Costa Rica is a destination that offers a wide variety of close-to-nature adventures which provide opportunities to see lots of wildlife and beautiful scenery. However, the experience becomes even better when some cultural activities are added to the mix of adventures. Variety is the spice of life, and Rancho Humo Estancia is just that! Sitting amid wetlands, indigenous ancestry, and a working cattle farm, Rancho Humo Estancia is a nature and cultural wonderland! Let´s see why!
Rancho Humo Estancia is located on Costa Rica´s Nicoya Peninsula. This beautiful and dynamic piece of land is home to stunning white sand beaches that have deservedly earned the peninsula´s name as the Golden Coast, vast open plains covered in rich farmland and cattle farms. It is also home to the tropical dry forest, a unique and wildlife-filled ecosystem, one of the world´s Blue Zones, and a series of wetlands and rivers that are the permanent or temporary residence of countless birds and animals.
Immersed in a private reserve of more than 1000 hectares, Rancho Humo Estancia was once a working cattle ranch converted into a private wetland rescue management. This is an example to the world of how we can do environmental conservation right, as this means that the wetlands, mangroves, tropical dry forests, and the diversity of wildlife that lives in them are protected for future generations to enjoy.
The visionary owners of this land of plenty have also opened up this conservation project to tourism. Rancho Humo Estancia Private Reserve and Estate is the product of this initiative. Along with the beautiful lodging and delicious dining, guests can explore the reserve with exciting and creatively designed tours that guarantee an authentic experience of nature but also the cultural richness of the Nicoya Peninsula. So let´s see how Rancho Humo Estancia is a nature and cultural wonderland waiting to be explored and experienced!
Tempisque Boat Tour
This picturesque and leisurely boat tour will take you along the impressive Tempisque River. Born in the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range, the 89-mile-long Tempisque passes through the Palo Verde National Park and flows into the Gulf of Nicoya. Many years ago, it was used by the logging industry to float the logs down to the ports but not anymore!
Your tour will cover some of those miles filled with birds and wildlife, including Bird Island. Then, in the company of a naturalist guide, you will learn about the unique flora and fauna that thrive along the banks and within the Tempisque River. So sit back and enjoy the ride and the fantastic views of your river tour.
This tour includes a delicious lunch too!
Tour of the Wetlands
A wetland is an area of land that is permanently or seasonally flooded and considered among the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. So, come prepared to see lots of birds and wildlife during the Rancho Humo Estancia Wetlands Tour.
The tour will take you through the private reserve and then to the strategically located observatory to provide stunning wetlands and wildlife-spotting views. This tour is included in the lodging rate for guests, but day visitors are more than welcome to join the tour at a special rate.
Palo Verde Tour
Palo Verde National Park stretches over more than 19,000 hectares and is home to nearly 100 plant species, 314 species of migratory and resident birds, 150 species of mammals, 78 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 19 species of fish! It is a RAMSAR Site thanks to its seasonal concentration of more than 20,000 birds, some of which are in danger of extinction.
The Rancho Humo Estancia, Palo Verde Tour takes you into this bio-rich world of flora and fauna for an unforgettable time. From the comfort of a boat, you will explore rivers and wetlands, observing wildlife in its natural and protected habitat in the company of an expert naturalist guide who will help you identify the different species you will spot along the way.
This 1.5-hour tour will take you along the traditional cattle routes of the once farm to explore the property on the safe back of a horse. In addition, the tour will explore the reserve, including the property´s dock and along the banks of the Tempisque River.
The Nicoya Peninsula has been a cowboy country for centuries, and horses have been an integral part of its history. This tour will show you not only the rich biodiversity of the area but also a bit about how horses were and continue to be the Nicoyans´ best friends to this day.
Much of the Rancho Humo Estancia lodging and common areas were designed and built to replicate the traditional Guanacaste Hacienda and recognize the authentic Sabanero culture and customs. But, of course, you can´t do that without some cattle included in the landscape, and the Rancho Humo Cattle Experience is about just that.
This tour runs in the morning when the cows are milked and fed! This interactive experience includes milking the cows, observing how the cattle are handled in the coral, and maybe even feeding the calves. A tour is perfect for any age and free for guests staying at Rancho Humo.
Barra Honda Caverns
After exploring the wetlands, rivers, and savannas on the land, the Barra Honda Caverns will take you to the belly of the Nicoya Peninsula. Then, explore it from within by visiting the Barra Honda National Park, which includes a hike and expedition of the caverns.
The only cavern structure of its nature in Costa Rica, the Barra Honda Caverns, means you will go down into them by way of a vertical ladder and then explore some of the caverns that are open to the public. A day of adventure for the adventurous. This tour includes a walk to the caverns, a tremendous wildlife-spotting opportunity.
The Nicoya Peninsula was once inhabited by the Chorotega, an indigenous group that specialized in creating ceramics. Guatil is the town where this centuries-old ceramic-making and painting technique is replicated for visitors to enjoy and learn about.
Guatil is the name of the dye-giving tree. It is a beautiful opportunity to step back into a thousand years of tradition to pre-Columbian times to witness how these Chorotega artisans carefully create jugs, pots, and plates just as their ancestors did. A special day to celebrate art, culture, and the Chorotegas.
Rancho Humo Estancia invites you to explore the Nicoya Peninsula and enjoy its natural and cultural treasures. A stay at Rancho Humo Estancia also celebrates how the conservation of our environment and cultural gems can be done the right way. See you in the Blue Zone!