We consider Mastatal to be one of the best kept secrets of Costa Rica and we'd love to share it with you! Whether you are simply visiting for a weekend on the way to the beach or participating in an intensive two-week permaculture workshop, the time spent in our community will certainly be the highlight of your trip.
Our project is ideal for visitors who embrace responsible tourism, have a desire to make an impact on the local economy, and love the sights and sounds of the rainforest. The people of Mastatal, the stunning vistas and forests, and the work that occurs at the Ranch tend to attract visitors looking for an authentic experience well off of the guidebook trail. This is the spot where locals often ride their horses to the bar, where sugar is still processed by oxen at the trapiche, and bird calls wake you each morning.
The Ranch is unlike most eco-tourism destinations. While we do host many guests and groups, what we have ultimately created is a home for our small community, not a tourist destination. You will not find luxury accommodations, fancy folded towels, and chocolates on your pillow here, but you will discover a caring and passionate community, beautifully hand-crafted furniture, scrumptious, nourishing, locally grown meals, and so much more! Our project is a wonderful place to disconnect from the pressure of a modern world and be genuinely present. Instead of checking your email throughout the day you will check in with the diverse and engaged crew that runs our project. The social interaction through joint work, communal meals, and lots of play will rekindle your love of community.
Primarily we are an education center and for the majority of the year we host educational groups. This will give you the opportunity to connect with many like minded people who have also come to the Ranch to learn and experience what we have to offer.
Meal times in particular create an atmosphere unlike any other in this country. All meals are communal. They will remind you of the best times you have spent with your family sitting around the table having unhurried conversations.
As a guest you will become part of our family, and as thousands have done before you, you will contribute to the home we are cultivating in this remote corner of Costa Rica.
Some of the highlights of any trip to Mastatal include:
- Swimming in the many waterfalls and rivers within walking distance.
- Getting involved with the local community at the futbol field, library, or soda.
- Taking a tour of one of the other eco-tourism projects in town.
- Becoming friends with the hard-working Ranch core team and apprentice team.
- Visiting our neighbors at Parque Nacional La Cangreja.
- Learning about our sustainability practices during a Day Workshop.
- Devouring local chocolate treats from La Iguana Chocolate.
- Exploring the 14 kilometers of trails throughout our Private Wildlife Refuge.
- Touring the Ranch's extensive campus and permaculture farm and systems.
- Feasting on the buffet style meals cooked with care.
- Resting in a hammock with one of the thousands of books from our library.
- Taking a morning stroll on the quite streets to bird-watch.
- Getting involved in a dinner time clean up dance party.
- Learning about medicinal plants from leaders of the nearby indigenous reserve of Zapaton.
- Helping to harvest ingredients for the days meals.
For a complete list of things to do please see our Activities Page.
Costs for a night's stay in one of our naturally built shelters range from $45-50 for individuals and $85 for couples. See our Accommodations Page for more information.
These costs include:
- Three full nourishing and delicious meals a day, except on Sunday when we serve only brunch.
- Local, organic coffee.
- A comfortable, clean bed and bedding.
- Access to our private wildlife refuge, and its trails and swimming holes.
- Access to our library with over thousands of books on permaculture, natural building, homesteading, and more!
For more information on what to bring, internet availability, travel visas and so forth, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page. You can also access a copy of our Welcome Guide here. Please fill out our Availability Request Form if you would like to stay with us and to inquire about space. Please don't hesitate to write or call with any additional questions and we greatly look forward to having you participate in our project!