About this listing
Working Guest Ranch with the most incredible view- at end of the road on top of the mountain where you see everything Arenal. House is super set up and always clean. Experience local life culture and nature in one spot. Great choice for the children.
What makes Parrot Hill Guest Ranch special is not only the fine modern home and furnishings but the gracious land it rest on. Bordering the Arenal National Park along river's edge this 50 acre parcel is absolutely a gorgeous setting for your vacation . Awe inspiring views of the Volcano and Lake and Monteverde Forest surround . You will experience life amidst a rare natural environment and micro climate. A good learning opportunity in many ways.
The Living space is a custom finish ,hi quality home consisting of two floors being a total of 2400+/-sf in the entire house . It can be split in two parts which affords 3 rental options. as follows.
#1- PARAKEET LANDING *
This private ground floor contains 2 br/1 bath/kitchen and opens to expansive botanical gardens and look out hi-point.
Sleeps up to 5 people in 700 sf.
Old world colonial motif and rustic décor. Lava rock shower. 11 ft high ceilings, large cathedral windows. Separate and private entrance off front corridor. Lighted courtyards open to gardens where the early morning birdsong is your natural wake up call.
Newly remodeled and first time offered to public.
$110-125 per night introductory offer-
extended stay discount program and free upgrade program when available-ask about it.
#2 - the PAPUGA ROOMS *
2nd floor + the 'sky bungalow" served by private and covered staircase .
Roomy and open feeling the 1600 sf living area has 2br/2bath/ full kitchen+ additional dormitory room with 3 single beds. Xtra double day sleeper in great room. Sleeps 10 max on this floor. Lots of windows and exotic native hardwoods used. Teak floors and bamboo ceilings. We make our own grand furniture which means place is outfitted beautifully with one of a kind design.
$165-200 night-extended stay discounts
#3- the ROOST *
This is the option to reserve the entire house which means the two floors + sky bungalow = exclusive private residence for up to 15 souls.
2400sf 4br/3bath/2 kitchen/dorm .
Priced from $250-300 nightly- ask about extended stay program discount.
^^^ Please contact owner for details or
clarification. Please do not rely on the calendar or the auto quote system . Always contact me for exact quote depending on which space option and availability. I promise to respond quickly. Thank you. ^^^
We are flexible and will try to accommodate special needs, including a HONEY MOON vacation package. My wife and sister in law are great cooks and can provide home cooked, farm fresh, organic meals for reasonable cost. Tico style cuisine.
The guest have unlimited access to the 50 acres of private space to explore and enjoy. Kids especially will run wild on the ranch and never get bored. Many farm animals including cows, sheep, chicken,ducks,pigs and horses. We offer horseback rides/lessons - pleasure mount or trail rides for small cost ($25). The stars of the animal show are now 3 PARROTs after which we named the place (meet Papuga Papagai, and ToTi). We rescued them from fallen nest and have raised them since chicks. 'Born free live free' they fly around and will entertain you for hours. recently an abused baby toucan was brought in and Teddy is doing fine at this time.
U can volunteer to help with daily farm chores or join us in trail building .Take the time to hike the private trails to secluded rivers and waterfalls.
The wonderful sights and sounds of nature will enchant you and warm the soul. It's really peaceful and quite, cool year round and always green. Forever springtime here. The elevation is 800 mts(approx. 2650 ft ) which means temps are low and views are high.
My family and I enjoy hosting. Our service goes beyond just renting space . We can, and will , help make your upcoming vacation trip to Costa Rica the very best ever possible. We wish you wellness and look forward to hearing from world travelers just like you.
sincerely, Charlie and family
IMPORTANT NOTE: please do not rely on the calendar for availability. It does not provide for multiple spaces so I do not use it. Also, the auto $ quote you see on a reservation inquiry is produced by AIRBNB and may not be accurate due to same limitations... Contact owner for dates and rates .I will confirm and guarantee. thank you. PLEASE READ ABOVE
Full access to ranch and all facilities (some restrictions apply) Close by are zip lines, hanging bridges, and Arenal Volcano Observatory. Popular activities are: Hot springs (ask about free hot river) hiking trails and horseback riding,fishing lake , living Butterfly Conservatory and Eco- zoo in the village. A new action tour just starting is ' river drifting' and is a lot of fun. Several nice restaurants and sodas , a small grocery store and two places of worship in our village of El Castillo.
Although there is the river and waterfall on the property we do not have a real swimming pool. So, we negotiated complimentary pool privileges at a 4 star Hotel close by for our special Guests. It is 5 min away by car or mellow 15 min walk from the house. They have free wifi ,cold and hot pools, bar and restaurant. Enjoy.
Interaction with Guests
We live in the original ranch house on the property so the Guest house and surrounding gardens are dedicated to you. The family and I interact when appropriate/ needed and consider it a privilege to be of service. We are available especially if guest want help setting up activities such as tours, home cooked farm meals to order and recreation/entertainment. Our hosting service style goes beyond a simple rental management into caring for the needs and comfort of our guest. Our mutual goal is to make this vacation ,your vacation, the best ever!!
Otherwise it's a private set up at the house and independent living in quiet enjoyment.
Thank you for looking us over and we hope you choose to spend some time on Parrot Hill. Looking forward to it.
Hasta Luego and Pura Vida,
Quite little village of 800+/- friendly people. Few restaurants and a grocery store. Largest living butterfly and snake exhibits in all of Costa Rica right here.
Many activities very close ie: canopy zip lines ,hanging bridges, and hot springs (ask me about a free local spot)
local busette makes twice daily run to La Fortuna for $6,
Recommend 4x4 rental car when driving in Costa Rica in general, but it is not essential, as the road leading here is in decent shape at this time.
Other Things to Note
I can help arrange tours at no extra charge to you and make secure advance reservations.
Golden Rule and quiet enjoyment. Love is all there is.
Charlie was an amazing host and his family were fantastic too. The description of the listing was completely accurate. On arrival Charlie upgraded us to the first floor that was truly wonderful and not something that he needed to do. The furniture was beautifully made and the accommodation provided was magnificent.
The area was remote and the scenery breathtaking - views from our balcony were of the lake and the volcano were fab .
Staying at Parrot Hill was the best start to our Costa Rica experience. Charlie was able to provide us with invaluable local information. The walk to his private waterfalls was a great experience
Charles was enthusiastic, welcoming and informative about the local area. He made us feel welcome and included us in his farm from the start. He showed my two little girls a playset upon arrival and introduced them to his own little niece to play. We ordered dinner our first night. Our girls loved their chicken drumsticks (from Charles' own farm), and my fish was great as well. The best part was the homemade juice/tea that Charles' wife made from a flower on their farm. Later she brought us homemade cheese that we grilled and added to pasta. It was amazing. Definitely purchase her cheese.
We enjoyed swimming at Termalitas one afternoon and going to Pizza John's for dinner another. Most of the time we made our own meals in the house. The upstairs kitchen is great- stainless steel appliances (including oven) and an eat-in bar. Charles built all of the furniture, cabinets, doors, etc. himself and the craftsmanship is wonderful. The bottom level (we stayed in both) might be a little too rustic for some travelers, but the hospitality, activities and view are as good as it gets in Arenal.
We stayed here for 3 nights. Parrot Hill Ranch is very remote and offers beautiful views of Mount Arenal and Lake Arenal.
The Good - It is serene and quiet - you wake up to birds chirping and rooster crowing. Kids had the opportunity to go milk cows on the ranch as well. There's an abundance of fruit trees (guava, passion fruit, etc.) on the property. Even though it feels very secluded, we felt quite safe during the stay. Charlie, his brother in law and their respective families live in houses next door, so there's always someone around the property. Charlie was a great host. He communicated well prior to our arrival, on the day of travel and was there to greet us and give us a walk-through when we arrived. He offered a bunch of information about places to visit, things to do, arranged for transportation for us each day and even gave us a ride to a nearby grocery store one day.
What you need to consider - the ranch is very remote. It's almost an hour long drive from La Fortuna and the last 30 minutes of that is on a dirt road. The last couple of miles are a steep climb - Charlie's house is the last one at the end of that dirt road. If you are renting a car (4x4) and would like to stay in a house that offers stunning views, this is your spot. We had 11 people in our group so we had to request a van service every day (which Charlie helped arrange for). There's no real public transportation although there's a guy that runs a shuttle service three times a day.
While the house was large enough for our group, we all felt that the linens and beds could use an upgrade. They felt old and musty. There were also some creepy crawlers around the house (roaches, spiders, ants, etc.). I guess that's to be expected given that you are essentially in the jungle. None of that bothered us, but something for you to consider if you decide to stay there. Also, the house has a septic system - so we were not supposed to flush toilet paper. They had trash bins in the bathroom for the toilet paper which were cleaned every other day. It would have been better if there was a daily trash pickup and linen/towel service.
All in all, good value for money and Charlie was a great host. The views were spectacular and we enjoyed our stay.
Parrot Hill Ranch was a great stay. My wife and I really enjoyed our time at the ranch. Charles and his family were terrific hosts.
The Ranch is situated on the last lot on top of a large hill (about a 5-10 minute drive from the bottom of the hill). The drive to the Ranch can be done by car, but a 4x4 would make most people feel a lot more comfortable.
The views from almost anywhere on the Ranch were some of the best my wife and I saw in Costa Rica. You have a great view of Arenal and pretty much everything in the area.
The Ranch has an upper and a lower level accommodations. We stayed in the lower accommodation and it was quite good. It's a very large space with a nice kitchen, heated water and WiFi. It can get hot, so a fan would have been nice. There is a nice backyard garden with some hammocks with a fantastic view. We did see the upper level, which is an entirely higher level of beauty. beautiful furniture and finishing. A lot of thought went into the space. The balcony has probably the best view on the property.
Breakfasts were really delicious.
Charles was super helpful in helping us plan some activities.
First of all he offers a Trail ride to a close-by national park. The first half is on Horseback, the second half is on foot about 45 minutes in total to get to a beautiful waterfall that is completely yours to enjoy. **A MUST if staying in the Arenal area**
Further evidence of Charles' excellent hosting, he booked a zipline for us, and told us about a secret backdoor entrance to a natural hot springs nearby.
Would definitely stay at the Ranch again.
I have mixed reviews about our experience at Parrot Hill. Overall the trip was great with a wonderful location and exciting activities. On the minus side the house wasn't very clean at check in with hair clogging the tub jets, dead bugs in the linens, etc. I recognize it is in the rain forest and there will be bugs but I don't expect to find dead bugs in my sheets at check in.
Our experience until the last day was great. My nephew got up every morning to help with farm chores including milking cows and collecting eggs. The farm hands were great about showing him the ropes and engaging with him. Charles' brother-in-law and sister-in-law were very helpful and went above and beyond to help my nephew on a fairly treacherous horseback ride and hike for an eight year old. The horseback ride and hike was a highlight for the people in my group who went.
The hike to the nearby waterfall took us over an hour in the pouring rain so be prepared that it isn't an easy stroll. We went to the Arenal Eco Center in El Castillo and it was one of our favorite activities in the area. Just make sure you go AFTER you've done all of your hiking. Lots of snakes!!
The main negative feedback is regarding a payment mix up for the horseback/hiking trip. Charles was not onsite at the time so my group paid Adon directly plus a tip. When checking out Charles presented us a bill for the cost of the horseback rides. We told him that we had paid Adon directly but I guess due to some miscommunication Adon thought it was a tip. Charles said he would handle it so we left a larger tip for Adon and thought we had worked out a solution. Later I received an email that Adon was adamant that it was a tip not a payment. Again, the language barrier came into play despite having someone in our group who spoke some Spanish. Ultimately the choice was for Charles to take the money from a guy doing manual labor, making very little, with a family and no car or us paying a second time. We paid up a second time but were disappointed that Charles didn't eat the cost or at least offer to split the difference. Several of us work for small businesses and were surprised by how this situation was handled.
Just make sure all tours/excursion fees are paid directly to Charles and you tip Adon and other guides well. We were sorry for our time to end on a sour note.
We would return and recommend this location to others although with some reservations.
Dear concerned readers,
I appreciate this review and certainly learned an important lesson. Both of us should have communicated better !
We , of course, clean thouroughly and change linens , which is always on our top priority list. However, we will continue to improve . It is possible a bug happened onto one of the seven beds during the day, and although the jacuzzi was cleaned our maid must have forgotten to power the jets beforehand, another lesson learned, no forgetting.
However, in all fairness , Kelli withheld some important facts when it came to the business about the horse tour bill.
What really happened was one gentelman, who spoke fluent Spanish by the way, told my brother in law Adan ,who was the professional guide, that the $100 offered was a ' propina' or tip. He made it clear that it was meant for him alone. In fact repeated several times, in perfect Spanish , 'not give it to Charlie and that it was for him and his family'.
Fantastic , both Adan and I were pleased that they enjoyed the private tour so much. It was a generous expression and greatly appreciated, and
he thanked them on several occaisions during their 4 day stay for being generous tippers . They accepted his acknowledgement and said nothing about any confusion or attempted to correct our perspective at any time thereafter.
All well and good up to that point. I presented the itemized bill ,at checkout, which is standard practice . This is where it got strange!
They hesitated or refrained from paying for the tour! The gentelman's wife told me directly that what they had given to Adan intended to cover the ride (90) which would leave a 10$ tip . Perfectly understandable , said I would tell Adan, no worry, and took off the charge. I considered it a simple case of mis understanding and they said they had a super good time and left without paying for the horse tour... I did not expect them or anyone to pay twice. Who does that?
SO I went back to Adan and we discussed it more thouroughly. He was not adamant about anything, nor was I . We don't work that way. He simply recounted his conversation with the husband ,which was contradictory to what I had been told by his wife. I just wanted to clear up the situation and accordingly followed up with a courteous and respectful email asking them what was their true intention, due to the fact that I was told two stories at the moment they were leaving. I expressedly said 'whatever their wishes were both Adan and I would be fine either way , just to please let me know what to do. ' One person saying one thing the other another. What was I to do?
They wrote back saying to leave the $100 tip with Adan and they would pay for the tour when they got home, which they did, and again with our profound thanks. That was the solution they proffered. I only acted upon their direction and did what they clearly told me to do. They could of easily said otherwise and that would have been just as well. It didn't matter that much to us ,really. It was not a big deal at the time.
To set the record straight, Adan makes a good living, doesn't have a car because he doesn't have a license to drive and futhermore doesn't want one. He could afford one if he wanted, again they presumed wrongly that he is poor. He makes above the standard pay and I provide a profit sharing plan for his future retirement , as well. He owns farm property and a house in Nicaraugra ,free and clear, and has savings in the bank. Of course ,these guest would have no knowledge of this and they jumped to a false conclusion. We have worked together for years , he is happy and so am I. He is family and lives on the farm . He and his family share in the bounty of the harvest.
Now, and in this public forum, this person chooses to denegrate me when I only responded reasonably to a situation they, in fact, created. Therefore, I am obligated to respond publicly if only to let future guest know it was an honest misunderstanding . In retrospect both the guest and myself could have communicated better. Please do not let this unfortunate story be a determining factor on your contemplated stay at Parrot Hill. We work very hard to please and offer first class accomodations. We are in tune with travelers , attentive to their needs and desires. We get it !
Over 35 + 5 star reviews and other comments herein posted attest to this. This vacation guest ranch is our family livelyhood , being our full time endeavor . Sometimes we may make mistakes, and the insect kingdom may not cooperate, but collecting a reasonable price for an admittely wonderful tour is not one of them.
I will take this matter to heart and make sure it doesn't happen again.
What an experience. Charles and his family welcomed us like friends. We enjoyed staying in both rooms The upper space was huge and had a wonderful deck the lower space was smaller and a nice value. Charles was great and helped me plan our itinerary. we hiked to his private waterfall and rode his horses in the rain forest, we milked his cows and drank it fresh from the glass. The meals that his wife prepared were great and the portions were huge.
About the Host, Charles
Married with 4 Kids. Ex business owner (Real Estate) and re invented myself in '99 when I came here and started the Ranch. I love a challenge and I certainly have my hands full.
Wife is from Nicaraugra and has amazing life story. It is of raw survival during Sandinista civil war and living in the jungle.
We enjoy hosting travelers from all over the world. Kid friendly spot ,new friends ,new experiences.