DRIVE TO EL CASTILLO
Rancho Margot combines ecological farm and rural hotel, all managed in a sustainable way. The site is located in the valley of a lake, near the Arenal National Park in the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica. Rancho Margot is a vibrant experience that attracts visitors from around the world to explore, relax and learn about sustainable development.
- In 2004 Juan Sostheim bought 176 hectares of pasture for horses and cows with the intention of recovering the original ecosystem.
- Over the past 10 years he has worked on a reforestation project to achieve this goal and the result is impressive, it is indeed difficult to believe that this land was poor and non-fertile before his arrival.
- The exuberant vegetation that covers the property hosts many species of animals that were not there before the project began.
- Bird lovers will not be disappointed as it is possible to find over a hundred different species that will surprise you with their spectacular colors and songs.
- The compost system is an essential part of Rancho Margot because it not only provides compost for the farm but also hot water for the bungalows and the bunkhouse.
- Hydroelectric pumps are used to generate electricity. The mechanical energy produced by the movement of the water causes the turbine to activate the dynamo which generates electrical energy. These pumps can produce 8KW per hour.
- Cows gives milk and compost; their meat is not used. Milk is used to produce yogurts and cheese. Tourists can participate in the milking every morning.
- The garden is used to grow carrots, celery, salads, onions, cabbage, peppers, indigenous potatoes (malanga, camote, yucca or cassava …), radishes, arugula, cucumbers, spinach, zucchini, ginger, tomatoes, Papaya, oranges, lemons, avocados, noni (medicinal plant), etc. These gardens use the principle of organic farming as crop rotation to conserve soil nutrients, rooted plants that protect the soil Erosion) and other plants that serve to repel (such as basil) insects or other invasions. There are also plantations of cocoa, bananas and sugar cane.
- Everything is recycled and reused. The furniture is made of laurel and teak wood (from dead trees) and waste materials of construction are used in the kitchen oven. The bottles are reused to store the seeds and the products elaborated on the spot (disinfectants…). The recyclable material is then taken to factories where it is further processed. The soap is made from oil used in the kitchen. Unused soap is used to make laundry detergent. Disinfectants are also produced locally.
There are also tours available to hosts:
- The famous ranch tour is included in the lodging and meal package.
- A guided tour of the property for two hours to learn about the different projects of the ranch.
There are other tours that are not included in the pack such as horse riding, kayaking or walking. They can be made as much by the hosts as by the visitors of a day.
It is also possible to enjoy several trails to go without guide like:
- The famous Mirador trail, a place with spectacular views of the volcano.
- Lake Arenal within the property; it is recommended to go through it at sunrise.
- You can also walk to the village of El Castillo and return to Rancho Margot by road. A pleasant walk that will not leave you indifferent.
- Car rental.
- Yoga classes.
- Visit the Ranch.
- Milking of cows.
- Night in the hotel.
Selected Hotel: Rancho Margot, Bungalow Http://www.ranchomargot.com