Reserva Los Campesinos is in an isolated community about an hour and a half inland from the beaches of Manuel Antonio. Just beyond Londres, about 45 minutes from Manuel Antonio, there's an incredibly beautiful but unpaved road that will take you to the village of Quebrada Arroyo and Reserva Los Campesinos in another 45 minutes.
Exploring the rainforestOnce you're there, you have a delicious tropical snack, then your campesino guides lead you uphill through their rainforest reserve, stopping often to talk about the traditional uses of different flowers, trees and plants. Almost everything is used for food or medicine--they also show you which plants they used to make into toys when they were kids. The wide, round leaves of one tree make terrific pinwheels. When we were there, Don Misael deftly shaved off part of the stiff hairs on "monkey's comb" pods with his machete, making monkey faces on the pods to give to the kids.
Halfway up the trail, at the edge of a deep gorge, is an andarivel, a sturdy metal box suspended from a cable. Four people can fit inside the contraption, which zips 75 feet across to the other side of the gorge, controlled by ropes and pulleys that the guides handle. It's a quick and exciting ride.
Not long after that, you'll reach the covered lookout at the top of the ridge, from where you can see the coast south of Manuel Antonio.
Waterfalls and swimming holes!Fresh fruit grown in the village awaits you when you come down from the forest, and then those brave enough can walk across a narrow 380-foot suspended bridge that offers a view of the village's spectacular waterfall. At the other end of the bridge is a large waterfall-fed swimming hole, refreshingly cool after our long walk. It's paradise! Back at the lodge, your lunch might feature heart of palm, freshly harvested that morning. In the afternoon, your can take the easy Los Olivos trail, a short walk from the cabins, to where three waterfalls meet in another beautiful swimming hole in a stunning gorge.
Overnight at Los CampesinosAfter a delicious dinner, retire to your spacious cabins, overlooking a forested gorge.
If you'd like, stay another day to enjoy this beautiful place. Visit the village to see the trapiche, or traditional sugar mill, at Don Victor's farm. Then enjoy a tasty barbecue with Don Victor and his family.
4-wheel drive is necessary and you must make reservations in advance. If you don't speak Spanish, it's best to go with a translator (see options below).
Options:Drive in and out: We can set you up with a bilingual naturalist guide/driver and with 4WD transportation for this part of your trip.
Hike in and out: If you like, you can also hike in with a guide.
Drive in, raft out: Your guide can drive you to Los Campesinos, in the morning. Hike in the reserve, swim in waterfall pools, and spend the night. The next morning, hike about an hour to the Savegre River, which you cross on a pulley line. On the other side, you'll be picked up by a jeep that will take you further upstream to the putting-in spot for the rafting tour.
At the end of the rafting tour, you'll have a hearty lunch at El Silencio, a community near the river. Your guide will pick you up and you'll continue on your way. The rafting option is for people over 9 years old.
What our travelers are sayingLos Campesinos was a real adventure for us and our two children, ages 9 and 7..... we felt fortunate to see a bit of Costa Rica that few see ... the people were wonderful, the location on the ridge was superb, the accommodation and food were just right for the setting ... great!
I think every tourist needs to spend at least a day at Los Campesinos; what an incredible place!