Hacienda Guachipelin is one of the best places in Costa Rica to experience zip lines, rappelling, hot springs, waterfalls, horseback riding and traditional Costa Rican food- all within 20 minutes of the Liberia International Airport.
About Hacienda Guachipelin
Hacienda Guachipelin is a hotel and adventure tour operator located near Liberia, Costa Rica in the Guanacaste province. The property sits on a vast expanse of land in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, situating it in some of the most pristine dry tropical forest in Central America.
We first discovered Hacienda Guachipelin on a trip we had taken to Casitas Tenorio followed by La Carolina Lodge when we were visiting the Rio Celeste area. I wanted to head to the beach after the time on both family farms, but as luck would have it, it was absolutely pouring rain for days on end, so the beach wasn’t going to be much fun.
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We had found the ranch hotel online and I was intrigued by the fact that they had so many gorgeous hot springs and great excursions right on the property. Then as I was talking to some friends who live in Liberia, they mentioned that the food at the restaurant was super delicious and they would drive out just to eat traditional food.
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Well that sealed the deal. We spent two nights and three incredibly rainy days at Hacienda Guachipelin, and I can say that the experience was phenomenal and I can highly recommend it. What I most loved is that everything offered at the resort is true to Costa Rican culture and traditions, making it a great place to experience the “real” Costa Rica.
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Location – Getting There And Away
One thing that is super great about Hacienda Guachipelin is how incredibly easy it is to arrive. It’s only 40 minutes northeast of the Liberia Airport, and only about 20 minutes from the Liberia town center. This means that it is also super close to many of the northern Guanacaste beaches (we love Playa Nacazcolo, Playa Cabuyal, and Planet Hollywood Costa Rica.)
The property is just steps from Rincon de La Vieja National Park, and avid hikers and mountain bikers will find the location perfect for park arrival at dawn. This is also near the newly famous La Leona waterfall which I think is a must-visit for families on their way to Hacienda Guachepelin.
You may want to rent a car to explore Hacienda Guachipelin as the hot springs and the national park are a short drive from the hotel proper. There are on site shuttles, but you do need to wait for them and we enjoyed the flexibility of having our own car.
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There are a total of 79 guest rooms on property, several types of rooms- standard room, superior room, family superior room, legacy suite, and a suite.
The rooms are located all over the property, and some are driving distance from the main pool and lobby, so if you do not have your own car it might be good to check where you room will be located.
We stayed in a standard room which was very comfortable- there were large Spanish tiles on the floor, two very comfortable beds, air conditioning, cable television, free access to wireless internet, hot water shower and a coffee maker. Breakfast was included with our stay.
I think most all of the rooms are basically the same except some are bigger to accommodate larger groups. The suites have private terraces and are a bit more spacious.
Overall I would describe the rooms as comfortable but not luxury. They were extremely clean and comfortable for what we needed. And we spent a lot of extra time in them because of the torrential rains when we were there (note- this was not typical for the time of year of the region- we just got lucky, haha).
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All of the dining options at Hacienda Guachipelin happen in the main lodge, and there are several options- buffet, a sit down traditional dinner and a sports bar.
The food is very traditional, and the buffet is all you can eat. We really enjoyed the food, and there were marimba players playing traditional Costa Rican folk songs while we ate. Waiters wore traditional dress, and the dining experience was really relaxed and nice. All the food is locally sourced and super fresh.
What I most loved is that children under 6 ate free at the buffet, and there was a kid’s menu with prices under $5. That helped us to splurge a bit on food as we didn’t have to pay for our kids when we were there.
There is a small store on site with a few snacks, etc, but the area is pretty much in the middle of nowhere so if you want extras or specific foods it’s best to get them when you drive through Liberia.
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The tours are the crown jewel of Hacienda Guachipelin. There is so much to do! Guests of the hotel can experience the Rio Negro hot springs at no extra charge- they are gorgeous hot springs and mud baths located super close to the volcano.
The hot springs are situated next to a gorgeous river, and you hike into the forest, cross a natural hanging bridge and then arrive at the natural hot springs. The experience is awesome. You can bring your own beer or buy some at the trailhead, and you just relax and enjoy the natural hot water.
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Guests of the hotel can also hike (endless hikes!) and chase waterfalls at one of the 7 waterfalls located right on the property. Trails are well marked and we often saw employees walking around just to make sure everyone was safe and didn’t get lost. The girls adored hiking the property- even in the rain. There are lots of mosquitos deep in the forest, so make sure you have some great bug repellent.
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Paid excursions include the following:
- Canopy tour (zip lining)
- White water rafting
- River tubing
- Horseback riding
When I was at the hot springs I heard a lot of people talking about their amazing day- they have purchased the Day Adventure pass and done all of the above with lunch. It sounded amazing, but we didn’t do it because we had a three year old at the time and she was too small to go on the excursions.
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Many of the beach hotels will book your adventure tours through Hacienda Guachipelin for you, and some include transportation. If you have your own transportation I recommend that you book your own excursions directly through the website here and then just drive up on your own. It’s really so easy to find that there’s no reason not to just get there on your own.
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