Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you Have Wi-Fi?

Yes. We have free wi-fi in our downstairs lobby.

Should I reserve a guide ahead of time or can I reserve a guide when I arrive at the lodge?

It is better to hire a guide when you are at the lodge,  you can discuss with your guide about what you would like to see and where you would like to go. You will see many more birds on your visit to Rancho Naturalista if you decide to hire a local guide because the guides know the local birds – where to find each species, its calls, its behavior, and how to show the bird to guests. Guiding is subject to availability, if there are not enough guides than you may have to share a guide. You also may be able to join a group and split the cost of the guide.

Do I pay the hotel for the guide?

Our guides are excelent bird guides. The guides work “freelance”. They are paid directly by the clients who hire them at Rancho and we do not take any money from them. They charge $80.00 for the morning and $60.00 for the afternoon for groups of up to 5 people (guests after 5 people pay $20.00 each). Most guests are more than satisfied with this arrangement because they like having a private guide. A private guide may not always be available in all situations. In this case, you may need to share a guide.

Do you have a list of the birds seen at Rancho Naturalista?

Yes we do have a Checklist of over 450 species of birds recorded in our private forest reserve and within the local area and we are proud of it!

What will my spouse do if they are not a birder?

There are plenty of Other Activities here besides birdwatching.  Take a look at what we have to offer and we will be happy to help you organize something for your spouse, and remember that Rancho Naturalista is also a good place to just relax.

Is there any danger at Rancho Naturalista from the Turrialba Volcano?

Every tropical paradise needs their smoking volcano in the background and now we have ours!  Just so you will feel a little better about coming down, so far there are no serious risks in the Turrialba area.   The prevailing Caribbean trade winds blow the ash over onto the Central Valley. This means that at Rancho Naturalista we do have a good view of the Volcano but we don’t get any of the ash.  We think you will have a fantastic vacation and also that you will enjoy the volcano if you get the chance to see it on a sunny day!

Can children stay at Rancho Naturalista?

Yes  at Rancho Naturalista we encourage parents to bring their children. It can be a wonderful learning experience for children to be in the rainforest! Children 11 years old and under stay for free (including all meals) as long as they are in a room with their parents.

I have some dietary restrictions and I’m concerned about this while staying at Rancho Naturalista.  Can you serve me the type of diet I require if I provide you the information?

The Chef at Rancho Naturalista is incredibly flexible with the menu and is able to handle any number of dietary restrictions. The requests for special diets are cheerfully accommodated for all diets including gluten free, lactose free, and vegetarian. Please let us know what you need and we will be happy to help!

What should I bring?

We have a packing list to help you know about what you should bring. But most importantly don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

There is a Birthday celebration coming up while we are in Costa Rica, can you organize something special at Rancho Naturalista?

At Rancho Naturalsita we enjoy Birthdays, Anniversaries, and other special occasions as much as our guests do! We are always happy to come up with something special to suit the occasion, please don’t hesitate to ask!

What if the lodge is full at Rancho Naturalista, can I still come for the day?

The policy for guests who are wanting to birdwatch at Rancho Naturalista but are not staying at the lodge because the lodge is full or due to other factors is the following: The cost for the use of the trails for the morning is $40.00 which includes lunch (not breakfast) We encourage all drop in guests to hire a guide when available (this is extra) as the trail system is complicated. You must call or email us and make a reservation for a day visit before arriving.

I heard that you do not accept credit cards at Rancho Naturalista. Is this true and if so how can I pay for guides and extras when I am there?

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept credit card payments at Rancho Naturalista due to the long distance from the road 2 km down. We have had wired machines in the past, but they got struck by lightning and it destroyed two of them. The wireless version they gave us to replace them doesn’t work as it has a problem receiving a signal from across the valley! Hopefully this situation will improve in the future, but for now we gratefully accept cash in colones or dollars or bank transfers for advance payments. There is an ATM a short drive (10 min.away) in La Suiza where you can withdraw colones.


Any other questions email