REVIEW – Rancho Margot Costa Rica

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If you are looking for unique accommodations in the La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano area, Rancho Margot is absolutely my top pick. You’ll be part of a true farm experience, and all your meals are included so you can focus on fun in the area, and not on cooking.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Rancho Margot is the only off-the-grid fully sustainable farm in the La Fortuna area. Meals and daily yoga are included in the price of the accommodations.
  • Rancho Margo Costa Rica allows visitors to immerse themselves in the farm experience- and they love children!
  • The farm is located close enough to downtown La Fortuna for you to easily head off-site for excursions, but remote enough that you will feel like you are in the full jungles of Costa Rica.

About Rancho Margot Costa Rica

Rancho Margot is a fully sustainable farm located near La Fortuna, Costa Rica. The farm is situated in the primary forest near Volcano Arenal National Park, The Children’s Eternal Rainforest, and is the last privately owned land on the edge of Monteverde National Park.

The farm has been running since 2004, and relies on a mix of volunteers, paid local employees, and tourists to create an unforgettable experience for everyone involved with the farm. Here’s a quick overview of Rancho Margot Costa Rica from Sanjay Gupta of CNN.

Rancho Margot – Location

You can get to Rancho Margot either by leaving from downtown La Fortuna, or it’s also on your way to La Fortuna from Monteverde. To arrive at Rancho Margot, you will take the road that leads to Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal- it’s before the dam on the way to Tilaran from La Fortuna. From there, you will follow signs to El Castillo, or just keep right. It will take you about 45 minutes from La Fortuna to Rancho Margot during the dry season. There are lots of physical signs to guide you on your way, too.

Once you turn off the main road paved between La Fortuna and El Castillo, you will be driving on a dirt road. We did cross a small river on the way too.

During the dry season, you could do the drive without a 4×4, but I think deep in the rainy season you would want a bigger car.

I always recommend renting a car in Costa Rica. If you want to do nearby La Fortuna excursions, renting a car will be your cheapest bet. If you aren’t interested in really leaving the farm (there are tours available there!) then you could arrange private transfers to and from the farm.

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Rancho Margot Costa Rica Bungalow

Accommodations At Rancho Margot

The accommodations are Rancho Margot are free-standing cabins located in the heart of the rainforest. It’s like having your own little house- and it’s amazing. If you rent a bungalow, all of your meals will be included in the price of the room.

There is a rental house on site, which means you can make your own meals and stay with more people in the same house. If you rent the house, only Costa Rican breakfast is included.

For families, the best accommodation is a bungalow. It’s a self-standing room in the rainforest with two twin beds and a double bed, a sink, a shower, and an outdoor hammock and table. There’s a full wrap-around porch and railing- it’s truly beautiful.

The bungalows are situated off of an uphill cement path and are very private and surrounded by tons of rainforest flora.  The ranch also has an electric golf cart for those who may not be able to walk up that path.

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Cows at Rancho Margot Costa Rica

Packing For Rancho Margot Costa Rica

Rancho Margot is a farm! There are hiking activities, horseback riding, swimming, etc. But it’s not fancy at all! Farm visitors are mostly families and young solo travelers, and there is no expectation for dressing up for meals or anything.

In fact, you can expect to get dirty at Rancho Margot- so I say leave fancy clothes at home or in your suitcase for another part of your Costa Rica trip. The weather in the zone near Rancho Margot is generally hot, so pack for hot weather, and then you should be fine with just one long-sleeved shirt and a pair of long pants.

Hiking boots or sturdy tennis shoes are a great idea, as is rain gear in the rainy season. We always just pack the $1 ponchos and when it rains we throw them on over our backpacks while we are hiking.

There are a lot of mosquitos at Rancho Margot, so bug spray is a must- I never leave home without these all-natural ParaKito bracelets for the whole family.

Rancho Margot provides homemade soaps in the rooms and natural bug repellent is sold at the front desk.  There is a swimming pool at the ranch, so bathing suits and suscreen are recommended too!

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Rancho Margot Costa Rica Breakfast

Food at Rancho Margot

Prepare to eat WELL at Rancho Margot. I mean healthy, simple foods that are mouthwatering and freshly prepared. Each meal is included with your stay, and there is plenty of food for everyone.

We enjoyed fresh salads with greens grown right on site and the MOST amazing pizza you can ever imagine. There was a daily vegan creamy vegetable soup, pancakes, and delicious Costa Rican desserts. Of course, there was gallo pinto for breakfast, and lots of vegan food and vegetarian food too. I wouldn’t say all of the food was traditional Costa Rican food, but everything is inspired by Costa Rica and grown right there on the farm.

There is also a bar onsite that serves fun Costa Rican cocktails and beer (even Costa Rican microbrews). fare, as well as a great soundtrack and fun games for the whole family. (We played hours of modified Banangrams with my 5-year-old, which is where I found out that not only does she know the word culo, but she can spell it!)

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Rancho Margot Costa Rica Bar

Activities at Rancho Margot Costa Rica

Not only can the staff at Rancho Margot set you up with all kinds of amazing tours and excursions in the La Fortuna area at a great rate (think zip line, hot springs, horseback riding, hanging bridges, etc), but the farm itself has tons to explore.

Farm Tour Rancho Margot Costa Rica

The farm tour is a must for anyone- but our kids had the BEST time with the guide Aurelio. He made the tour super exciting for our girls aged 2 and 5 and made it interesting for the adults too. We saw a myriad of plants, a red-eyed tree frog, and a baby hummingbird in its nest. We also saw chickens roosting, fed pigs and milked cows, walked through the gardens and the living pharmacy, and generally laughed and played a ton. There is a living compost on site, and it was amazing a gross at the same time. Generally, the farm tour was the highlight of our trip.

You can book a farm tour without actually staying at the hotel- you will tour the farm and have a meal. It’s a great way to explore a local farm if you can’t or don’t want to stay on-site.

We did another walking tour at dusk, which I highly recommend. You can see the diurnal animals settle in for the evening, and you can see the insects and bats that come out to play when the sun goes down. I always recommend a night tour to families who are visiting Costa Rica, and this was a great one.

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Yoga at Rancho Margot Costa Rica

Yoga is a huge deal at Rancho Margot, and twice-a-day sessions are included with your stay. For an additional fee, you can book a massage treatment in a gorgeous hut in the rainforest. Highly recommend.

You can do a soap-making class, a cheese-making class, guided hikes and a microorganism workshop too. These are an additional fee but are really well-done. I just had two clients come back from Rancho Margot who said the classes were better than ever.

Another nice activity at Rancho Margot Costa Rica is that right near the bar/restaurant, there is a typical Costa Rican play structure with a seesaw, monkey bars, and slides. This means mom and dad can linger over dinner and drinks while the kids play within eyesight.

My favorite part of the trip? It was connecting with the other travelers there- there were other families with young children at the ranch, and the kids had a blast playing! The bar had a set of dump trucks and mega blocks for the kids to play with while the parents socialized.

We made a very good friend named Jimmy from Amsterdam, who spoke to my girls in Dutch while the girls responded in Spanish. Talk about an amazing world schooling moment for everyone- we now have three new Dutch words in our vocabulary at home- pannenkoeken, coe, and our favorite: sinaasappelsap!

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Rancho Margot Costa Rica Farm For Families

The Bottom Line

Rancho Margot is at the top of my must-visit list for Costa Rica travel because it is a place that truly represents the culture, ecosystem, and commitment to sustainable living that is a huge part of daily life in Costa Rica. We will be visiting Rancho Margot for many years to come!

I will say that we stayed for two nights and it was not enough to explore everything the farm has to offer- I would recommend 3 to 4 nights as an ideal stay, and that is definitely what we will do next time.

Ready to book? Visit the Rancho Margot website.

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Rancho Margot Costa Rica For Families
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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Love to read your story! Well done! Jimmy still misses the girls! Big hugs&kissis from the Amsterdam family, Jorn, Marielle& Jimmy????

    1. Thank you so much for reading and visiting the page! We miss you too- what an incredible experience to have had with your family! Love from all of us at Casa Pura Vida!

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  4. Oh shoot. The form to fill out seems to be broken. could you email it to me or fix the link? I absolutely want to bring my 5 year old daughter here this December 🙂

  5. I would love to stay at Rancho Margot but it seems the link for the discount is broken. Could you send it? Thanks

  6. Christa,
    Our family of 5 (9,11 and 14 yrs old kids) will be in Costa Rica for 2 weeks in July. I am thinking of booking the InterCultura language school with home stay for a 6 days

    And wondering how to best spend the rest of the time. A sustainable farm stay sounds lovely to milk cows, collect eggs and horse back ride, etc. I came across your article on 15 best farm stay and Rancho Costa cost my eye as I thought we could combine it with all the sightseeing in the area.

    Any thoughts or suggestions about this plan? How do I book through you as you mentioned that you have special prices?

    1. Hi Milena! Thanks so much for writing! I think your plan sounds great. I hear a lot of great things about InterCultura. As for Rancho Margot- I think it is a GREAT place for those ages. I don’t have any special pricing anymore- I need to edit that article! Pura vida! ~Christa