This remote ecolodge at the foot of Cerro Muchilla is as “eco” as they come, with its own private nature preserve and owners who are committed to conservation. The 1,275-hectare property was purchased in 1974 for farming and logging, but a decade later Jürgen Stein and his sisters persuaded their father to stop cutting down trees and start saving them. The lodge opened in 1995 as an alternate source of income, in hopes of promoting conservation through tourism. The bird-watching here is fabulous, and video cameras in the preserve routinely capture jaguars, ocelots, and pumas on the prowl. The gorgeous superior rooms on stilts offer two queen-size beds and louvered windows, and open onto broad verandas with pristine rainforest views. Solar power provides electric light, hot showers, and a ceiling fan, though there are no power outlets in the rooms, and Internet and cellphone service are unreliable. This is a great place to unplug and commune with nature, and to go horseback riding, hiking, tree-climbing and waterfall rappelling. Meals are served family-style in the rancho, which has ceiling fans but no lighting except candles. To get here, cross the wide Bananito River in your own 4WD vehicle if you dare, or arrange for the staff to pick you up on the other side of the river or in the town of Bananito.
- Frommer's Staff