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Rancho Naturalista

1 Km este de Tuis de Turrialba Tayutic, Turrialba 7150 Costa Rica
COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Traveler (539)
Dining (97)
Room & Suite (96)
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your stay
  • Face masks required for guests in public areas
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
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Updated 07/28/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Rancho Naturalista
Updated 07/28/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


#1 of 12 hotels in Turrialba
Travelers' Choice
The premier birding lodge in Costa Rica, Rancho Naturalista is among the finest in Central America. There are plentiful hummingbirds on the large, open upstairs balcony where you can view the distant smoking volcano. Over 430 species of birds have been recorded in the area. You can hike and bird the trails on your own, and excellent guides are available as well. At Rancho Naturalista the atmosphere is warm and relaxed, and the staff are friendly and welcoming. This comfortable lodge is famous for its excellent food, well prepared, and made with the best fresh local ingredients. (All meals are included.) The weather is almost perfect, not too hot and not too cold. Rancho Naturalista is a wonderful getaway for bird watchers, hikers, and nature lovers!
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Full view
Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Free breakfast
Walking tours
Kids stay free
Taxi service
Photo copier / fax In business center
Public wifi
Breakfast available
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
24-hour check-in
Laundry service
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Room features
Private balcony
Walk-in shower
Room types
Mountain view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Hidden Gem
Languages Spoken
326Reviews10Q+A86Room tips


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Popular mentions
philandalison24 wrote a review May 2020
Newcastle-under-Lyme, United Kingdom14 contributions
We loved our stay here, the setting is fantastic, the food is unbelievable and the birds are spectacular. I would also like to mention Harry and Mercedes whose bird and general wildlife knowledge is excellent, I went out with them on two occasions seeing many new birds each time. I would say Rancho and the surrounding area is THE place to see Snowcap and Sunbittern.
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Date of stay: March 2020
Room Tip: I would say a room in the main building is preferable
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sunnykist wrote a review Apr 2020
North Yorkshire, United Kingdom45 contributions41 helpful votes
Our room (2) was in the main building opening onto a large communal veranda and was very nice. The other rooms around the main building looked very good too. There is a coffee machine on the go there which is very welcome when birding at 5am! The meals are announced by the ringing of a bell. The food is freshly prepared and very good. Be sure to mention in advance if you do not eat meat though. Take a walk down the steep track to Rancho Baja to watch snowcap hummingbirds and the rest. Harry & Mercedes are excellent guides and it is well worth getting them to take you out to see the sun bittern and more. Lisar & Nicky are excellent hosts. Charlie seems to be general factotum, and I am sorry I don't remember the chef's name. All are lovely. When we left we were the last guests staying there before the Rancho closed because of the Covid 19 which is very sad. When all this is over we will be back!
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Date of stay: April 2020
Sleep Quality
Response from Lisa Erb, General Manager at Rancho Naturalista
Responded Apr 17, 2020
Thank you for the wonderful review. It was sad to close due to the Pandemic of the Coronavirus/Covid 19 virus. The travel industry has been hit very hard, but we hope that soon it will all be over and we can have guests at Rancho Naturalista once again.
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TravellerJC2020 wrote a review Apr 2020
London, United Kingdom3 contributions
Although this lodge is ideal for birders, I would strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in wildlife and spectacular scenery - the location is beautiful and despite not looking for anything in particular I saw well in excess of fifty species of bird, plus squirrels, coati and tayra during my stay of two days. The hummingbirds visiting the feeders were amazing. As I have found elsewhere in Costa Rica, hiring a guide enables you to see so much more and I have again found their knowledge of the wildlife and where it may be found, most impressive. The lodge is very well run, and all the staff were friendly and helpful. Eating with a group of other guests, and guides, worked really well, and the food was excellent. My accommodation, in the newly-refurbished Tinamou cabin (Room 13), suited me perfectly.
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Date of stay: March 2020
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Room 13 (up a short slope opposite the lodge) is not as shown on the website, but has been...
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Response from Lisa Erb, General Manager at Rancho Naturalista
Responded Apr 13, 2020
Thank you so much for the wonderful review! So many birds and without looking too hard! We are happy that you really enjoyed your stay at Rancho Naturalista and that it lived up to your high expetations!
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ange55 wrote a review Apr 2020
Metfield, United Kingdom484 contributions215 helpful votes
Loved this place , husband a birder & Im not but in saying that you cannot come here an not be impressed by the incredible bird life & mammals that surround you . We had two different room , room 8 & then room 1 , both beautiful , comfortable & clean , room 1 was just off the main viewing balcony & had its own balcony , absolutely beautiful . The mealtimes - 6am , 12md & 6pm taken family style around large tables were nice , we were always joined by the guides , The food is delicious home cooked & plentiful with plenty of local cuisine to try . There is a ‘tab’ system ( each guest has a sheet to fill in ) for beer / wine / guiding / taxi etc which works well as you pay on leaving , all reasonably priced . Special mentions & huge thanks to Guides Mercedes & Harry who went ‘above & beyond ‘ to show us so much , Also taking us out to see the Sun Bitterns a couple of miles up the road . We also had a trip into Turrialba, brief visit as virus lockdown starting . The land surrounding the lodges is beautiful , quiet & remote , up the top of a long , very steep , unmade road that may prove challenging if you are driving yourself ! Would have no hesitation in recommending this beautiful place , it is unique and a credit to the owners , special thanks to all the amazing staff & another special thank you Lisa & Nikki .
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1 Helpful vote
Martin W K wrote a review Mar 2020
Basingstoke, United Kingdom61 contributions18 helpful votes
This place is about birds and bird spotting which is very good. I found it best to go with a guide which adds $80 to the cost but was worth it. You can see a lot of birds from the lodge balcony but spotting in the forest and open areas is best with a guide. The road up is rough - you need good clearance and 4-wheel drive helps. Despite the sat nav not finding it it was easy to spot off the road. Rooms are good size but basic with an okay bathroom. Meals are good, large, and held together at strict times. No wifi in room but okay in basic lounge area. Staff were a bit casual on arrival and hard to find when leaving. I couldn't really work out who was who. It is a different experience to your typical resort or hotel butif you are into birds well worth a stay. Fairly comfortable bed, slept like a log disturbed only by bird song.
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Date of stay: March 2020
Sleep Quality
rancho naturalista turrialba, rancho naturalista hotel turrialba
Costa RicaProvince of CartagoTurrialba
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rancho Naturalista
Which popular attractions are close to Rancho Naturalista?
Nearby attractions include Pacuare River (4.3 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Rancho Naturalista?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Rancho Naturalista?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast and an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Is parking available at Rancho Naturalista?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Rancho Naturalista?
Conveniently located restaurants include Adriano's Restaurante, Bar Restaurante Familiar La Casona de Cucho, and Los Pizotes.
Is Rancho Naturalista accessible?
Yes, it offers facilities for disabled guests. For specific inquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.