There’s a new place on the verdant Caribbean slope where you see the rain coming an hour before it rolls through; where horses lead you through jungle brush past 100-foot waterfalls; and marching ants carry tiny yellow blossoms back to the mound every morning at sunrise, when light floods the open valley and reveals a sparkling sea 20 miles in the distance.
Just outside of Siquirres, in the small community of Alegría, FincaMaquengueFalls resort is a place where you can rest in a Jacuzzi tub all day admiring the mountains to the north or keep yourself active with jungle hikes and horseback riding. It’s all about location with this jungle resort, but the owners and staff also do their part in making you feel right at home.
Guests stay in two-bedroom, one-bath houses featuring kitchens equipped with stove, oven and cookware, comfy furniture and satellite television. A front porch with rocking chairs lets you admire the beautiful mountain slope in the daytime or look out over the city lights of Siquirres and Limón as you wind down from a long day of adventuring, wondering if the howler monkeys in the adjacent jungle will get loud enough to keep you awake.
The property presently features seven houses with an area of 90 square meters each, and six more are being built. One night costs $179 for two people, including a homemade breakfast, with an additional charge of $25 a night for each extra person.
Four of the houses on lots at the top of the property are multiple-ownership investment properties. For $40,000, an owner has four weeks per year to use the property, with access to all of the resort’s amenities. Owners receive money back on their investment as the houses are rented to other clients.
The houses have ceiling fans in every room, and are so comfortable that you may not want to leave them; but turn off the television and the sound of wind in the front-yard palm trees will soon draw you outdoors.
Once outside, you’ve got two options: hit the recreation pavilion for a dip in the pool and later soak up the view in an extra hot and bubbly Jacuzzi tub, or head into the jungle for a tour, either on foot or horseback.
Finca Maquengue is home to six waterfalls. Owner René Rodríguez says he bought the property knowing of only two, but four more, possibly never before seen by man, were discovered as his workers began cutting paths through the 35-acre jungle. Altogether there are five miles of walking trails, including an 80-foot-long suspension bridge.
Guided tours of the waterfalls cost $25 a person, including lunch.
You can swim at most of the waterfalls, except for the biggest one because it’s too powerful and there’s not much room in the rocky swimming hole. The natural beauty of the swimming holes is enough to make you feel completely isolated from the world, and you’ll want to pass plenty of time there after making it down the sometimes tricky and always slippery jungle trail to the river. It comes with the territory.
A horseback trail ride costs $20 a person, and it’s well worth it (tall people would do well to watch their heads on the trails when riding past low branches). Ask about taking the horses out for a run on the dirt road and then you’ll have some real fun.
For more information about FincaMaquengueFalls or to make reservations, call 206-5355, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fincamaquenguefalls.com.
From San José, take the highway to Limón through the Zurquí mountains, passing Guápiles, Guácimo and Pocora. Proceed to the flashing yellow light, where a sign reads “Alegría.” Turn right and follow the paved road all the way through Alegría until the pavement ends. Proceed up the dirt road to a fork in the road; turn right at the sign that reads Finca Maquengue Falls/Ojo de Agua. Proceed up the hill to the Finca Maquengue entrance.