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“Best Value in Costa Rica”
Review of Hacienda Baru

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Hacienda Baru
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 4, 2009

We stayed at Hacienda Baru with our two children. Of all the places we stayed in Costa Rica this was the best value. The little cottages aren't flash but they are spotless and with 3 bedrooms and a small kitchen for $55 its an amazing deal. The swimming pool had just been finished the week we arrived and our children were allowed to be the first swimmers! Its a beautiful place and for families particularly, much nicer than staying in Dominical (although its worth a trip into the town to witness the true surfy, beach bum lifestyle).

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank KiwiGang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 1, 2008

We had a great three night stay at Hacienda Baru to close out our Costa Rica trip - the wildlife preserve itself is fantastic and definitely the highlight of the stay.

We saw iguanas, toucans, a sloth, a coati, a hummingbird nest, and plenty of cool bugs while walking the ~5 miles of trails. In October, there's really no one on these trails (never met a soul on three days of hikes) so I'd imagine the animals are more comfortable here than in most places. There is also 3km of beautiful (but not swimmable) oceanfront - we we're the only ones walking on the beach for an hour. The trails are well marked - most are flat but one trail climbs the hillside and offers great views of the ocean as well as primary forest. We wished we had brought wading boots for one of the lowland trails as it passed through an estuary and was waterlogged for 0.5 km.

The staff were friendly and numerous - there is a small restaurant on-site that serves decent food (and the best fried plantains I've ever had). We ate all our meals here, and part of the charm of Baru was that once we were there, we never had to get in a car for the extent of our stay. (It was a $60, one hour taxi ride to Baru on the unpaved road from Quepos.)

The cabin itself was huge and well-equipped, but not all that charming. (Bathroom wasn't too clean when we arrived.) I'd recommend Baru to anyone, but don't go there expecting luxurious accommodations. I believe that they're expanding a bit with a handful of new rooms to open at the end of the year though, so even this may change.

Overall, a great place and probably especially nice in the off-season (we were the only guests for two nights and it felt like a steal paying $45 a night for total serenity).

Stayed: October 2008
2  Thank Balatee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2008

Other reviewers more than adequately cover the experience: wonderful opportunities for observing wildlife, knowledgeable guides, adventure activities, great food. Before my own visit I didn't get much useful information from these reviews about accommodations, but invariably high "rooms" ratings reassured me. I think those people grade on a curve! The cabins themselves are spacious and comfortable, but the bathrooms were small and needed some repairs (hanging soap dishes, etc.). Fortunately, some new rooms (and a swimming pool) are being constructed (probably available by January 2009), and Jack Ewing also reports the welcome news that the cabins are now served by a solar water-heating system and will soon be remodeled, with enlarged and improved bathrooms. I would have planned a return visit anyway, but that welcome news is especially encouraging. My own rating of facilities factors in the forthcoming improvements.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank PineywoodsBirder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2008

Wow! Way more than I expected. The cabins were 2 bedroom with kitchen. Very spacious. The grounds are beautiful! So much hiking. We did the Night in the Jungle and the Canopy tour. So fun! We also hiked down the beach, crossed the river (wear water shoes!) to Dominical. Saw so much wildlife. We stayed there 4 days and did not cover all the resort had to offer.
Seriously, stay at this place if you're in the area.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jo08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2008

Our family just returned from an amazing 10 day trip to Costa Rica and I just had to write a review about Hacienda Baru. I was a little leary about what to expect becaue there didn't seem to be much info on this place, but what a pleasant surprise. [--] assured us we would love this place if we loved natural beauty (and indeed it had the most beautiful beach in CR) animals (there were many) adventure tours(we ziplined and climbed a 180 tree). There real beauty of this place is you never have to leave the place to do all these things (cutting down on time spent in vans!) The cabins had 3 bedrooms and and a hugh front and back yard--it was just like a home! and couldn't be better for a family that loves adventure and beauty.

Thank islandgirl04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2008

Great place to stay. Such an abundance of wildlife in the reserve and such a beautiful beach at the back. This was really an oasis. Pricing for accomodation and for the activities was very reasonable. Great job keep up the good work Jack, what an amazing story.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tinman007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2008

Okay, I know it sounds weird, but I do have a terrible animal phobia and I loved Hacienda Baru. My family chose to go there, and I didn't want to be a party pooper so I decided to brave it. We spent 6 wonderful nights in a spacious 2 bedroom cabin with daily housecleaning and a very secure cabin. Before going there, I really prepared myself for the worst. The staff, accomodations, were ablsoulutely amazing-exceeded all our expectations and we had a wonderful Christmas there. It seemed like we participated in all of the tours: Night in the Jungle, Mangrove Walk, Zip Line, and Tree Canopy.
They were all very good, but my favorite was the Night in the Jungle. Which is a very strange statement coming from me.
It felt like home, and we really didn't want to leave. We highly recomend Christian, Danny, and Eric (tour guides)-very knowledgeable about the area and all the wildlife.

If you are thinking about going there, I would also recomend reading Jack Ewing's book "Monkey's are made of Chocolate" either before or during your trip.

The food at the restaurant was simply amazing and fresh. We ventured out on several occasions to Dominical but could not find another eatery that matched the taste and quality of the food. Not to mention that it was the most affordable.

To tell you how much we enjoyed our stay there, my husband and I (it was also our anniversary) had booked two nights at the Villas Rio Mar in dominical, an "upscale" resort. We spent about 20 minutes there, forgoed $100 for one night's stay and went back to Hacienda Baru. .

For the tail end of our trip we spent 3 days at the San Jose Marriott. It could not compare to our stay in Hacienda-the service was infinite times better. If you are looking for an overpriced, tourist centered, money making machine don't stay at Hacienda. But if you want to feel like you are at a home away from home, and learn to appreciate the rainforest-Hacienda is a must!

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank TravelingDesi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hacienda Baru

Address: 3 Km North of Dominical, Dominical, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 27 Specialty Lodging in Dominical
Price Range: $82 - $98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The lodge is located at the entrance to Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge which protects 330 hectares (815 acres) of tropical forest, wetlands, mangrove and 3 kilometers of pristine Baru Beach. The refuge offers seven kilometers of well marked nature trails and a bird watching tower for a modest entrance fee. Guided tours with sharp-eyed local guides include two different types of canopy tours, five hiking tours, a camping tour and three bird watching tours. Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge & Lodge is situated on Costa Rica's Southern Pacific Coast. This is a region of distinct natural beauty where forest covered mountains rise up from the dramatic Pacific coastline. The village of Dominical is just 3 km from Hacienda Baru located. Hacienda Baru Ecolodge's bungalow style cabins are large and roomy. Each one has two bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other with one double and one twin bed. Each bungalow has a bathroom with hot water shower, living room, porch, and kitchenette. For your convenience, they come equipped with fridge, coffee maker, hot plate and fans in all the rooms. They are ideal for families. In addition to the cabins, Hacienda Baru Ecolodge is now offering six new Pool View Guest Rooms. Each of these superior units has a large bathroom, a porch and ample space for beds and other furniture. Each will normally have a king size bed and a twin bed , but they can be equipped with up to four twin beds. Each has a frige and coffee maker as well. The attractive tile roofing is made from recycled plastic bags. A well ventilated design, insulation between the roofing and the polished teak ceiling, and overhead fans all insure cool comfort for our guests. All of the teak and gmelina wood used in the construction came from Hacienda Baru's own plantations. The wood for the pine beams and cypress furniture all came from plantations as well. Not a single piece of the wood used came from a natural forest. Solar heaters provide plenty of hot water for the bathrooms. The outside walls are slate and polished teak. The new guest rooms are conveniently located right in front of our new swimming pool. Our breezy open air restaurant allows you to observe the gardens and natural surroundings as you dine. We have five private ranchos for guests that want an intimate setting perhaps for a romantic candlelight dinner or a special family meal. Our menu is primarily very tasty typical Costa Rican food, but we do offer a variety of dishes for those who either don't like or want a break from rice and beans. We offer a selection Costa Rican fruit drinks known as FRESCOS meaning refreshing, soft drinks, a selection of Costa Rican beer, you must have heard of Imperial, wines and other licors. The swimming pool at Hacienda Baru Lodge is disinfected with ozone produced by an ozone generator which injects a constant flow of this eco-friendly gas into the water. This system of disinfection allows us to maintain a very low concentration of chlorine in the pool. The chlorine level is so slight that it is imperceptible to pool users. The swimming pool is open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Guests from both the cabins and guest rooms are welcome to use the pool during these hours. Bird Watching, Canopy Exploration and Ecological Tours are our specialty. Our bilingual grass roots naturalist guides will help you discover the wonders of the tropical rainforest, such as leaf cutter ants, the sleepy sloths and the nesting site of the Common Pootoo. On our tours you can experience everything from the Rainforest Canopy to Mangrove Swamps or the Jungle at Night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hacienda Baru Hotel Quepos
Hacienda Baru Costa Rica/Dominical

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