The Rancho de Moncho is a charming rustic wooden cabin high on the slopes of the Volcano Tenorio in Bijagua de Upala in the northern zone of Costa Rica’s Alajuela province.
Set on the edge of the rainforest among flowers and pastures, it offers sweeping views of the valley and the Miravalles Volcano to the west. On the clearest days, Lake Nicaragua can be seen to the north. Tropical birds, from toucans to hummingbirds, are frequent visitors and howler monkeys are often heard.
The powder-blue Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano National Park are nearby. Several other national parks and wildlife preserves are within reach for day or overnight trips, including the active Volcano Arenal. The beaches of northern Guanacaste are two hours away.
The Rancho de Moncho is owned by a local Costa Rican family. It is technically not a rancho, which would have a palm-leaf roof, but a cabaña or cabin. It’s named for the family patriarch, the late Don Ramón Zúñiga, one of the founders of Bijagua. (Moncho is a traditional nickname for Ramón.)