blew our minds at every turn—as if transported from the Ritz Carlton to a farm in rural Costa Rica.
We would return in a heartbeat. This is a real experience you won’t find in the touristic beach towns, and that you won’t forget.
We really wish we could give a 5 star rating, but unfortunately our stay just wasn't quite there. Perhaps we went in with expectations that were too high, as we read all the reviews from previous people, and had hoped for a few things that didn't work out for us (such as a night walk with Stuart, massages from a local lady, and more interaction with the owner's family, who we never actually met in person). Unfortunately, the owners and some of the locals were preoccupied with activist related events and some unfortunate circumstances, so it just didn't work out for us. There were things we really enjoyed, such as the traditional Costa Rican snacks and drinks that were prepared for us on arrival and the food we ordered from the neighbouring locals, the river swimming hole, the very kind staff at the ranch, the view of wildlife from the back porch, and the the thoughtfully decorated/equipped cabina (with lots of stuff to do). However, at night it was like a war zone with insects. We are very outdoorsy and have stayed in plenty of sketchy/rustic forms of accommodation all over the world, yet we still found the place unpleasant at night. We encountered multiple spiders over 2 inches in length (including one in our bedroom and three in the shower), a scorpion, a 1.5 inch long earwig looking bug fell on my husband while he was lying in bed, and several species of ants instantly swarmed any crumb of food in huge masses. The GPS coordinates are STILL wrong, and took us down a very sketchy road that should NOT be attempted without a 4 wheel drive vehicle. (Honestly, I don't know why the coordinates are provided at all. Just follow her written directions and forget about the GPS.) Although the owner is very nice, we found her a bit difficult to reach by phone, and she never stopped by in person, which meant that some of our questions had to be answered in broken Spanish conversations with the staff on the ranch. As a couple, without as much of the interactive experiences, we found our stay a bit isolating, and didn't think it was quite worth the money. However, we do think it would be a great place for families, and it might be worth it if you stayed here for longer than two nights (if you can put up with the bugs at night for that long) and could fit more local experiences into your stay.
The reviews here are pretty spot on. We really enjoyed our 5 days and 4 nights at Rancho El Rio - really, no complaints. Veronica is an exceptional hostess, easy to work with and very accommodating. Stuart, Alex and everyone else around the ranch were very, very nice and helpful. We stayed here with 3 kids - 13, 10 and 8. They saw a side of CR that many don't see. This place is way off any beaten path and worth it. We went to Monteverde 2x, wasn't too bad of a jaunt. Veronica made arrangements for us for zip-lining and also dinner and some groceries the first few days. We'd go back. Our kids will remember forever. Awesome in all ways.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Apr 1 2016 - Apr 1 2017
1 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.
|Charge beyond 2 guests||$5|
$5 for each additional guest beyond 2 guests
For each full week you reserve, you get one day for free
****13% COSTA RICAN TAX IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE BASE RATE****THIS TAX IS MANDATORY AND IT WILL BE ADDED TO THE TOTAL