A unique opportunity awaits those looking for a quiet, traditional hacienda experience set in an expanse of tropical wetlands brimming with birds and animal life. Rancho Humo Estancia Eco Boutique Hotel, located on the Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste, consists of twelve well-appointed modern rooms constructed in tiers with private balconies extending from a working farm estate. Its remote location and personalized service make it an ideal place to relax and connect with Nature. All meals are included, massage and yoga sessions are available, and the hotel treats overnight guests to a 2-hour guided wetland tour by boat or Land Rover. There's no need to go anywhere else as there's plenty to do and see right where you are. But if you do want to venture out, tours to the surrounding area can be easily arranged.
This private ecological reserve borders Palo Verde National Park, known for its rich wildlife diversity and as a birder's paradise. Home to one of the few remaining tropical dry forests in the world, the northwestern province of Guanacaste was settled by cattle ranchers utilizing the flat plains between rugged mountainscapes and the Pacific Coast. Giant oxen are still used for farming along with specially trained horses to round up the herds of cows. This is cowboy country, known as Sabaneros, whose horsemanship is legendary.
The nearby Tempisque River, flowing down into the Gulf of Nicoya, seasonally floods the surrounding areas creating a perfect wetland environment where migratory birds fly in to join the native birdlife. Here you'll find a gathering of such species as Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Purple Gallinules, a variety of Herons and Hawks, as well as the rare Jabiru Stork, the largest bird in the New World. This impressive endangered bird has an 8-foot wingspan and stands about 5 feet tall. Several Jabiru Storks have taken up year around residency at Rancho Humo.
Besides guided tours of the wetlands and woodlands, the hotel also offers horseback riding and day tours to the beaches, including the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge where turtles come to lay their eggs during certain times of the year. Or you might like to go on a historical tour of the colonial town of Santa Cruz and visit one of the villages famous for its clay ceramics crafted in a style hundreds of years old. Ziplining and rafting trips can also be arranged in addition to an awesome caving experience at Barra Honda National Park. Not for the faint of heart!
Back at the ranch, there are trails where you can enjoy long walks exploring the working ranch, organic gardens, cows being milked and oxen tilling the fields. Or lounge by the pool taking in the sun sipping a freshly made pina colada. You may want to just sit on your balcony using your binoculars to look at the birds and enjoy the sweeping views of the wetlands surrounded by distant mountain landscapes.
Each of the twelve rooms is built to provide a sense of privacy from your porch or balcony. All rooms have air conditioning, flat-screen cable TVs, free WiFi, coffee maker, safe, private bath with shower and double sinks plus either a terrace or balcony. The provided 3 meals a day are prepared by a chef using locally farm raised food, organic garden vegetables, and tropical fruits showcasing traditional Costa Rican cuisine. In the morning don't be surprised if you are awakened by the surprising call of a howler monkey!