About This Center
Rancho Mastatal is an education center, working permaculture farm, lodge and community rooted in environmental sustainability, meaningful, place-based livelihoods, and caring relationships.
We offer profound, innovative and authentic apprenticeships, residential workshops and guest experiences. We practice, promote and teach about natural building, fermentation, permaculture design, renewable energy, agroforestry and more.
Our campus encompasses more than 300-acres of picture-perfect waterfalls, crystal-clear rivers, idyllic swimming holes, impressive trees, extraordinary wilderness views, and pristine habitat for the area's rich flora and fauna. Visitors and participants have access to over 14 km of trails, an extensive library, our working permaculture farm, and the tireless team who make the Ranch such a unique place to learn.
We are located in the rural farming town of Mastatal, situated on the edge of the last remaining virgin rainforest of Costa Rica’s beautiful Puriscal County. It is a wonderful place to take in Costa Rica culture, practice your Spanish, visit other permaculture projects, or catch a pickup game of fútbol.
This place is beyond incredible. Such a tight knit group of people doing such amazing things. Rancho Mastatal is nestled deep in the Jungle of Costa Rica, I ended up there with a group of Wilderness EMT students and has no idea what to expect but within the three weeks I spent there is quickly became a second home for me. ~ Clara Murray
Venue HighlightsSwimming in the many waterfalls and rivers within walking distance.
Getting involved with the local community at the futbol field, library, or soda.
Taking a tour of one of the other eco-tourism projects in town.
Becoming friends with the hard-working Ranch core team and apprentice team.
Visiting our neighbors at Parque Nacional La Cangreja.
Learning about our sustainability practices during a Day Workshop.
Devouring local chocolate treats from La Iguana Chocolate.
Exploring the 14 kilometers of trails throughout our Private Wildlife Refuge.
Touring the Ranch's extensive campus and permaculture farm and systems.
Feasting on the buffet style meals cooked with care.
Resting in a hammock with one of the thousands of books from our library.
Taking a morning stroll on the quite streets to bird-watch.
Getting involved in a dinner time clean up dance party.
Learning about medicinal plants from leaders of the nearby indigenous reserve of Zapaton.
Helping to harvest ingredients for the days meals.
AccommodationsWe build our living structures using contemporary and traditional natural building methods and locally sourced materials. We construct with bamboo, cob, wattle and daub, light clay, natural plasters and wood and stone found in the area's surrounding forests and rivers and design/build all of our own edifices. We have various options to choose from and will do our utmost to match you with the alternative that best meets your desires, budget and needs. Our lodging rates include all meals except for dinners on Sundays when we support the local restaurant. The price for children over 3 and up to 12 years is $30 per night. Costa Rican Nationals get a 15% discount on lodging.
- Free Parking
- Tour Assistance
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
Menu/CuisineThe kitchen is the heart of the Ranch. It is the place we gather, the place we celebrate, and the place that sustains us day by day.
Our food is sourced from our local and regional foodshed, and each meal is prepared by hand from whole foods. We do not own a can opener. We do not own a microwave. We minimize our use of fossil fuels by cooking on fire, with solar energy, or with methane gas from our biodigestor. We value traditional methods of food preparation as well as innovation and culinary fusion from many practices. Each meal is served with something fresh and something fermented, and most include local or exotic delicacies like pejibaye, ojoche, jackfruit, breadnut, zorillo, starfruit, tropical greens, taro, and many more.
Our kitchen philosophy is grounded in the understanding that every part of food production--from farm to harvest to storage to preparation and preservation—are inherently linked in a food system that we have the power to continuously design and implement. We believe that communities everywhere can create sustainable, regenerative solutions that render the predominant global, fossil-fuel-based food system obsolete.
Meals at the Ranch are cooked from scratch, delicious, and plentiful with the majority of ingredients coming from the Ranch and a variety of local farms. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements prior to arriving.