Tranquil, chic and completely at one with nature, the adult-exclusive Rancho Pacifico resort delivers on the Costa Rican promise of adventure and style in equal measure. On a private 250-acre nature preserve, perched serenely over the expansive Pacific Ocean, Rancho Pacifico offers a high level of service and eco-luxury. Overlooking the fabled Whale’s Tail and jungle canopy, the resort’s five suites and five villas feature modern architecture, contemporary furnishings and natural gardens.
Take the private Bosque Puro Trail 1000-feet up to the top of the coastal mountains into the cloud forest. Or, go on a boat excursion to a remote part of the Osa Peninsula via the Sierpe River. Sightings of monkeys, sloths, jaguarundis, anteaters, tree frogs, toucans and parakeets are commonplace. You can even whale-watch with the telescopes in the Clubhouse.
Children are not allowed – the minimum age is 18.
The owners purchased the 50 acres for Rancho Pacifico in 2003. They loved the wildness of their land – and the adjacent expanse of rainforest that backed it. They immediately pledged to develop Rancho Pacifico with the strictest adherence to environmental common sense – and new “green” building models and standards.
The first decision was to limit the cutting of trees. Each of 11 buildings was placed in the trees – even the designs were altered in a few cases to fit the space. They carefully transplanted hundreds of palms, ferns , and flowers to form the beautiful natural gardens. They created entries that conformed with the terrain. They even dug building sites and pools by hand – choosing to minimize the use of heavy machinery – practically to “0”. They avoided creating runoff paths for water that could eventually taint local water supplies in the village below.
The next move was to meet with the few landowners of the adjoining primary rainforest in the hopes that they would agree to place – along with theirs – a portion of land for preservation. The result is a 250 acre private rainforest preserve – teeming with wildlife, birds, reptiles, waterfalls, and thousands of plant species, for us to feel good about and enjoy.
With farm-raised wood in short supply – and natural, local wood out of the question, they decided to focus on building with steel and concrete. They incorporated beautiful wood beams (molina) in a few areas which were purchased from a tree farm. Rancho Pacifico has won design awards and they are proud of the minimal impact their development plan has had. Concrete was sealed with natural stucco and painted with toxic free paints.
They collected natural stone finishes from all over South and Central America – which grace all of the buildings, both outside and in. They use natural fertilizers, organic insecticides (sparingly), and pump water without motors 400 feet uphill from their natural springs. It was (and still is) a labor of love all around. They are one of the first (and only) hotels in the world with a Zero Carbon Footprint.
They have cut their electrical use by completely overhauling their systems and using more lighting with lower wattage. Their septic systems are non-polluting. They recycle their trash and haul their garbage to local organic farmers. They use non toxic insecticides and organic cleaning concentrates (which has dramatically reduced their consumption of plastic). Their in-room amenities (such as note pads) are recyclable or reclaimed (such as their coasters). They have all but eliminated plastic water bottles by installing a ceramic filter water purification system – and giving BPA-free water bottles to guests as a gift.
They have been hailed by the Costa Rica government for their low impact design and zero visibility property development plan.
You will be amply rewarded with wide beaches washed by lazy breakers, palms swaying on the shore, and a hot, serene and very quiet atmosphere. This will no doubt change, as more people discover Bahía Ballena, but for the time being it’s unspoiled.