RN has long held a lofty reputation as one of CR's top birding destinations. My wife and I went there 14th-18th April 2007. We reckon it continues to deserve its reputatioin.
The lodge attracts many localised species. Birding was exceptional: easily-found Snowcaps and Tawny-chested Flycatchers, plus rarities such as Tawny-throated Leaftosser, three different Manakins ( White-crowned, White-ruffed and White-collared), Purplish-backed Quail Dove (H)and Broad-billed Motmot. 352 species have been seen on this reserve in recent years, 439 on the reserve and at sites close to the reserve. where we saw Green Ibis and the glorious Sunbittern.
The lodge itself is a great place to accumulate species: its hummer feeders hold constant clouds of 8 species and others turn up. The forest trails are harder going but rewarding. No two walks are the same. The longer you can stay, the more you should see. Both the lodge and the trails were well maintained.
Our room was delightful and spotless. The food was scrummy, fresh and varied. The guides were brilliant: they had bionic eyes and ears and were quick with the tapes and at locating birds in the foliage.
This was the best place we stayed at in CR, and in my top 15% of worldwide bird lodges I have visited.
A word about the "bad press" other contributors have mentioned. I investigated this. All the "bad press", save possibly doodles 20041 here on TripAdvisor, emanated from one disgruntled ex-employee who fell out with the vastly capable and experienced management. The claims were baseless and misleading to birders. TA policy inhibits me from commenting on doodles 20041, save to say that I utterly disagree with its negative, strident comments.
RN is exceptionally eco-friendly. It owns and safeguards its own reserve. Those who take the trouble to go there play a vital role in securing the future of this reserve with its amazing biodiversity: if RN did not exist, the forest would be cleared.
RN is a great place, lovingly and well run by its manager Kathy Erb. We strongly recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 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! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rancho Naturalista Turrialba
- Rancho Naturalista Hotel Turrialba
- Rancho Naturalista Costa Rica/Turrialba