Rancho Humo is a new hotel located in a project that had been operated in the past. It is located very close to Palo Verde National Park, in one of the richest wetlands of Costa Rica.
This hotel, a high end bird watchers and nature lovers sanctuary, is surrounded by a working hacienda and extremely biodiverse protected areas. We were to the first Fam Trip. Nine people in total, altogether more than 150 years experience in the travel industry. I was one of the youngest and with 8 years in the field, one of the rookies.
The Fam Trip
We were picked up at 8:00 a.m. to go to our Fam Tour into a magical realm for nature lovers: Rancho Humo in the area of Palo Verde, the National Park located in the delta of the Tempisque River, in the Gulf of Nicoya.
Part of one of the five Blue Zones of the World, the area is famed to be serene, biodiverse and beautiful. For me, the first time in the region and a question mark
We took Road 27 and our host, started by telling us some details of the trip itself and the hotel and region where it is located.
Well! We were to see how it went…
The trip to the hotel went without any problems or struggles. It took four and a half hours to get there, taking a twenty minutes bio-stop on the way. The last hour was on a dirt road, but in very good condition… And the landscapes are so beautiful you hardly notice it.
It is important to say though, that for the usual guests, the land trip will end at the famous Tempisque Bridge, a big structure over the mangroves of the Tempisque River, and from there, guests will be going by boat, through some of the most beautiful rivers of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
As we arrived, certainly, we could see the hotel is not finished yet. However, even if the workers weren’t there when we arrived, the levels of activity are so visible that I really don’t think that it would take too long for it to be ready to receive the pickiest of the high end travelers.
The hotel has 10 rooms, and it will remain like that… And you know what that means right? Yes. One word comes to mind: Exclusive. Period. Only a few very privileged will be able to enjoy the peace you breathe as you come into the hacienda.
And that’s the first impression you get as you step into the hotel of Rancho Humo: Peace.
And then other words, come to mind: Beauty. Art. Wind. Class. Taste. Nature. Green. Landscapes. Welcoming Smiles… Oh yes! And refreshing towels with lemon grass scents.
As we get in the hotel a cozy and exquisite environment was waiting for us. With sofas, art pieces, books, sit cushions, fans and A/C units to make the environment as comfortable and luxurios as possible.
As soon as we arrived, and as we were to take all the accommodation in the hotel (Only seven were totally ready for this fam trip), our first task was to see the hotel, rooms, restaurant and common areas.
All accommodations are different, although they do have in common the decoration, the fine decoration and the comfort levels. All of them with 14 inches mattresses, amazingly soft linens and towels and superb furniture.
In the pictures you can see the rooms as they arranged them for us, some of them with an extra bed, some of them using the sofa couch as a second –or third- guest alternative. That’s good because it shows us that it doesn’t really matter if you go with your whole family the hotel is still comfortable and classy.
All rooms have ample bathrooms with rain showers, two lavatories, a complete amenities set including big bottles (to refill) of shampoo and rinse, hair drier and several towels of all sizes.
The toilets have a flushing ecological system that will support the ecological drive of the place.
There are two main restaurants, one that is used mainly for the day meals and the other one, used for dinners.
The first one is a more relaxed environment with views to the outside gardens and the rooms aisles. The second facing the views of the gardens and the wetlands.
From this one you can see the kitchen in operation.
They are both very beautifully decorated and comfortable.
The Swimming Pool
A bit small to swim comfortably. Yet it is nice and faces the wetlands and surrounding forest. It has a little gazebo, and loung chairs.
We had three activities: The wetlands, the river mangroves and a horseback ride.
In the early morning we also had an activity in the dairy farm feeding the calves… which is always a nice experience to have.
This tour is supposed to last about an hour and a half, however, there is so much to see and there are so many birds and great pictures to take that it actually lasted much longer.
We went on small carts to see the whole area. However the hotel is looking for a more ecological and less noisy alternative transportation for the tours.
We saw severa different aquatic (And non aquatic birds) as well as American Crocodiles. Among these, we saw: Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Black Bellied Whistling Ducks, Northern Jacanas. Red Winged Blackbirds and the super endangered Jabiru, the biggest bird in Costa Rica.
They also tooks us to see some of the other areas that can be used by our Incentives partner Premio DMC.
The Tempisque River and Birds Island Tour
We were taken in one of the small carts to the area of the pier where we boarded a small boat to go on the river tour.
In the area there are at least five types of mangroves, a patch of dry tropical forest (Extremely green in this time of year) and 280 species of birds, among the ones you can find the Jabiru (Jabiru Micteria) (Only 94 left in Costa Rica, but the population is growing) and the gorgeous Scarlet Macaws (Ara Macao).
The Horseback Ride
The horses are very mild and easy. We went up to same wetlands and through some of the cattle fields and dry forests. I really recommend, if you are a horse lover to enjoy this! Bring mosquito repellent and sun screen!
Early Morning Calves Activity
On this activity we milked some of the cattle and fed the calves.The barns are very clean and the activity was really nice!
The Staff of the hotel
This is one of nicest team I have ever met, not only in my years as a travel agent but also as the seasoned traveler I have been.
They are attentive and gentle, as they are supposed to be… But it goes beyond that: They are spontaneous, natural and authentic. Always with a smile and always looking for a chance to make guests happy.
Plus the extraordinary fact that there is almost one employee per guest. So we were always super pampered!
The meals were exquisite at all times. Designed by the owner’s own gastronomy school and using extremely fresh vegetables we could choose between three different possibilities and at all times we ended extremely satisfied.
The Overall Impression of Rancho Humo
The hotel is a great option for high end passengers who want to enjoy an exquisite ambience of nature and quiet.
The cleanliness is remarkable and the service superb, natural and spontanously friendly.
In terms of its location, it is a bit isolated from towns, or activites out of the “hacienda”. However, again, for nature lovers it is in the middle of the action.
Who is it for?
I would recommend it especially for nature lovers and bird watchers.
Families could enjoy it, but it certainly is not focused on children or teenagers. Niether for people looking for all inclusive resorts or party lovers.
About the Author:
Alain Vega graduated from the Tourism Area of CUC (Cartago University) and Sustainable Tourism in the Technical University of Cartago in 2005.
He has been working in the industry for already 10 years and his experience goes from hotels to travel agencies, passing by rural hostels and even tour guiding when needed.
His wanderlust has taken him through out the West Coast of the U.S., Mexico, all through out Nicaragua and Panama and in Europe he was in Spain, France (Where he lived and worked for 5 months), Italy, Switzerland, England, Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein and Germany.
He backpacked through India and in his next trip he’s heading to Argentina.
Still, he thinks that Costa Rica remains as one of his favorite places to travel through, and in it, Celeste River (Tenorio) and Osa Peninsula. “The more forest and more green, the better!”
So, now you know… when he talks about traveling… you know he’s been everywhere! Literally speaking!
He is one of our Travel Consultants and we are certainly happy to have him on board!