When doing research for places to stay around Monteverde, I came across the Biological Nature Reserve, so I booked a night for my mother, brother, and I. Looking for something different from the typical "gringo" lodging experience, and also being interested in nature, it was at our expectation to take a guided tour through the trails. Unfortunately our schedule didn't allow that as we opted to schedule a canopy tour for 10am the following morning instead.
Diversions aside, we were happy with the accommodations at the Reserve. For avian researchers and bird-watchers both, it is a world-renowned institute for the species available within. That was apparent by the seriousness of folks we talked to, who were prepared with expensive camera equipment and inclement weather gear, and apparently plan their trip largely around the Reserve.
We stayed in a room with three bunk beds. As with much of Costa Rica, the room featured quality construction and use of fine hardwood that would be cost-prohibitive in many North-American properties. The beds were comfortable and had comfortable mattresses and linens. The rooms featured a huge locker for each bunk. The bathroom was clean but unfortunately there was no water for showers in the morning. One shower was running when I got in and the other two I tried didn't even provide a drip, so we had to skip showers.
Included with the cost of lodging was entrance to the reserve, as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We arrived in time for dinner with the expectation of taking breakfast and lunch before departing for the central Pacific coast the following afternoon, but we skipped lunch in favor of the canopy tour. Dinner was at a nearby Italian restaurant, and was quite a pleasant surprise! The food was very good and the included meal offered an appetizer, main, non-alcoholic drink, and dessert. The food was delicious and the dessert selection was impressive (we only had room to order one to split between the three of us). After the evening guided walk and dinner, there were no activities going on at the lodge; it was in fact quite quiet, except for the wind noise outside, so we all read our books. There was a small common area adjacent to the closed dining area, but no one seemed to use it.
I was awoken to the sound of voices outside my window around 6am. When I peered out to see who was there, I noticed a group of people holding large telephoto lenses pointed to the trees above, just in front of the entry booth to the park. By the time I could crawl out of my bunk, throw on some clothes, and get down there I was told that a pair of Quetzals had just been there and left.
Breakfast was very good Costa Rican fare, and I'd say was the best desayunos tipicos we'd had in eight days of traveling. The bread tasted homemade, and the jam, a fruit marmalade, was also unique and tasty. The gallo pinto was also quite good. It felt like we were eating in someone's home more than in a restaurant. Before leaving we had a chance to take a 1-hour self-guided walk through the trails to the waterfall and back. Even in that short time we saw some interesting old trees and heard other guides describing natural points of interest. We could have spend at least two days learning about the local ecosystems; perhaps some other time.
Overall we were happy with the lodging package the Reserve offers, and Paula the office manager was extremely accommodating and nice. Finally (this is not why most people come to the Biological Reserve), the gift shop had some of the more interesting items we found while in Costa Rica (natural guide books, etc.), and we happily selected a few souvenirs before leaving. There's a highly-recommended hummingbird Gallery several feet before the Reserve entrance on the left, but we didn't allocate time for it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At "La Casona" there are 6 spacious private rooms available, all of them are equipped with private bathroom, hot water and closet. These options are perfect for families, small groups or couples who prefer privacy. Check our room rates, all include 3 delicious meals, entrance to the reserve and taxes.These options are perfect for families or couples who prefer privacy. Check our rates with room rate, 3 delicious meals and entrance to the reserve included ... more less
- Also Known As:
- La Casona Lodge Monteverde, Costa Rica