Only a 10 minute drive up north on the main coastal highway from Canopy Vista is this awesome beachfront wildlife preserve!
Hacienda Barú offers a number of attractions you can enjoy by yourself at your own pace. I fell in love with this place when I first visited Costa Rica in 2004 and met the owner, Jack Ewing, who iis an amazing environmentalist. His book, "Monkeys are Made of Chocolate" is at Canopy Vista. Jack helped convert this 800 acre cattle ranch into a national wildlife treasure of Costa Rica, and Hacienda Baru is now on maps.
Both the guided tours the self guided attractions are open to everyone including lodge guests and day trippers. A day pass is $6.
Butterfly Garden -- One of my favorites! In the Hacienda Barú butterfly garden you will see a representative sample of local butterflies along with some basic information about them. You will walk through the lush tropical vegetation that provides food for the butterflies and the medium on which each species deposits its eggs. In the laboratory you will see how the eggs hatch, the larvae eat and grow, and the pupas transform into butterflies.
Orchid Garden – The Hacienda Barú orchid garden contains only local species. Some orchids are large and others tiny, some are colorful and others plain. You will walk on a winding path through what was once a cacao plantation and which today has been arranged to show you some of the most interesting plants in Costa Rica.
Bird Watching Tower – On top of a small hill sits a seven meter tower. The combined height of the hill and the tower puts the top floor at tree top level, a perfect place for the observation of birds. For the best birding we recommend visiting the tower before 7:00 AM or after 3:00 PM.
Nature Trails in the Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge – The nature trails at Hacienda Barú pass through a wide variety of habitat including primary forest, secondary forest, swamp forest, wetlands, pastures and tree plantations. Some of the trails are short and some long. Some go to the beach and some to the mountain. All of the trails have informative signs with information about the flora and fauna. They will show you a wide diversity of tropical nature.
The self guided attractions at Hacienda Barú are free for lodge guests. For outside visitors the rate is $6 for the whole day. The trails are open from daylight to dark. Special permission is needed for nocturnal hiking.
If you love self-guided tours, indicate this on your "create your vacation" form or contact us.