Tours With A Distinctive Guanacaste Identity at Hacienda Guachipelin
Hacienda Guachipelin is a family business with a passionate appreciation for Guanacaste’s distinctive identity. The tours we offer from our hotel’s adventure center are made to capture the essence of this identity, which reflects the incredible environment, the industrious and warm locals, and the remarkable wildlife that makes its home here. Our family’s 3,500-acre ranch is home to a number of conservation areas that we continue to reforesting with native tree species every year. We have been dedicated to caring for our ranch land and surrounding forest for nearly half a century and we plan to continue for much longer into the future.
Our hotel, restaurant, and ranch are located within a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the base of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. These sprawling grounds are home to a number of lookout points that offer views of the Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Maria volcanoes, as well as the Pacific Coast in the distance. This is a perfect venue from which to enjoy a number of exciting activities. Try our guided walks that pass by some spectacular waterfalls, or relish in a visit to the serpentarium, frog exhibits, and butterfly sanctuary. We also have mountain biking trails for all levels, horseback riding, or the immaculate Rio Negro Hot Springs. All of this can be experienced with our one-day adventure pass. Or if it sounds like a lot to do in one day, why not stay the night and extend your adventure?
Hiking at Hacienda Guachipelin
One of the best ways to explore the Guanacaste countryside is by hiking our trails at Hacienda Guachipelin. This is the perfect gentle pace for taking in the natural wonders of the many varied ecosystems on and around our property provide to visitors.
Guided hiking tours at Hacienda Guachipelin are offered to a number of destinations in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Are you inspired by the majesty of waterfalls? Or perhaps you’d like to take in the vistas from a higher elevation atop the Rincon de la Vieja volcano? Our knowledgeable guides are ready to share their keen perspective with visitors who want to experience this captivating natural landscape on foot. Our expert guides know our local trails like the backs of their hands and have a sharp eye for spotting birds and other wildlife that is of interest to you. The more you share about what you desire to experience, the better our guides can attune themselves to the environment and find your wish.
At Hacienda Guachipelin, you will experience a diversity of astonishing flora and fauna that are indigenous to this near-pristine landscape. The Las Pailas trails of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park are within close proximity to our hotel and the perfect destination for exploration. Our team will shuttle you to the trailheads and our helpful guides will take it from there.
Do you prefer a self-guided tour? You are more than welcome to experience all of the trails on the National Park grounds, and on our nearly 3,500-acre private property, all on your own. They are all clearly marked with directions and difficulty of the trek.
The Las Pailas trail loop will take you through a spectacular natural exhibition that features fumaroles spitting steam and sulfur that paint yellow and rust-colored spots on the earth; or clay pots that bubble in various shades of brown and grey. This 3.5 km circular trail traverses a variety of landscapes that include tropical dry forest, which is one of the most scarce terrestrial environments in Central America. This park is home to more than 300 species of birds, plus a number of tropical flora and fauna specimens that are unique to this region. Keep a keen eye out for armadillos, iguanas, coatis, white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, and spider monkeys along the way.
Hacienda Guachipelin’s Waterfall Tours
The Rincon de la Vieja volcano has created a dynamic landscape along its foothills, where our Hacienda Guachipelin is located. The vast rifts in the earth that this volcano’s seismic activity has created over millions of years have led the way for mineral-rich, freshwater to flow continuously from the high peaks. Follow any one of the main three rivers (the Rios Colorado, Negro, and Blanco) that flow through our grounds to find a number of picturesque waterfalls with amazing lookout points to take in their majesty.
Prepare yourself for a refreshing dip in the crystalline pools below any of our main waterfall destinations at Hacienda Guachipelin. La Oropendola is a tall, heavy flowing waterfall, surrounded by basalt cliffs that create an ambiance of complete seclusion. And Las Chorreras is the fast-flowing sister falls that make a scenic backdrop for any number of events or occasions that can be held in the forest clearing adjacent to the falls. The grottos that surround this waterfall are easily accessible by a stairwell, providing an intimate and romantic oasis. Or soak up the picturesque scenery at La Cangreja or La Victoria Cataratas, where transparent pools of sky blue mineral water are waiting to be enjoyed by those looking for an adventurous form of relaxation in pristine, natural settings. Find any one of these waterfalls by self-guided tours, or join our guides by horseback, bus shuttle, or even on foot.
Birdwatching Tours in a Birder’s Paradise
Costa Rica is a true birding paradise. Featuring over 900 species of birds across the country, this is one of the world’s top destinations for bird watchers, thanks to this tiny, tropical nation’s diversity of ecosystems. Our region of Guanacaste is home to over 300 species of birds, roughly ⅓ of all of the bird species that have been recorded in all of Costa Rica. This is a colorful country, especially when speaking about the birds.
Replete with birdwatching opportunities, thanks to the prolific natural habitats for the many endemic species, Guanacaste’s diverse ecosystems feature such sought-after species as the Spectacled Owl, Curassow, and Montezuma Oropendola. A huge variety of sonorous and intrepid species have curated this environment into what it is today – the perfect place to enjoy a wildlife paradise. Our hotel’s lush gardens benefit from this diversity and are filled with native trees and exotic flowers, working symbiotically with the birds to keep this environment constantly regenerating.
Ranch and Horseback Tours
Connection with wildlife is a huge reason for visiting Guanacaste, Costa Rica. But our region of the country offers so much more diversity to our history of connection to the environment. Hacienda Guachipelin began as a family ranch and continues in this tradition, although with more care placed into ecology and sustainability. As such, we continue our practices of animal husbandry, which includes an ability to offer scenic horseback tours through our ranch, where you will see cows, horses, donkeys, and sheep. This rancher’s trail eventually leads to our private network of forest trails that careen through spectacular jungle settings that include oak forest, marshlands, and tropical dry forest. This relaxing ride is virtually effort-free, guided by our experienced cowboys and well-trained horses. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the mystical wildlife that populate this landscape.
Mountain Biking at Hacienda Guachipelin
Hacienda Guachipelin is located in a region of Guanacaste that is predominantly tropical dry forest. This arid, rugged terrain makes for one of the best places to experience fast downhill mountain biking in Costa Rica. We offer a variety of prepared trails for all levels of riders at Hacienda Guachipelin, as well as high-quality mountain bike rentals on location. Customize your mountain biking experience to your preference by choosing an electric or manual pedal bike, or by electing to take one of our expert guides along some of the more challenging trails. All of our trails are well marked with ribbons and signs. But just to be sure, it is always a good idea to book our advanced level guides to lead you through the dense forest, single-track downhill trails.
We have three single track trails that can satisfy all levels of riders, from beginner to expert. Each of these trails is under shade on the foothills of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano – the only mountain biking tracks in Costa Rica located on an active volcano! The high altitude and shade from the forest canopy provide cooler, more enjoyable rides than you may find elsewhere in the country. Travel to one of several waterfall locations on-site at Hacienda Guachipelin and take a dip mid-ride for a cool refresh before heading back to our adventure center. You never know what kind of sights you can encounter along the way!
Rio Negro Thermal Hot Springs
Hacienda Guachipelin is fortunate to be located in the foothills of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. As a result, we have access to consistently flowing, mineral-rich thermal waters that offer therapeutic properties to those who immerse themselves within. These regenerative waters have been appreciated for centuries by locals and more recently by people from around the world, who return time and again to reap the benefits of their healing properties.
The Rio Negro Hot Springs are found in a remote, quiet location of our Hacienda grounds and can be reached by car or our guest shuttle. Follow the smooth, gravel trail to our changing room cabins where you will find lockers, showers, and bathrooms for your convenience. Traveling further down the path, you will reach a number of forks with signs pointing towards the different hand-crafted thermal pool locations. Each of these hot spring pools is built into the natural rock escarpment and hand-crafted from natural materials that blend in with the scenic, forest landscape. Each pool is filled daily by geothermically-heated natural spring water from deep underground that is clean and fresh. Pools are filled to different temperatures, so follow the signs and temper your experience as you go along.
The crystal clear Rio Negro flows down below the cliffside pools, providing a cool and fast-rushing dichotomy to the peaceful and serene hot pools. Cross our two suspension bridges to continue along our network of easily-navigable trails that connect the pools on either side of the riverbank. Hot volcanic mud pits are available in the central platform for a self-made spa treatment. Paint yourself in a rainbow of earthy colors and allow the mud to dry while relaxing on a bench to the calming views of the jungle and the sounds of the raging river below. When you are ready, there are fresh water spouts that you can use to wash away the mud before heading back into the heat of the thermal pools.
Hacienda Guachipelin’s Simbiosis Spa
Simbiosis Spa is another, more private way to experience the rejuvenating thermal springs at Hacienda Guachipelin. Book in for your private spa experience, which can include a sauna, massage, body treatments, mud baths, and your very own thermal pool that is deep in the jungle. With no one else around, you can feel completely immersed in this magical rejuvenation experience.
Located on the banks of the Rio Colorado, Simbiosis Spa features a gorgeous reception area, with changing rooms and a highly attentive staff who are here to cater to your relaxation requirements. They will guide you towards achieving the perfect rejuvenation experience that meets your needs. Consider combining our horseback riding tour with the spa experience for a truly sensual experience, or reach our spa by car or guest shuttle.
Distinctive Wildlife Exhibitions
Hacienda Guachipelin’s almost 3500-acre property is home to a beautiful assortment of natural, exotic wildlife that can be most easily experienced in a more intimate fashion with our Butterflies, Snakes, and Frogs Tour. Guided by wildlife experts, our exhibits are safe and educational for the whole family.
The Butterfly Gardens near our Hacienda Guachipelin adventure center are host to three of the largest families of butterflies in Costa Rica, including the magnificent electric blue morphos that this country is known for. And the Serpentarium and Frog Exhibit host 23 species of live reptiles and amphibians, including 11 poisonous varieties of snake, six species of colorful frogs, and two types of basilisk lizards. All of our glass enclosures feature habitats that are as close to natural as possible and your guide will explain fascinating details about each animal. There is also the option to take a picture with a live adult boa!
Each of these tours, other than mountain biking and Simbiosis Spa, is included in the price of a one-day adventure pass at Hacienda Guachipelin. Any and all of these exceptional excursions will help you return home with amazing memories, so be sure to book your stay with us today. Contact our reception to learn more: