We chose the Toucan Rescue ranch purely because it sounded so different from a regular B&B and it was within 45 minutes drive of the airport - perfect for your first night. Leslie and Jorge first and foremost run an animal rescue facility. It is not a zoo and neither is a five star resort - anyone expecting either of those needs to head elsewhere.
What it is is a fascinating place for families with kids who wish to get up close and personal with Costa Rican wildlife. It was the perfect introduction for us (2 families with 4 kids) to the indigenous species that call this beautiful country home. It set the tone perfectly in terms of how "alive" this country is with some really cool creatures. And best of all you are amongst people who truly care about the animals they rescue and are eager to educate visitors about the need to protect the natural environment. We were introduced to Milly the Sloth and several of her sloth friends. Ralph the duck who thinks he's a dog, the amazing kinkajous, macaws, porcupines, hawks, owls, acrobatic squirrel, spider monkey, birds of prey,...... Feeding time was fascinating especially the baby sloth who had to be fed with a medicine dropper. Every question we asked was answered and the tour that is included with the cost of your room is extremely interesting.
The accommodations consist of two family cottages with tile floors, queen bed and bunk beds for the kids. They were clean and comfortable and more than adequate for our needs. We ordered food from the local restaurants because we didn't want to leave. Expect it to be quite noisy at first (animals not traffic) but we all slept fine. The coffee and breakfast buffet was great, and our hosts were friendly and attentive.
We headed North to Arenal, a very scenic drive of 4 hours or so. If you wanted to stay a couple of nights at the ranch there is plenty to do within a relatively short drive. Would we go back? Definitely. Manuel Antonio National Park had plenty of sloths to view through a telescope - at Toucan Rescue Ranch it was way more up close and personal and for our kids a truly memorable experience! Keep up the good work Leslie and Jorge - those toucans need you!