|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
WATER FRONT HOUSE overlooking the river, in a Birder's Paradise with over 100 bird species identified by certified guides: Rancho el Rio is another slice of heaven that the owners of Casa Cielo in Monteverde are now making available to guests. It is 112 acres of a unique combination between nature at its best and a farm with farm animals and crops. You get it all: Over one mile of river front with natural pools, forested áreas trails, mountains with beautiful ocean views, cattle pastures, orchards, and of course, lots of trees, such as palm/coconut, banana, plantain, noni, star fruit, bread fruit, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, passion fruit, mangoes, avocadoes, cashews, are all around.
The guest house is spacious and rustic. The furniture is mostly hand-made...even the flooring on the large patio overlooking the river was hand-milled. It is right by the river so you can see and hear the rush of the water all the time while you are there--a natural sound that induces relaxation and a state of well-being.
The weather is magnificent! It is warmer than Monteverde, but not as hot as the beach, so different wildlife can be seen there, such as howler monkeys, iguanas, geckos, salamanders, frogs, tons of birds (herons, birds of prey, parrots, egrets, song birds, toucans, etc.). At night you can build bon fires by the river and even camp there just for fun!
There is a TON of things to do. You can help milk the cow, feed the chickens, geese, turkeys, and fish and tend to and ride the horses, see the sheep, water buffaloes and oxen. The river itself provides hours of fun. Children (and adults!) love to jump off rocks into natural pools and wade around looking at the fish and finding beautiful rocks and tiny creatures. There are several traditional games, such as our home-made mechanical bull and other equestrian games. Collecting and eating coyoles (tiny coconut-like fruits that you crack with rocks) and other fruits to make fruit drinks is quite popular too. Night or daytime hikes by foot or on horse- back through the ranch and the surrounding town are a true delight. We have mountain bikes for rent for those who love cycling.
ALL OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ARE WEATHER-PERMITTING.
It is located right on your way to Monteverde from either the San Jose or Liberia airports. It is along route 605, 3 km south from the intersections of route 605 and 606.
Coming from the Liberia airport, you would turn left on the road right past the Lagartos Puente (Lagartos Bridge) and go for 11.5 km. , then make a right, and the Ranch´s driveway is along a brown fence, a few meters after you make the turn. To go to Monteverde, you would continue on for another 3 km. then make a slight left and turn onto route 606.
From the San Jose airport you can go 2 ways. Make a right at the Rancho Grande Gas Station and go until you get to El Sol Restaurant, then make a left and go exactly 3 km and make a sharp left, and you are there.
OR… make a right from HWY 1 (Interamerican Highway) onto directly onto route 605 and go 11.5 km., then make a sharp right and you are there.
Rancho El Rio is 2 hrs from the Liberia airport and 2.5 hrs from the San Jose airport. It takes 50 mins to get to Monteverde. It is an hour away from a lovely beach, Playa Dona Ana. It is close to the tiny rural community of Guacimal.
In this area of the country people still ride on horse-back to work and get around, use oxen to cart things from place to place and raise cattle... this is the real Costa Rica. There is a tiny restaurant-bar nearby or you can drive 3 km. to a much larger restaurant at the intersection of route 606 and 605. But you can just bring all your food in for the duration of your stay and cook onsite or purchase home-made meals. The kitchen is fully equipped. You can also buy lots of organic dairy products right from the people living nearby, eggs, and many other produce, not to mention eat from what is available at the Rancho. We provide you with free organic coffee during your stay as we are coffee producers in Monteverde.
Remodeled to suit and accommodate the needs of the handicapped, the house is spacious and all on one level.
It has all the amenities: telephone, wi-fi, hot water shower, stove, fridge, fully equipped large kitchen, 2 bedrooms (1 with a double bed and one with bunk beds), living/dining room with a futon that sleeps two additional guests, towels and linens provided, 2 full baths inside. There is a very large covered porch overlooking the river with a swing, a hammock and a sofa-bed, and a smaller one by the front of the house. There is a wood stove for cooking outdoors and a large wood grill (we provide you with free firewood).
Alexander was born in the San Luis Valley in the Monteverde region and has lived all his life here. He started working when he was 11 years old helping his father herd oxen to take milk to the local cheese factory. At the age of 15, he began working for the Children´s Eternal Rain Forest, then he worked for InBio (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad) researching snails all over Costa Rica, he then worked for ProNativas, an non-profit organization that promotes the use of native ornamental plants as a conservation effort. He believes in changing the world one person at a time, starting with ourselves. He uses his farms and ecotourism business, his family and neighbors to help visitors understand the intimate connection that we have to the land. These neighbors, the local farmers and housewives get to benefit from the tourism that comes to this very rural area and get to share their own wisdom. Everyone wins.
Veronica was born in Mexico and spent 25 years in the States. She worked as a biologist, then as a licensed clinical social worker in various settings including private practice with people suffering from chronic physical illnesses and hospice care. She arrived in Monteverde a few years ago with her 5 year old son, Stuart. She founded PAWS costarica (Promotion of Animal Wellbeing Society), a non-profit organization to help educate people regarding the responsible and compassionate treatment of animals. She believes, like Alex, in changing the world from the inside (OUR inside) out. Everything we do, our choices and lifestyles sum up to our current state of affairs… we have the power to choose again so we can heal ourselves, our planet and all living beings.
Stuart is 10 years old and attends the Monteverde Friends School. He shares our family dream of enjoying the simple things and having lots of fun caring for our farm animals and bird-watching.
Our dream for Rancho El Rio is to achieve sustainabilty in harmony with nature.
veronica sheehan purchased this cottage in 2012
We absolutely LOVE the river, which is why we called it Rancho El Rio (rio means river). The river is our source of joy and healing and our source of energy to begin conservation efforts in area of the country with few environmentalists and even fewer resources. We like all the wildlife that gathers in this oasis, eating the fruit, drinking the water, raising their little families along with ours. The weather is also a big draw. Not as cold as Monteverde, so it is warm enough to run around in shorts, but not as hot as the beaches. It is also close to everything. We like being in the real Costa Rica, interacting with the neighbors, growing more of what we eat, living a very simple life.
This is a place where we can live in harmony with nature. It is a true paradise, not just for our guests and ourselves, but for the many animals and plants that can live undisturbed. There is enough space for us to have a working farm, and to share with the wild life. We like to watch the squirrels work away at a coconut, a large iguana climb a tree, a toucan enjoy taking chunks of a plantain and swallowing them whole, and a bat come in and out of the porch to catch the insects that the light attracts. It is a true oasis for the MANY migratory and local water birds as we have set aside several acres of totally undisturbed forest and river side. Expert bird guides have identified over 100 different species of birds on our 112 acre farm.
The other unique thing is that the farm is nestled in the Real Costa Rica... we get to interact with the local people at the natural pool by the house, we see people up and down the street on horse-back and driving oxen with carts full of things and we join them in their activities. Yet, when we want to alone, we can retreat into our very own private reserve deep into our land and just be.
Rancho el Rio went beyond our expectations. While we knew the venue would be lovely and that our son would love the farm animals, we did not realize that we would have as much fun hanging out on the farm as we would enjoying the activities we had planned (zip lining, hanging out at a waterfall, etc.). Veronica and Alex were wonderful hosts. They were kind, informative and very helpful when we needed took book activities in the surrounding area. Stuart was so knowledgable about the wildlife in the area and took us on a lovely birdwatching tour one morning. We also enjoyed tropical fruit fresh from the trees on the property our entire stay. Our 6 and a half year old son was begging us to take him back there again for a future trip from the moment we left the property. We highly recommend this property. We would love to return to it some day.
This is an amazing place. I don't know where to start to describe the experience our family had here, other than to say it exceeded our expectations. Veronica, Alex and Stuart are knowledgeable, passionate about the environment and could not be more helpful- we did not want to leave!
Hi lights were, horseriding around the ranch, seeing monkeys- an albino one, zip lining and visiting the cloud forest, swimming in the river, birding with Stuart, soaking in local outdoor hot pools, eating authentic cuisine ..........
Please visit- you will love it too I promise!!!!!
Absolutely exquisite. A rustic Costa Rican home in the old style with modern conveniences, kitchen, bath, on a river. The river sounds and fauna wash over making the sleep deeply replenishing. The family is amazing transforming this historic property back to a sustainable living demonstration.
If you are looking for an off the beaten path local Costa Rican experience, then come to Ranch El Rio. We spent 8 days at this ranch with no other plans but to enjoy. Veronica and family were there to greet us and welcomed us to their ranch with a wonderful tasty treat of warm cheese tortillas, cashew fruit juice and coffee. The ranch house was very large with a huge open kitchen with all amenities for cooking great meals to enjoy on the large front porch surrounded by trees overlooking river. We enjoyed just sitting on front porch morning and night breathing in nature, swims in the river, hikes on their property, the best bird hike by 11 year old Stewart ( smart, kind, amazing boy), feeding all the animals in the morning with Stewart, horseback ride, meeting some local people...don't miss man with butterfly operation and buying local eggs and tortillas from neighbor Olga. Veronica and family were wonderful hosts and provided us with many tasty local treats such as fresh squeezed orange juice, mangos, and organic coffee. We did not have a car, but I would recommend having one in this area if you want to go off ranch for local activities. Overall, a memorable stay and would recommend.
Rustic living on the ranch--just what we needed! Thank you Veronica, Alexander and Stuart for opening your gates to the public. We adored every minute of our visit, whether relaxing on the porch or in the river, just off the back porch, hiking or horsing around the property, we couldn't have asked for more. Bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper though, because this place is full of joyful life!
Where to start! After having spent a wonderful week in June at their other property, Casa Cielo, nearer to Monteverde, we spent the first week of July at Rancho el Rio. As always, Veronica was the perfect host and there to greet us upon arrival. We then took a quick tour of the property to get our bearings and so we'd know where to pick the bounty of bananas, mangos, avocados, coconuts, starfruit, etc, from their trees. The cottage is perfect, lots of space with a great patio for relaxing and cooking on the BBQ while watching the river run by. An astonishing variety of birds are constantly on the move around the property and Veronica's son, Stuart, provided us with a great tour during which we saw Spectacled Owls, Keel-billed toucan, Chestnut-billed toucans, tanagers, and many others. While hiking on our own we came across Howler Monkeys, parrots, and many others. During the week we spent a day at the beach at Playa Dona Ana. A beautiful location near Puntarenas but because of all the rain the water was like chocolate milk...best left for the dry season. A highlight of the week was our horseback ride with Veronica, Alex and Stuart up to a waterfall. None of us had been there before and it was a real treat! Like something from a postcard with a beautiful pool at the bottom to swim in. To make it complete, a Blue Morphos butterfly entertained us during lunch. After the horseride we thought we could use a long soak in hot water so we travelled to Arenal and Tabacon thermal resort for the day (an interesting 3 hour drive from the ranch). A gorgeous place with lots of natural-looking lounging pools for adults and a larger pool for the kids. All in all, it was a terrific vacation to a beautiful location that was made even better by the wonderful family that shares it!
3 km. south off the intersection of routes 605 and 606, on route 605. GPS: N 10.19204, W 84.74440
This is a birdwatcher's dream come true. It is just amazing how many species of birds you see and how close you can get to them. In this area of the country people still ride on horse-back to work and get around, use oxen to cart things from place to place and raise cattle... this is the real Costa Rica. There is a tiny restaurant-bar nearby, or you can drive 3 km. to a much larger restaurant at the intersection of route 606 and 605, you can also join a Costa Rican family for meals or have them delivered to you. Buy lots of organic dairy products right from the people living nearby, eggs, and other produce, not to mention eat from what is available at the Rancho. There are individuals that still make things by hand and a trip into the nearby town of Guacimal can show you how.
The weather is warm, yet not as hot as the beach...just right for bathing in the river and whatever other outdoor activity you like to do. There is a rainy season, but even then, it normally does not rain all day. The river may not always be accessible, though. Because of the lower altitude and different weather, you get to see totally different wildlife than you do in Monteverde proper. People also seem to enjoy hiking more as the air is not so thin (you don't get as winded). The terrain has some mountains, but also flat areas that lend themselves to walking, biking and gentler horse-back riding.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
|Charge beyond 2 guests||$5|
$5 for each additional guest beyond 2 guests
For a 7 night reservation, we take one day off the total.
For a two-week reservation, we take three days off the total
For a three-week reservation, we take five days off the total
For a four-week reservation, you get one entire week free.
****ALL TAXES AND FEES ARE INCLUDED****
CASH only upon arrival
deposit required only for reservations of two weeks or more
cancellation fees apply
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.