Rancho Naturalista

Category: moderate
Style: eco

Located in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, Rancho Naturalista is a birding lodge with over 450 bird species. In addition, the wildlife that can be seen directly from the balcony, the lodge offers a variety of excursions to neighboring habitats.

Rancho Naturalista Birding

Stay at Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

The Snowcap

At dawn, bananas are placed out on fruit feeders for the birds. Next, hummingbird feeders are set out ready for action. Early morning coffee and tea can be enjoyed on the balcony while watching Chachalacas, Collared Aracaris and even an occasional Rufous Motmot on the feeders. Many other bird species also come in to feed on the fruit feeders. A moth light can be turned on any night with a simple request. We suggest taking a look after dinner to see the gorgeous and unique moths that gather at the light. Then early in the morning visit the light to watch the birds come have a breakfast of their own. The Tawny-chested Flycatcher and the Red-throated Ant-tanager frequent the moth light in the mornings! Beyond the light, there is a short trail to a stream of natural pools where the hummingbirds spend their afternoon bathing. Some of the more difficult hummingbirds can be seen at the pools such as the elusive Purple-crowned Fairy or the Snowcap.

Day Trips

Stay at Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

The Snowcap

Rancho Naturalista has an extensive network of trails in the forest. Day trips are offered to the surrounding local areas where a number of species can be observed. A Rancho favorite is La Mina which is located along a beautiful river where you have a chance to see the Sunbittern. We suggest taking one of the guides along to help spot the birds. After dinner, you can schedule Night Walks to see the nocturnal side of Rancho.


Stay at Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Dining Room at Rancho Naturalista

WiFi is available from the main lodge. Farm raised meat and local produce are highlights of the Rancho Naturalista dining experience. The lodge serves up a variety of Costa Rican and international cuisine with creative presentation. Meals are served family style in plentiful portions and a laid-back ambiance.


There are 15 rooms at Rancho Naturalista with varying styles and layouts. Four of the rooms are located in the main building of the lodge, where a fabulous view of Irazu Volcano and Turrialba Volcano can be seen from the upstairs balcony rooms.

Stay at Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Cotinga Room

The Cotinga Room is located on the upper level of the main lodge. The room includes a Queen-size bed and french doors that open onto a balcony overlooking the hummingbird feeders and distant volcanoes.

Stay at Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Tangar Room

The Tanger Room is a little cabin located close to the main lodge. It includes a Queen-size bed and a single bed.