Rancho Quemado Development Association

Rancho Quemado Development Association

in Rancho Quemado, Costa Rica

The small 300 person village of Rancho Quemado is located in the heart of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica! Here you will find an inviting and friendly rural community offering a wide range of activities. While staying in Rancho Quemado, you will be able to hike our community-run hiking trail, fish in the laguna, mine for gold, tour a traditional sugar cane mill, or participate in our almost daily soccer and volleyball scrimmages. Additionally, you can easily do day trips to Caño Island and Corcovado National Park. Rancho Quemado is committed to sustainable rural tourism aimed at improving the quality of life for our residents while protecting our natural environment in the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

Right for You?


Connect with Nature, Cultural Immersion, Active Adventure, Off the Beaten Path and Cultural Immersion


$25-50 /person
Approximate price for day trips and activities


Rural Communities, Mountains and Rainforest

Connect with Rancho Quemado Development Association

Locally Owned Community Association
Rancho Quemado Development Association
Ask a Question

Speaks: Spanish

Why Lokal Recommends Rancho Quemado Development Association


Community Association | Locally Owned with 100% local staff

A Unique Story

This community-oriented rural tourism initiative was born out of the necessity to find sources of employment while conserving the natural environment of Rancho Quemado, a town located 15km east of Drake Bay in the scenic Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve, in the heart of the Osa Peninsula.

For many years, this community was characterized by its agriculture and cattle activities; however, as prices for these products fell and production costs rose, its citizens had to find other activities to make a living. Many chose tourism and emigrated to nearby destinations like Drake Bay and Puerto Jimenez. Meanwhile, in the area around Rancho, high levels of unemployment resulted in a series of environmental problems such as poaching, cutting of trees, and more.

Then in 2009, the Development Association of Rancho Quemado along with the support of the University of Costa Rica proposed help design a community hiking trail which would be administered by the Development Association. This was an attractive idea because 'Rancho' already had 25 tourism projects in 3 areas: Food/Lodging, Production, and Tours/Services. These had the aim of improving community entrepreneurs and promoting Rancho Quemado as a tourist destination, working as a community to achieve its initiatives, increase the income of the families, and reduce the environmental problems caused in recent years.

Next began a series of steps to gain the appropriate permits to be able to use the land for the development of the Osa Trail as well as to coordinate trainings of business administration and tourism by UCR, the Corcovado Foundation, INA, and the Neotropica Foundation. Further, the community was able to receive funds from various NGOs like the Corcovado Foundation, FACOSA and CRUSA. Another important development was the program “advancing women” INAMU-IMAS in the community during 2012 which strengthened 16 women entrepreneurs and constitutes the Women’s Hope Committee of Rancho Quemado.

These projects are the result of 2 years of trainings given by the Neotropica Foundation and the Corcovado Foundation financed by the debt for nature swap fund between Costa Rica and the USA. Some of the entrepreneurs are founders of the first rural tourism cooperative in Osa: COOPERTURIC.

It is a result of this that the majority of the entrepreneurs’ projects are already in operation, have tourism experience, and have a clear vision of sustainable development, which will help Rancho Quemado become a new tourism destination in this part of Costa Rica.

Deep Community Connections

With rural tourism an a viable economic option in Rancho Quemado, income of the families has increased and the community has been able to invest in a soccer field and library with computers.

Active Environmental Stewardship

People who used to mine for gold illegally, hunt endangered animals, and cut down the forest have now turned to tourism an as economic alternative. People's mentality has shifted from that of extraction to conservation.


Visit by Lokal Staff

Awards and Affiliations


map marker
map marker
map marker
map marker
map marker

Keep Exploring