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All reviews don jose costa rica milk cows horseback riding get away bird watching a great experience my opinion wonderful place three weeks water pressure in the shower an amazing cook meals cooked working farm whole family interesting things nature lovers
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Reviewed 14 March 2018

This was one of the most special places that we visited during our 2 week stay in Costa Rica. Jose and his family are amazing hosts--like none other we've ever experienced, and they are what makes this place so special. They made us feel so at home, like close friends of their family.

Their property is up in the hills, up a gravel road (a little bumpy but nothing crazy--easily driveable with a 4WD), far removed from tour buses and anything else. That is just what we wanted, but I would not recommend using it as a home base if you plan to drive off somewhere every day.

The views are spectacular both day and night (stars!!) and we saw many birds, along with monkeys, coatis, and even tapir tracks in this unspoiled piece of paradise.

The cabins are basic but totally adequate and comfortable and they have everything that you would need during your visit. There is no air conditioning, but it cools off so much at night that we slept with the windows closed and light blankets on.

We were treated to delicious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even our boys (8 and 10), who can be picky eaters, loved the food and proclaimed it to be the best we had our entire trip! After dinner, our boys would run back to our cabin and Jay and I were able to sit and visit with each other in the welcoming open air veranda/dining room. Often, Jose would come and join us--we really enjoyed talking with him about the country, their property, our families, etc. We do not speak much Spanish and he speaks very limited English, but with just a little effort, we were able to understand each other very well and had a great time visiting. It was one of our favorite parts of the day.

Each day, Jose and his son-in-law (also Jose) treated us to some amazing experiences. They tracked us down when monkeys or unusual birds showed up. They took us to milk cows and see the other animals on the farm. But our favorite activity, by far, was the various hikes we took with Jose through gorgeous rainforest to some spectacular, totally private swimming holes, including a waterfall grotto that I still visit in my dreams. ;)

If you love nature and exploring wild places and you are the type of person who might like to skinny-dip in your own private swimming hole in the middle of the forest, then go here!

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Emily G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2018

Jose and Maria were wonderful hosts--so much so that it felt like bringing our kids to grandparents' house for Christmas. Gorgeous views, unique guided waterfall hikes, homemade meals...It was the most enjoyable and relaxing part of our trip. Our one-year-old had fresh milk from the farm three times a day, and he quickly gained weight in three days. Our toddler never had any tantrums in all three days when we were there (miraculous by itself), and by day 2 she said she wanted to stay there instead of going back to California. We were treated like real family members. I only wish I can speak Spanish better. We'll be studying Spanish and definitely go back soon! Thank you, Jose and family!

Stayed: December 2017
2  Thank Mei H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2017

It is difficult to describe how amazing an experience this place was! Jose was a wonderful and incredibly friendly and helpful host and took us on loads of walks, pointing out every single little bird animal or plant! The animals are amazing including armadillos, peccary, multiple types of bird, reptiles, monkeys and sloths! The views are heavenly including tons of rainforest, waterfalls and even volcanoes! Lots of different activities including horseback riding, nature walks and milking the cows. The beds were also one of the highlights. The walks were amazing! We went through lush rainforest, swam in waterfalls and witnessed an incredible number of different species. We saw: nine banded armadillos, blood vipers, other types of snakes, sloths and monkeys, vultures, toucans and hundreds of other types of birds! This was an amazing 10 out of 10 stay that I would highly recommend if you're looking for a once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten. From the beds to the wildlife, to the activities to the views. This was an amazing place!

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank maxchristie2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2017

José y María Isabel were awesome hosts !!

keep reading.
Yes, wifi does not work very well,
Yes, the shower needs some fiddling to get a hot water
Yes, the road to get there could be impressive.

BUT !!!

This is the gem of our travel to Costa Rica. We stayed three weeks in the country and the kids still talk about it.

We felt like family. Really.

We are experienced travelers with 3 kids (6, 10 and 12). José, every day, wanted to see pure happiness on their face.
Birds, river, water fall, horses, milking the cows, silence, fresh air, stunning view, awesome food, unbeatable price, very clean and spacious rooms, they had it all.

We had the opportunity of being alone with them.

If you are looking for peace, in nature, with an authentic family, and you are ready to walk a bit, go. You will fall in love.

If you prefer a Puerto Viejo style with music, shops and buzzling surrounding, pass, you will not appreciate.

Thanks again José and Maria Isabel, you carved a very special souvenir in our memory.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Sébastien B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2017 via mobile

At 1000m elevation on the caribbean slope in between Braulio Carrillo and Poas Volcano (borders a conservation area that is next to Braulio Carrillo) Albergue El Socorro has fantastic birding especially mixed tanager flocks--the most flocks we've seen and 11 tanager species in three hours plus MANY others (not to mention great place for red-headed barbet.) Huge variety of insects including lots of interesting katydids (leaf and lichen mimics) moths, butterflies beetles and fireflies among others. Great place to set up bug lights. Found quite a few species of snakes and frogs, and had ocelot, tapir, and a few other animals on our trail cameras in only three nights. Also saw puma tracks. We went for the wildlife and rainforest and were very happy with all we saw. The food, accommodations and hospitality are as good as everyone says. We thought it was easy to get to. Quiet and not touristy at all.

Stayed: February 2017
1  Thank hugameister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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