Adventure touring at Hacienda Guachipelin has a way of working up a good appetite and our farm to table restaurant is here to satisfy! Waking up early for our high-energy activities means that you want to fuel up for maximum enjoyment. And for those who take pleasure in having healthy and hearty meals to fire up their day, our homestead restaurant at Hacienda Guachipelin has many fantastic options for even the most discerning eaters.
Our Hacienda Guachipelin restaurant has the goal to provide options for everyone at the table. We serve fresh and wholesome vegan, gluten free, and paleo meals, among other delicious and healthful options at our farm-to-table restaurant. Serve yourself to your fullest content with our breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets plus an a la carte menu during dinner.
Healthy Food in the Guanacaste Blue Zone
Did you know that Guanacaste is on the health-world map for being one of only five Blue Zones in the whole world? Nicoya in Guanacaste Province is one of the few places where you can find a number of centenarians alive today. Biologists have deduced that this is largely because of the way that locals traditionally eat, which is mostly natural.
Every ingredient is picked and processed by hand in many local kitchens. Making corn maize in particular is a time-honored tradition in which locals use a wood-fired oven and lime. This combination provides incredible medicinal properties that have long been known locally but are just being recognized today by modern science. Be on the lookout for the hand-prepared tortillas made fresh for every breakfast at our restaurant.
True Eco-Tourism Experiences at Hacienda Guachipelin
Many of the travel agencies from around the world who send their clientele to Hacienda Guachipelin are looking for a farm-to-table experience. Tourists in Costa Rica are hoping to experience authentic Guanacaste culture and food is a big part of that experience. Eco-tourists love to visit our Hacienda to learn about homesteading and the many foods we grow on site. Visitors are able to pick microgreens from our greenhouse and milk our grass-fed cattle in our dairy farm.
Hacienda Guachipelin’s Restaurant Menu
Waking up early is not just for the birds at Hacienda Guachipelin. Our daily tours begin at 8am so our restaurant opens bright and early at 7am for a full buffet breakfast with hot and cold options. Our heated menu includes roasted potatoes, vegetables, a range of meats, and traditional Costa Rican gallo pinto with eggs done how you like them. Try our fresh, chef prepared omelet bar. Finish off your hot meal with some fruit salad, yoghurt and a slice of one of the day’s cakes. Freshly-squeezed juices on tap, a gourmet coffee bar and herbal teas are all complimentary. And those who prefer to take things light have a choice of cereals, toast, jam, and fruit.
Lunch and dinner are comprised of an incredible assortment of hot buffet items prepared fresh every day with a delicious salad bar. All of our fruits and vegetables come from our property and our cheese and meat is sourced locally.
For those who prefer to order from a menu that is made to order, we have a wide selection of classic favorites that includes burgers, wraps, salads and soups. We also boast having the best woodfire oven pizza that is absolutely perfect, whether you get the regular or gluten-free crust. Just thin enough with a good amount of quality toppings, you might just keep coming back for the pizza!
More From Guachipelin’s Restaurant
Even if you have visited our restaurant before, Hacienda Guachipelin is always evolving and looking to offer the freshest traditional culinary experiences. Our newest addition is the BBQ station, which gives meat lovers a range of succulent options straight off the grill.
If you leave our restaurant feeling inspired by our menu, take note that we are now offering onsite cooking classes. Our traditionally-trained chefs teach guests how to make their favorite dishes from Guanacaste.
Waterfalls And Other Natural Wonders At Hacienda Guachipelin
Have you been dreaming about hiking through green forests in search of beautiful, secluded waterfalls in Costa Rica? Guanacaste’s premiere adventure ecotourism destination is Hacienda Guachipelin in Rincon de la Vieja National Park. On this 3000 hectare wildlife preserve at the base of Costa Rica’s most active volcano, you will find the mighty Rio Negro. This river and its many tributaries host a number of magnificent waterfalls that inspire awe and wonder at the magic of nature.
The Las Pailas Loop
The hike to Las Pailas at Rincon De La Vieja National Park gives visitors the opportunity to spot some of the most magnificent waterfalls that this region has on display. Meaning “The Cauldrons” in Spanish, the Las Pailas area is a spectacular showcase of the awesome power of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. Steaming fumaroles, mini-geysers and bubbling volcanic mud pits offer a sensational experience of sights and sounds.
The Las Pailas loop trail is about 2.5 miles (3.5 kilometers) of dry tropical forest path, with detours for some of the best views of the volcano. This dynamic, ever-changing region attracts a series of wildlife unlike any other in Costa Rica. Witness incredible feats of nature in the ever-present volcanic activity and wildlife. Hacienda Guachipelin’s bilingual expert naturalist guide will point out some of the 300 bird species that live here. Other possible animal sighting include capuchin, howler and spider monkeys, armadillos, collared peccaries, iguanas, snakes, or white-nosed coatis.
As you finish the Las Pailas hike, you should be ready for a refreshing swim in the Oropendula Waterfall. This secluded waterfall is a short walk from the National Park’s entrance on a trail with varying terrain. The trek descends downward to a gorgeous canyon where you will be surrounded by towers rock walls covered in green. The Oropendula Waterfall plunges an impressive 82 feet (25 meters) to a sparkling turquoise pool within the lush canyon of the Rio Blanco. The Oropendula Waterfall is a truly picturesque tropical oasis.
Rio Negro Hot Springs
A visit to the Rio Negro Hot Springs is one of the most popular attractions at Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Surrounded by thick tropical dry forest, the Rio Negro flows through 10 man-made pools filled with steaming, mineral-rich volcanic waters. You can access to the pools on both sides of the river by traversing the two hanging bridges. These well-crafted feats of engineering are a thrilling way to pass over the Rio Negro as it roars through the canyon below. The rejuvenating pool areas offer heated volcanic clay masks. Like at the spa, visitors can smoothe the mineral-rich mud all over their bodies.
The Red Pond
A walk to the Red Pond is a highly-recommended self-guided nature tour offered at Hacienda Guachipelin. This region is located on the Rio Blanco and features a very interesting lava rock formation in red and white colors that is created by the volcanic minerals present in the water.
The trail begins across from the lower parking area by Hacienda Guachipelin’s rooms & suites. The hike to the beautiful Red Pond is an easy 3/4 mile walk on a shaded forest path. Enjoy a swim in the pond’s refreshing water while you take in the natural surroundings.
Las Chorreras Waterfall
Close to Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, the Las Chorreras Waterfalls canyon is a beautiful place to relax in pristine nature. This stunning location is easily accessible, especially on a horseback riding tour from Hacienda Guachipelin. When you reach the clearing and hear the power of the waterfall, a stairway will welcome you to enjoy a swim in the tropical waterfall pool. Two side-by-side waterfalls cascade into a sky blue mineral water pool filled with rejuvenating properties. A tiny, shallow canyon of volcanic rock rings the waterfalls and pool, creating an intimate and private oasis for a sublime swimming experience.
Up above the waterfall is a magical forest clearing where a number of events take place throughout the year. It is a special location for weddings, receptions and other celebrations that deserve a one-of-a-kind backdrop. You won’t find another location like this in Costa Rica that can cater for your special day.
With a dramatic drop of 115 feet (35 meters), the stunning Victoria Waterfall descends into the Rio Negro at Hacienda Guachipelin. The surrounding canyon hosts unique vegetation and the topography is remarkable for drone footage. At the base of the waterfall, visitors can swim in the crystal clear pool. This is also the dramatic starting point for the incredibly fun Rio Negro Tubing Adventure. and it is the location of the Tarzan swing in Guanacaste Tours’ Canyoning Adventure.
La Cangreja Waterfall National Park
Hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park is an adventure you must do while you are staying at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin. And when you do arrive, make sure to include a trip to the magnificent La Cangreja (Crab) Waterfall.
Falling 130 feet (40 meters) into a white ribbon of water that streaks through the vibrant green forest, La Cangreja forms a clear blue pool at its base. Dissolved copper minerals from the Rincon De La Vieja Volcano give the water its celestial blue color.
The only way to get to this waterfall is by hiking 3 miles (5 km) into the Rincon De La Vieja National Park. Along this forest trail, you might see white-nosed coatis, armadillos, Central American agoutis and birds like the Blue-crowned Motmot or Emerald Toucanet.The guided tour even includes a lovely picnic lunch at the scenic waterfall.
Don’t miss out on some of the best day tours in Guanacaste, Costa Rica! Hacienda Guachipelin organizes transportation to and from the Rincon De La Vieja National Park entrance. All tours are arranged at Hacienda Guachipelin’s Adventure Center, which is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to hotel guests and one day visitors.
The Guanacaste region where Hacienda Guachipelin is located has more than 600 resident avian species. More than 200 of the local species are migratory birds. Being a migrant myself, I am inspired by these birds who seek comfort in only the best climates. They are the groupies of nature, following her along as she blossoms from north to south and back again. The colorful natives that regularly inhabit this land are just as inspiring. All in all, the diverse bird population brings birdwatching visitors to stay with us no matter the time of year.
Visiting Hacienda Guachipelin during different seasons
There are a variety of natural bird habitats on the vast Hacienda Guachipelin grounds. Here, you will find wetlands, grasslands and a dry forest among the nearly 10 different habitats in this region. The Rio Negro runs through our 3500 acre land. During the rainy fall season, the ground water swells and creates a broad marsh area that attracts many migratory birds. And the ever-present abundance of fruit and nut bearing trees keep our locals happy throughout the year.
The extra water during rainy season can make it harder for people to get around. But taking a horseback ride through the less walkable areas makes it easy to sight the snowy white herons and roseate spoonbills coming to visit.
During the dry season, the foliage shrinks back to reveal an incredible selection of bugs. There are about 10,000 insect species here, more than enough to feed the many bird species.
A few of the bird “residents”
The three-wattled bellbird is a funny little resident with long wattles off his bill. If you are here between March and September, you might hear his piercing call.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds buzz by our many flower bushes than line Hacienda Guachipelin’s central trails. There are around 30 different types of hummingbirds here. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful shades of their feathers, from shiny blues and purples to greens and yellows. Look for their small, cone-shaped nests among the foliage.
Some of the native locals include parrots, the brown pelican, herons, eagles, cuckoos, owls, blue-throated toucanet and more. If we’re lucky, we may see the curassow, whose population is endangered. This bird is more than three feet tall and glossy black, with dark blue undertones and a bright yellow bill. The female looks more like a pheasant, with black tail feathers accented in white.
Trogons are named after how they gnaw their nests from rotted wood. They don’t have strong bills, but they have managed to find a way to build their nests for their families. They are most vocal in spring and summer, and there are at least 10 species that you can spot while visiting Hacienda Guachipelin. Some include the gartered trogon, the black-headed trogon, the slaty-ailed trogon, and the orange-bellied trogon.
Curious white-throated magpie jays can often be seen visiting tourists for food. These birds are not shy and travel in large groups making lots of noise. They are large birds with a very long tail and curved feathers on the head. These birds like the many plantations for coffee that you will find in our region, including our own newly planted 100 acres of gourmet coffee plants.
Some of the favorite bird sightings at Hacienda Guachipelin
A native star of this region is the keel-billed toucan, whose body is black with a yellow breast and the most colorful bill anywhere. It’s a bright green with splashes of turquoise and orange leading to a tip covered in purple. If you have a good view, you’ll see his scarlet bottom and turquoise talons.
The resplendent quetzal captures every birder’s attention with its bright green back, deep red belly and prominent feathers. This is definitely one of the areas most unique birds with a very small body and an extremely long tail.
The blue-crowned motmot is another of the most unique birds in all of Costa Rica. There are six species of motmot that call Costa Rica home as well but the blue-crowned motmot stands out for its uniquely colored head, green body and a long tail. It can be observed up to 13 ft from the ground. Both the blue-crowned motmot and the resplendent quetzal can be found at Hacienda Guachipelin.
A unique and special destination wedding in Costa Rica
*See a video of this wedding at the bottom of this article
There are a few moments in life that are truly profound to witness. True love uniting under the natural archways of live trees with the Las Chorreras waterfall in the backdrop is one of those moments.
Our staff at Hacienda Guachipelin were lucky to host a unique and special wedding on January 9, 2019. And although we had only known this couple for a short time, each of us who witnessed the union of Reagan and Nathaniel Jackson had tears of joy in our eyes for the magic that we were privileged to share in alongside a select group of 33 guests.
The bride appeared a woodland princess as she walked down an aisle of meticulously laid jungle foliage. She relied on her instinct for natural décor and radiated in her white tulle gown and floral crown amidst the greenery of Guanacaste’s tropical dry forest. The outdoor venue had a glamorous yet simple and classic vibe created with strings of fairy lights and decorative pieces picked directly from Hacienda Guachipelin’s gardens. The couple carried their elevated tropical theme throughout every detail of the day, from the table settings to the palm-printed invites and greeting cards.
About the newlyweds
Reagan and Nathaniel are from the US but have been living in a small town near Nosara for a number of years. They chose to move to Costa Rica so that they could live a simpler life, closer to nature. From their very first conversation, Reagan and Nathaniel bonded over their shared history, having both grown up in rural areas where they spent most of their childhoods outdoors. Their shared appreciation for nature was a major reason why they were drawn to live in Costa Rica and their wedding at Hacienda Guachipelin was a reflection of this passion for nature that brought them together.
The couple wanted to reflect their personal style in their wedding theme. However, they quickly realized that their style does not easily fit into any one category. They ended up with a theme that reflected their variety of their interests and made for a unique and special affair.
“We like modern and minimal design, with clean lines and geometric shapes; you can see that in the triangular ceremony backdrop, and the geometric candle holders on the reception tables,” says Reagan, who chose all of the décor alongside her now husband, Nathaniel, and their friends.
Choosing the Las Chorreras waterfall location
Although Reagan and Nathan both love the beach, they decided to opt for something different for their special day. The couple live in a beach town in Costa Rica and have seen their share of weddings on the beach.
“We live in a beach town in Costa Rica where almost all the weddings are on the beach,” says Reagan. “Nathan and I love the beach, but we prefer to be out in the jungle even more. So we decided on having the wedding at either a waterfall or a big magnificent tree.”
They began searching for the perfect place for weeks, making lists of waterfalls and keeping note of trees that inspired them. This took the couple on a waterfall tour in Costa Rica where not only did they want an awe inspiring waterfall location, they also wanted a surrounding area that could accommodate seating for thirty-three guests. And when they finally arrived at Hacienda Guachipelin’s Las Chorreras Waterfall, they know they had found the perfect place.
“Las Chorreras was actually the last one on our list and I was growing a bit concerned about finding one that would work for us,” says Reagan. “The hike out there was a bit long and it was a hot day in July. I was tired from hiking to several other locations and feeling a bit discouraged. But when we arrived at Las Chorreras my heart skipped a beat. It was so beautiful and had a large, nearly flat area up on the cliff overlooking the falls. We knew instantly it was ‘the one’.”
The natural beauty of the waterfall was the couple’s favorite part to share with their guests. Their idea was to feature the area’s natural beauty, so they chose to be sparse with the décor and married under a simple, flower adorned triangle – a traditional symbol for spirit, earth and water. Reagan walked down a natural green isle and met her groom, with the powerful flow of the Las Chorreras Waterfall in the backdrop.
Reagan wanted to reflect her typically low maintenance look. She chose to have her sister, Raven, create her hair and makeup for the occasion. Raven was able to add sparkle to Reagan’s everyday minimalist, natural style. Reagan’s friend, Nikki Cabrera, brought Reagan’s jewelry designs to life as a wedding gift to the bride. And bare feet made for the free-spirited finish and completed Reagan’s woodland princess look. She stood out spectacularly in her snow white gown, with pale-colored tropical flowers crowning her loose curls.
As a special honor to Nathan’s mother who passed several years before the couple met, Reagan gifted her soon-to-be husband with a touching gift. As the couple was having their ‘first touch’ during their private pre-ceremony photo shoot, Reagan gave Nathan an antique heron pendant that represented his mother’s deep connection to blue herons. The bride wanted her husband to carry his mother with him during their wedding and they honored her with a private ceremony, spreading some of her ashes into the river.
“Nathan’s mother passed away several years before we met,” says Reagan. “She was a very spiritual person and always had a special connection with blue herons. As a wedding gift I gave Nathan a small, antique heron pendant during the first touch, so he could carry her with him during the wedding. We also honored her with a private ceremony in which we spread some of her ashes into the river.”
The couple’s shared southern background made it essential to bring some country aesthetic to the party. Hay bales were used for seating during the ceremony and wheelbarrows were used to hold coconut cocktails for after the ‘I dos’.
An impromptu game of Cornhole broke out directly after the ceremony. Nathan’s family are big fans of the traditional southern game and the couple had a custom board made by their friends at Raspa Design in Nosara for the occasion.
A soft romance began the evening when the married couple played on the tree twin during a post “I do” photo session. They were able to carve their initials and wedding date on the swing to commemorate their vows at the place where they spoke them.
Sweeping curtains of lights decorated the reception hall, where guests adjourned around tables adorned with handmade macramé runners and Monstera Deliciosa leaves as place mats. Cafe lights hung from the tree branches overhead, creating a beautiful dining ambiance in the al fresco setting.
The conscious couple made sure that their wedding could be as eco-friendly as possible. They strove to ensure that their wedding would be plastic-free and found a variety of natural materials to replace traditional disposable items. Mil Besos featured as the wedding planner, bringing an amazingly talented team. The bride was extremely pleased with how everything turned out and recommends them to future wedding parties.
But how did it feel for the bride? “Everyone warned me the day would fly by, and they were so right,” says Reagan. Oddly, I remember sitting down during the reception and just being in complete awe of how everything had come together. I literally pinched myself because it seemed like a dream.”
Pre and post wedding activities
During their stay, the wedding party of 30 enjoyed the waterfalls, hiking and hot springs. Only six of the couple’s guests were visiting Costa Rica for the first time, but everyone enjoyed the stunning natural beauty and adventure activities at Hacienda Guachipelin. The diverse scenery at the foothills of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano are unparalleled and everyone was in awe of the spectacular activities available in the area.
In the days leading up to the wedding, the wedding party visited the many waterfalls on the Hacienda Guachipelin grounds. They would finish their days by soaking in the hot springs to relax, and the wedding couple even had a soak just before getting ready for their ceremony. The day after the ceremony, the whole group of family and friends enjoyed a day of horseback riding and a river tubing adventure! “It was all so much fun,” says Reagan.
Watch a video of Reagan and Nathanial’s wedding ceremony at Las Chorreras waterfall:
Reagan and Nathaniel’s Wedding Team included:
Planning & Design & Coordination: Meghan Cox, Cata Ulloa & Sol Marinoni, Mil Besos
Visiting Hacienda Guachipelin in Guanacaste Costa Rica is one of those rare, unforgettable, almost magical events that you will want to relive again and again. If you are looking for an adventure getaway in a peaceful, natural setting, Hacienda Guachipelin provides a full range of quality experiences that invite guests to let go and get away from the everyday. Everything about the property feels authentic and full of life. There is history in this land and the smiles from the huge ensemble of staff show that this is a family business that cares about the land and sharing its natural wonders with their guests.
Hacienda Guachipelin offers adventure tours in Guanacaste for a sensational array of experiences that will have you trade your stress or boredom for excitement! Release yourself into the expert hands of their friendly guides and indulge in the epic sensations that nature provides. The team of organizers and guides at Hacienda Guachipelin have a spectacular natural venue from which they curate some of the best experiences that Mother Nature provides in Costa Rica! Delight in the cold tingle and the roar of the river as it cascades down the canyon and over your body. Relish the heat of the thermal pools as you relax in a pristine jungle setting. There is an absolute abundance of reenergizing and regenerative activities to experience at this unique Costa Rica eco-tourism destination.
About the Hacienda
The Batalla Family are the long-time owners of this nearly 3500 acre parcel of land at the base of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. They have farmed this land consistently since 1975. They officially opened the Hacienda Guachipelin hotel in 1985 to serve a growing number of visitors to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. As one of two main entry points to the National Park, the Hacienda Guachipelin has hosted many thousands of guests since it opened its doors and it has been beloved in that time for the quality experience that it provides in its warm Guanacaste welcome.
The tradition of farming this land dates back to 1880. Two generations of the Batalla family have been a part of that succession, showcasing their traditional ways to the world through the Hacienda Guachipelin. Since the property is the main gateway to the Rincon de la Vieja UNESCO heritage site, visitors from all over the world have been coming here for decades and asking to stay the night. Virtually everyone wants to spend at least a full day visiting the natural wonders in the area.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park hosts more than 70,000 visitors every year. People from all of over the world come to this region of Costa Rica to experience the spectacular hot springs, mineral-rich volcanic mud, treasured nature trails, and active craters. Hundreds of waterfalls can be found in the National Park and on the Hacienda Guachipelin grounds, with some notable ones like the Catarata Oropendola and the Catarata Victoria particularly attracting nature revelers from all over the globe.
The Hacienda’s accommodations include 79 rustic-inspired, comfortable rooms. Each room is designed with natural materials, adding warmth and richness to the true ranch-style experience. All rooms also include modern amenities like comfortable beds, A/C and satellite TV. But the greatest experience lies in walking the stunningly beautiful and peaceful grounds that surround the Hacienda Guachipelin. Flower gardens and ancient trees envelop the reception areas and rooms at the center of the sprawling property. Hundreds of species of enchanting tropical birds can be found flying in between. This is a perfect place to relax in the hammock outside of your cabin, where you can swing to the sound of purple doves cooing in a tree above you with the majestic vision of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano hanging in the distance.
What to do at Hacienda Guachipelin
Being in nature is about play and Hacienda Guachipelin has some excellent adventure tours on their property to take full advantage of the fun! The one-day adventure pass are the easiest way to experience their well organized adventure tour schedule that you can customize to your preference.
However you choose to plan your day, everyone should end their day with a volcanic mud bath and a dip in one of their fourteen thermal pools. The expert groundskeepers use natural geo-thermally heated water that is filled into stone pools beautifully built into the natural forest landscape. A series of wooden bridges hang over the breathtaking canyons that surround these thermal pools for additional natural healing therapy. Your mind will inevitably melt away and as the sun sets, you won’t want to leave this invigorating setting.
Those who come regularly to the Hacienda Guachipelin feel their body immediately release as the pace of ‘everyday life’ slows down and the gentle pace of nature takes over. The team of expert staff is here to catch you and provide the experiences you need to get back to nature.
You don’t have to think much about looking after yourself while you are here because Hacienda Guachipelin truly has all of the amenities you need. This includes an incredible buffet spread for breakfast, lunch and dinner, made fresh every day with ingredients directly from the property’s ranch and gardens. Fresh milk and eggs are gathered every morning and all of the vegetables are sourced from one of the many greenhouses. The quality organic meals that the chefs prepare are the perfect sustenance to keep your energy up and to nourish the soul.
So check in, kick back, and let this experienced team of nature lovers take you on a sensational ride. Book your stay with Hacienda Guachipelin at Rincon de la Vieja National Park to experience your perfect Costa Rica hosts for your getaway from the everyday. I personally cannot wait to go back and relive one of the most relaxing night’s sleep I have ever had after a day of fresh air, fun and adventure touring this spectacular property in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Alexandra is a nomadic travel writer and content creator working out of her mobile office (aka laptop). She can sometimes be found writing about nature and alternative lifestyles in the forests of northern Ontario or in the jungles of Costa Rica. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org