Rancho Naturalista

Discover the prolific birdlife in the area, against the backdrop of the smoking Turrialba volcano.


Carribean Foothills, Turrialba

Accommodation Type

Birding Lodge

Accommodation Level

ModestA good option for the budget savvy traveller.

Price Guide

Rancho Naturalista

Rancho Naturalista is one of Costa Rica’s best known birding destinations and over 450 different species have been recorded on the reserve and in the local area. You don’t have to venture far, and several species of hummingbird are often seen from the spacious balcony of the main building. Having access to areas with different elevations means there is a good chance of expanding your sightings to different species. There are 15 rooms here, each one different. All rooms are comfortable, well-appointed with en-suite bathrooms and decorated in a simple but homely style. The main area, built in the style of a Spanish hacienda, houses a lounge area, a well-stocked reference library and the restaurant. Here wholesome, home cooked meals are served family style, giving guests the opportunity to talk about their day and experiences.

Why go to Rancho Naturalista?

With over 450 species of bird found here, and over 250 spotted from the birding balcony alone, this is definitely the place for birders. There is more to do here than birding alone, so Rancho Naturalista does attract a variety of visitors. It is family run, and guests will receive a warm welcome topped off with great wholesome food. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. With access to the lowlands, middle and high elevations, it is easy to extend your bird spotting list even further, making this an even more attractive destination.

Wildlife around Rancho Naturalista

There is no doubt that this is one of the premier birding lodges in Costa Rica – it is incredibly popular, and the number of different species sighted (450) is testament as to why it remains in demand with birders. The lodge also has a moth/insect light which they put on, it’s particularly effective on darker nights such around the new moon and a variety of moths and insects will flock to the bright light allowing you to have an insight into another side of life on the reserve. The lodge staff will also put out fermented fruit at strategic places to attract some of the beautiful butterflies in the area, and there are some very colourful specimens.

Rancho Naturalista Highlights

  • Huge variety of birdlife
  • Owner run, warm hospitality
  • Network of trails on the reserve
  • Homely accommodation
  • Extensive birding veranda

Rancho Naturalista Location

Rancho Naturalista


  • 15 rooms
  • Open all year round
  • All meals, coffee, tea and fruit juice and taxes are included in your stay. You are free to use the trails and all amenities at the lodge.
  • Children under 12 stay free when sharing with their parents.


  • Restaurant
  • Bird viewing balcony
  • WiFi and internet access in main areas
  • All rooms have en-suite facilities with hot running water
  • Laundry service is available


  • Guided or self-guided bird hikes
  • Butterfly and moth tours
  • White water rafting on the Río Pacuare
  • Canyoning and zip-lining
  • Visit to Turrialba
  • All day hiking tour
  • Horse riding
  • Cookery class
  • Coffee tour
  • Sugar mill tour

Rancho Naturalista Rooms

Rancho Naturalista has 15 comfortable rooms, each one is different from the other. All have an individual style of décor enhanced by local artworks and brightly printed fabrics. Some rooms have a connecting door making them ideal for families.

Take the plunge...

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