Rancho Margot

Castillo, Costa Rica

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Text©Beatrice Blake-New Key to Costa Rica

Located in a beautiful valley beyond El Castillo on the west side of the volcano.

The ranch produces its own energy, using a hydroelectric generator in the river and a series of methane biodigestors to heat its hot tub and provide gas for cooking. They invite guests to milk the cows, learn to make cheese, yogurt and marmalades, tend the chickens, horses, and pigs, learn about composting and organic gardening, or make furniture, all the while practicing Spanish with the ranch’s 63 employees.

They have an animal rescue center and were building a slaughterhouse and meat processing plant.Guests can hike half an hour uphill from the farm to watch the volcano, or hike deep into the rainforest, fish in the farm’s rivers, swim in the freshwater pool (with wet bar) or join a class at the yoga center.

The individual bungalows, on a rise looking out to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, are attractively designed with wide wooden verandahs, rocking chairs and hammocks. The bunkhouse (shared baths, hot water, $40 including breakfast, $60 double) is clean, comfortable and tidy. Volunteers who can stay for at least two weeks can receive free room and board for working 6 full days a week.

A day pass to Rancho Margot ($35) includes a guided tour of the facilities, a yoga class, lunch, and roundtrip transportation on the bus (see below). Other tours include hiking or horseback riding to a waterfall, waterfall rappelling, horseback riding and kayaking on Lake Arenal.Rancho Margot’s Chilean-born owner wants it to be a model of organic self-sufficiency for the whole region. Besides employing over 60 people, he provides a brightly painted old bus that transports workers, schoolchildren and tourists back and forth between El Castillo and La Fortuna.

You can take advantage of this service (free of charge at present) to make the hour-long trip, which can be grueling, as the last 40 minutes are on kidney-jarring gravel roads. The Rancho Margot bus leaves the west side of the plaza in La Fortuna for El Castillo at 7 a.m., noon and 5:45 p.m., returning at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Amenities & Features


Double occupancy from $60 to $130

Website & Contact

phone: (506)2479-7259 cell 8302-7318 fax 2479-7260

New Key to Costa Rica Travel Consulting

Recommended Near Rancho Margot

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Nearby Activities & Attractions

Nearby Hotels & Lodges

Arenal Observatory Lodge
Lost Iguana Resort
Arenal Lodge
Tabacón Lodge
Kioro Hotel
Rancho Makena
Sunset Hotel
Rustic Mountain Lodge
El Sapo Dorado
Arco Iris Eco-Lodge
Cabañas Los Pinos
Arenal Oasis Ecolodge

The nearest town is Castillo, 2.3 km away and Aeropuerto Arenal airport is 21.8 km.

Please note that distances for nearby hotels, attractions, activites & other points of interest are in a straight line. Distances by road may be significantly longer!

The exact gps map coordinates of Rancho Margot are latitude 10.41397, longitude -84.76595. (exact GPS coordinates are accurate to within a few meters, gps data labeled approximate is within a few hundred meters)