- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
This important crossroads village is 21 kilometers north of Ciudad Quesada, at the junction of Highway 4 (running east–west between Upala and Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí) and Highway 35 (north–south between Ciudad Quesada and Los Chiles). There’s a gas station.
Muelle is worth a visit to view the iguanas that reliably congregate in the treetops, seen at eye level from the bridge beside the Restaurante Iguana Azul.
The Reserva Biológica La Garza (tel. 506/2475-5222, www.hotellagarza.com) at Platanar, four kilometers south of the Muelle crossroads, protects wildlife on a 600-hectare working cattle and stud farm with forest trails. Horseback rides (from $10 for 90 minutes) and hikes are offered, and it has rappelling. Day visitors are welcome to use the pool and facilities.
Hotels and Restaurants
Hotel La Garza (tel. 506/2475-5222, www.hotellagarza.com, $75 s/d low season, $85 s/d high season), at Reserva Biológica La Garza and reached by a suspension bridge over the Río Platanar, has 12 beautifully kept air-conditioned cabins with polished wood floors, ceiling fans, telephones, Guatemalan fabrics, bamboo furnishings and paneling, heaps of potted plants, and verandas with tables and chairs overlooking the river. There’s a pool with sundeck and a three-kilometer hiking/jogging trail. Meals are served in a charming old farmhouse restaurant. Delightful! Rates include breakfast.
I recommend Tilajari Resort Hotel (tel. 506/2462-1212, www.tilajari.com, $79–93 low season, $99–113 s/d high season), one kilometer west from the Muelle crossroads, which doubles as a social club for wealthy Ticos. Tilajari has 60 spacious, nicely furnished air-conditioned rooms and 16 newly remodeled junior suites, some with king-size beds. It offers three tennis courts, a swimming pool, a children’s pool, racquetball courts, a sauna, gym, and a sensational whirlpool complex. There’s an open-air bar and lounge, a disco, conference facilities, and the elegant open-sided Katira Restaurant, where chef Manuel Tuz conjures up gourmet nouvelle Costa Rican dishes. Ticos flock on weekends. Crocodiles sun themselves on the banks of the Río San Carlos in plain view of guests, iguanas roost in the treetops, and hummingbirds emblazon the 16-hectare garden.
Getting to Muelle
Buses to/from Los Chiles and San Rafael can drop you in Muelle.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition