A guide to discovering the destination: Pavones, Punta Banco and beyond.
Rancho Burica is based on the peninsula of Punta Burica at the end of the road 4.5 miles south of Pavones. The Rancho looks out at the OsaPeninsula where the famous National Park, Corcovado, is located.
This area has an extreme high biodiversity and stunning views from the beach’s deck or from the ‘mirador’ up on the hill in our jungle garden.
There is a refreshing waterfall in the garden to cool off in as well as numerous waterfalls along the jungle/beach edge as you walk south from the Rancho.
For a nice siesta try one of our hammocks that can be found under the palm trees near the beach.
Knowing that we are located near the border of Panama, Rancho Burica could be a comfortable place to ‘hang out’, in case you’re on a visa run. The distance from Paso Canoas (the Panama border crossing) to the Rancho is about 3 hours by bus or 1,5 hours by car.
When you’re walking around in this beautiful surrounding it’s not unusual to see Scarlett Macaws flying over your head and monkeys howling at you. The ‘mono titis’ (squirrel monkeys), howler monkeys, iguanas, toucans, hummingbirds, sloths and a variety of snakes and everything else you might expect on a jungle walk, flies, swims and crawls around here.When the tide goes out (a 10 foot difference) the tidal pools abound and are full of marine life.
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For its size, Costa Rica is het richest bird country of the world. More than 900 species in a country a bit larger than The Netherlands, it’s heaven on earth. And the good news is: most of them live in and around Rancho Burica.
The Rancho has a beautiful and well maintained garden. Birds everywhere. Toucans, Hummingbirds, Scarlet Macaws, Aracari’s and Trogons can all readily be seen. Most conspicuous is the beautiful Cherrie’s Tanager; the males are velvety black with a bright orange rump. Several pairs patrol the fruiting trees in the garden all day long. If you have a closer look, you may spot the cute Tody Flycatcher, a minute black-and-yellow flycatcher, and the dazzling Red-legged Honeycreeper, with its shining blue upperparts and, indeed, warm red legs.
But there’s more around the Rancho. Black Iguana’s run through the garden and young Jesus Christ Lizards climb the boulders of the little stream on the far end of the Rancho. The adult males with their awesome crests and skin flaps, stay close to the large trees of the garden.
Monkeys! The Mantled Howler is an easy one; the hooting sounds of the males wake you up early in the morning. Not always around, but still a regular visitor is the endangered Squirrel Monkey, with its yellow coat and skull-like pattern on the head. They whistle almost like birds!
Little insect eating bats hang from the walls of the Jungle House and can be seen at close range.
And if you’re still willing to see more wildlife, just hop on a boat to the other side of the Golfo Dulce. Within an hour you’re in Corcovado National Park, the wildest National Park of the country.
The make the most out of your visit to the Rancho, please bring a pair of binoculars with you. And for the really keen birdwatcher, get yourself a copy of the field guide ‘The Birds of Costa Rica’, by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean.
How to get here
The Rancho is located on the southwest coast of Costa Rica, close to the village of Punta Banco, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of Golfito. Below you’ll find directions by car, by bus and by plane.
Address Rancho Burica
300 metros sur de la escuela en Punta Banco, Pavones
Getting out of San José can be quite a task but it is doable. There are two ways to drive down South once you are out of the city.
Take the coastal road towards Jaco and follow up to Dominical. Once past Dominical follow the road to Palma Norte till you hit the T-junction in Rio Claro de Golfito. Take to road towards Golfito. About 10km before Golfito take a left towards Pavones. Follow the signs Pavones and you will see the Rancho Burica signs show up on the side of the road. Follow these till the road end and you are there!
If you like fresh air, great views and curvy bends take the coastal road towards San Isidro. Once you see the signs Dominical follow them. Past Dominical follow the road to Palma Norte till you hit the T-junction in Rio Claro de Golfito. Take the road towards Golfito. About 10km before Golfito take a left towards Pavones. Follow the signs Pavones and you will see the Rancho Burica signs show up on the side of the road. Follow these till the road end and you are there!
Use a navigation device and find Pavones (a.k.a. Rio Claro de Pavones) Once you are close to Pavones follow the signs Rancho Burica till the road stops and our gate is right there. Do not punch in the coordinates of this place you find on google, you’ll get stuck in the mud somewhere. We are speaking out of experience!
From San José you can buy a ticket at the Tracopa Terminal (every taxi drivers knows where it is). If possible, we advise you to buy your ticket a day in advance, because it can get crowded, especially in the weekends.
Take the 6:30 AM bus to Golfito, which arrives there around 2:30 PM. From Golfito take the bus to Pavones at 3 PM. It departs near the supermarket across the street from the hospital.
In case of a lack of time, you can get off the bus at T-junction kilómetro 14 (between Golfito & Pavones) and get on the Pavones bus there. Whatever you do, make sure you are on that bus, because it only goes to the Rancho Burica once a day!
The last stop of the bus is directly in front of the Rancho past the town of Punta Banco, where you will be welcomed at around 6 PM.
If by any chance you miss the last bus to Pavones, you can take a taxi from Golfito to the Rancho, which will cost you $80.
From Panama take the bus to the border, Paso Canoas, via David. Arrange all the necessary stamps in your passport and get on the bus to Laurel, which leaves at 4 PM Panama time (Costa Rica is one hour behind Panama). Change busses in Laurel and take the one to Conte. In Conte you have to get on the bus to Pavones (see above), which leaves around 4:30 PM Costa Rica time. If you missed your bus in Paso Canoas, take a taxi to Conte. The taxi is much faster than the bus, so you’ll be in Conte on time for the bus to Pavones.
There are three flights from San José to Golfito daily for about US $120 (one-way). You can book from your own country or in Costa Rica at SANSA (+506) 22219414 (www.flysansa.com). The flight takes about an hour. From Golfito you can take the 3 PM bus to Pavones or a taxi, we can have one waiting for you if you like.