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This horse was mostly indifferent to our overtures of head scratches

La Anita Rainforest Ranch – What its Like to Visit

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Sometimes a three star hotel rating doesn’t tell the full story. A three night stay in La Anita Rainforest Ranch, located 90 minutes by car from Liberia, Costa Rica is just such a place. Its rating doesn’t do the place justice. If you were to pick hotels by ratings alone you would miss one of the best, most authentic experiences you could have in all of Costa Rica. La Anita Rainforest Ranch is a place where you can expect five star hospitality from the minute you step out of your car until you the minute you leave.

Here’s how our stay unfolded at La Anita Rainforest Ranch in Costa Rica

Scenery on the way into the La Anita Rainforest Lodge
Scenery on the way into the La Anita Rainforest Ranch

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Getting to La Anita Rainforest Ranch 

We – my husband and I, and two of our very good friends, were met at the airport hotel in Liberia by a driver sent by Pablo and Ana, the husband and wife team behind La Anita Rainforest Ranch. Fermin, our driver was on time to the minute.

Although he spoke next to no English, he stopped for photos where requested and took us by his family house en route to the lodge. He was also an extremely careful driver.

We were warmly welcomed on our arrival by Pablo. Pablo’s English is impeccable, as is Ana’s so communication is always easy. After escorting us to our cabins, he informed us lunch would be served almost immediately.

On the way to La Anita Rainforest Ranch with 4 of us and our luggage piled into this truck"
Four of us and our luggage piled into this truck

Our cabin at the ranch

The cabins at La Anita Rainforest Ranch are all lined up in a row but well spaced – so privacy is not an issue. They are simple inside but very clean with a bed, a night table and a fan.

There is a screened in bathroom and a large walk-in shower that looks out to the back part of the property. A safe is included for your valuables. Coffee grown on the farm is provided as is a coffeemaker and fresh milk. There’s a small fridge in the room to keep your drinks cold.

You can get beer and wine from the kitchen for a very reasonable price as well.

"There are always clouds around at La Anita Rainforest Ranch
There are always clouds around
This horse was mostly indifferent to our overtures of head scratches
This horse was mostly indifferent to our overtures of head scratches

What to do at La Anita Rainforest Ranch

Pablo joined us for lunch – a hot meal consisting of almost entirely locally grown and prepared food – and quizzed us on what we wanted to do while we were there.

There are plenty of options of things to do depending on how energetic you want to be. For starters you can do nothing but spend a day lazing in a hammock. You could go to the opposite extreme and climb Miravalles Volcano – an all-day outing John and I chose to do.

You can go horseback riding or visit hot springs. Take a farm tour and learn how to make hearts of palm ceviche or join a family in the village for a Costa Rican style cooking class. Birding is always an option. Expect to see toucans and lots of squawky parrots.

"The open air dining room at La Anita Rainforest Ranch
The open air dining room
"Fresh flowers from the garden grace the dining room"
Fresh flowers from the garden grace the entrance to the dining room
"You get a great view of the pond from the dining room at La Anita Rainforest Ranch
You get a great view of the pond from the dining room
Lunch - with almost everything sourced locally including the plantain chips and black beans
Lunch – with almost everything sourced locally including the plantain chips and black beans
A chocolate dessert made from cocoa grown on the property
A chocolate dessert made from cocoa grown on the property
"All the cabins have the same layout - and notice the hammock on the front porch"
All the cabins have the same layout – notice the hammock on the front porch
"The path to the cabins"
The path to the cabins
"Our simple but very clean cabin"
Our simple but very clean cabin
"Walking the property"
Walking the property
Their dogs liked to join us on walks
Their dogs liked to join us on walks
At La Anita Rainforest Ranch cocoa plants grown on the property are protected from the strong rays of the sun
Cocoa plants grown on the property protected from the strong rays of the sun
At La Anita Rainforest Ranch bBird life around the property is phenomenal"
Bird life around the property was phenomenal but I need a longer lens!
At La Anita Rainforest Ranch bananas are grown on the property"
At La Anita Rainforest Ranch bananas are grown on the property
Incredible skies at sunset
Incredible skies at sunset

A sustainable lodge

Pablo and Ana, two agronomists by training, have embraced a four pillars philosophy to include community, environment, agriculture and tourism. This is the most sustainable place I have ever visited.

So much thought has been put into growing crops to fit the environment – of 25°C temperatures on average and four metres of rain per year. (It poured hard every day we were there – several times a day on occasion but only for about 15 minutes – and then the sun would come out again.)

Their employees all live in the community. Food, like locally produced cheese, is bought from the community. When the tourist season is slow, students come to stay on the property and study – leaf cutter ants.

If you are a RUSH fan, then you and Pablo can also bond over music. He is a huge fan and can be seen sporting a different RUSH T-shirt  every day – and Pink Floyd as I noticed in the bottom photo.

Truly this is an outstanding stay – and of the best ever for all of us. Go see for yourself is the best advice I can offer – and make it a three or four night stay. A double cabin is $US 85 -$96 per night depending on the season and includes breakfast.

Packages are worthwhile and start at $199 per person for 3 days/2 nights with breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as a garden tour included.

Book a stay at the ranch here. You’ll be so happy you did.

"Pablo and Ana - two of the most gracious hosts you'll ever meet"
Pablo and Ana – two of the most gracious hosts you’ll ever meet

For more information on Costa Rica visit the national tourism website.

Other posts you might enjoy from our Costa Rica trip

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

A wonderful stay at La Anita Rainforest Ranch

 

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