When Fernando Madrigal was a young boy growing up in Costa Rica, the place that gave him the most happiness was his grandparents’ farm – called Finca La Troya in the Orosi Valley of Cartago.
“I spent practically all of my childhood and youth on this farm until my grandparents sold it,” reflected Madrigal. “I remember that La Troya was a magical place. There was a place at the top of the farm where there was a mountain with primary forest. My uncle, Rodrigo Madrigal Montealegre, would take me, my brother and my cousins walking there. The forest was full of monkeys, sloths, vines hanging from the trees, natural springs full of water and spectacular nature. To me, it was the most beautiful place in the world and I was always very happy there.”
In 2008, Madrigal began to seek out another place of amazing Costa Rica nature to recapture his childhood magical forest. “I went to a prestigious real estate agency in Costa Rica and asked them to find me the wildest place, with spectacular nature, abundant wildlife and plentiful natural springs. We found exactly what I was looking for in the northern foothills of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, which we now call ‘Sensoria’,” he said.
An enchanted paradise it is. On the private nature reserve of Sensoria, rainforest grows thick and wild, sky blue volcanic mineral streams and waterfalls flow bountifully, steaming thermal springs bubble out of the earth, and exotic animals roam freely.
Sensoria, as its name implies, is a place for your senses: to hear, see, smell, touch and taste. The extraordinary Costa Rica eco-tour takes you hiking through their pristine wilderness to swim in hidden waterfall pools and volcanic thermal springs. Madrigal said they created the tour for nature lovers to be able to experience the breathtaking beauty of a rainforest. Trails are as natural as possible and accessible for any ambulatory person in good physical condition, he said.
Sensoria is a unique Guanacaste tour for three important elements – proximity to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and National Park, connection to the immense 163,000-hectare (402,800 acres) Guanacaste Conservation Area, and verdant jungle from the frequent rains on the northeastern slope of the volcano. The region is reported to hold 2.6% of the world’s biodiversity and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Sensoria is one of the best tours for visitors to the Gulf of Papagayo
and northern Guanacaste beaches because it is the closest genuine experience of the rainforest. Madrigal said they protect the fragile ecosystem by limiting the number of people visiting the reserve: maximum 30 persons in a day on two or three different tours.
“This place is easily the most gorgeous place on planet Earth! It feels like a dream here. It’s hard to believe nature can feel so sublime. Thank you for caring for this place and keeping it sacred,” summed up one Sensoria visitor.
How to get there: Sensoria is located north of Liberia and 4.5 km north of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste. The hiking tour lasts three to four hours.