We spent 8 days/7nights in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. Our stay at La Anita was hands down the best experience of our trip.
The accommodations were beautiful, tranquil, and comfortable, but it just doesn't seem right to evaluate La Anita in the same way that I would evaluate a Hilton. The experience felt much more like we were visiting our friends at their ranch in Costa Rica than like we were staying a hotel. At La Anita, Pablo had personally reviewed information about us and our trip before we arrived. He greeted us when we arrived, showed us around the property and to our bungalo. He made special dietary accommodations in the meals that were planned. Each meal was freshly prepared by two local women and served in a pavillion, where all of the guests congregated to eat, drink, and make merry. We met the other travelers staying at La Anita and spent many long evenings sharing stories in the pavillion after dinner. During our stay, we met guests from the United States and Germany. La Anita seems to be a magnet for interesting travelers with great stories to tell.
Pablo's kind and unimposing advise helped us to make the most of our time in the area. We had planned to hike the Rincon de la Vieja summit trail, but Pablo was able to let us know that the trail was closed due to volcanic activity. He made arrangements for us to hike the nearby Miravalles summit with a local guide, Freddy. Pablo called Freddy, made the arrangements, and packed us a lunch. We had never hiked with a guide before and were skeptical about the necessity of a guide, as we are experienced hikers. However, going with a guide was definitely the right decision. There were several times we might have lost the trail if we weren't with Freddy, who carried a machete, and had to clear the path on a few occasions. Freddy was very mindful of pace and was happy to hike as quickly or slowly as we liked. The hike was beautiful and tranquil; we didn't see another hiker once during our 6 hour ascent/descent. A word of caution: despite the steep incline of the trail, the trail does not have switch backs, so this hike is not for the faint of heart, or weak of quadriceps!
A few other words of advise: 1. Use Pablo's maps- they provide better directions than your GPS will, 2. If you're planning to drive to Rincon from La Anita, a four wheel drive vehicle with reasonably high ground clearance is a necessity, 3. If you are planning to hike, have a few bottles to fill with water- it will be difficult to find bottled water for purchase en route to the trails, 4. Plan on eating all of your meals at La Anita- the food and company will be the best part of your trip! Food and drink can be purchased as you go on a meal-by-meal basis, and the prices are very reasonable, and 5. Stay at La Anita! When we finally left La Anita, Pablo, Ana, and Corleone (a farm dog for whom I had developed a particular affinity), stood at the edge of the driveway to wave good-bye and watch us go, and I felt like I was leaving close family or friends.
Many thanks to Pablo and Ana for an amazing experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in a small valley between the Miravalles, Rincon de la Vieja, and Santa Maria Volcanoes, La Anita Rainforest Ranch is surrounded by an incredible explosion of biodiversity. Our guests have the opportunity to tour our ranch and indulge in gourmet cuisine prepared with ingredients picked fresh from our gardens. We will guide you through rainforest trails, teach you about the flower and heart of palm, fruits and much more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Anita Rainforest Ranch Hotel Rincon De La Vieja
- La Anita Rainforest Ranch Costa Rica/Rincon De La Vieja