You are entering a magical world when you arrive at the Pacuare Nature Reserve. Your arrival, by boat, will be heralded by egrets, herons, kingfishers and howler monkeys. You may even see Rambo, the crocodile, and his family.
When staying as a Visitor in the Casa Grande, you can enjoy simple comfort and seclusion or join in with the activity and excitement of the Reserve. The beautiful timber house is built on pillars with a huge balcony, containing tables, chairs and hammocks, around three sides, giving an unparalleled view of the lagoon, the sea and the forest. This is where you will spend your ‘down time’ – either eating on the balcony or sleeping or relaxing with your book – always with your binoculars to hand to watch the extraordinary wildlife that is so much part of your stay.
There is the choice of a double or twin- bedded room (these rooms share a WC/basin) and a larger one containing a queen sized bed and a single bed with its own WC/basin. The bedrooms are simply furnished using local materials and have comfortable beds. The shower is solar heated. All rooms are mosquito screened. The sitting room is well stocked with books and games.
The Reserve has a solar panel to heat the water for the shower and small solar pannels provide bright bedside lamps. Aditionally there are lamps and candles.
This will be your world for a few days and you will be able to explore over 1,000 hectares of tropical forest with over 32 species of mammal (the latest addition being jaguar and her cub) and over 230 species of bird.
You will share the 6km of unspoilt beach with nesting giant Leatherback turtles or, later in the season, with their tiny hatchlings. This is the most important nesting site in Costa Rica for this critically endangered species and you will have a ringside view.
The Leatherback nesting season is from March to late June and is followed by the hatching season from June to September when the hatchlings emerge from their nests and make their way to the sea – you can help to protect them from the natural predators. You may even see a green turtle laying.
You will have your own designated biologist who will take you to patrol the beach at night looking for nesting turtles. For many this is the highlight of their Costa Rican trip. Watching a giant Leatherback heave herself up the beach to dig her nest or helping the hatchlings make their way to the sea is a memorable and moving experience. When staying in the CASA GRANDE you can join a patrol or elect to be woken if there is turtle activity – a more practical option for parties with children.
The 1,000 hectares of tropical forest can be explored by boat, cycle or on foot. On a boat trip down the Tortuguero Canal you will pass aquatic birds, freshwater turtles, caimans and crocodiles. In a night walk in the forest you might see those amazing frogs that you saw on postcards. By day you are bound to see the white face Capuchin monkeys, while the howler monkeys are often in the forest behind the CASA GRANDE.
Keen birdwatchers will be fascinated by the 230 recorded species of bird but particularly by the rare and beautiful Agami heron that nests inside the reserve – the only nesting site in Costa Rica.
Visitors are welcome to join in with our Environmental Education project whereby local primary schoolchildren visit the reserve. Visiting children often find an instant rapport with the local children.
The house can be rented as a whole or by room. The minimum length of stay at the CASA GRANDE is two nights but we recommend a three-night stay in order to make the most of your visit