The most noteworthy old tree of Hacienda Barú that has passed on during our time here was an enormous ceibo tree (Ceiba pentandra) -- known as thekapok or silk cotton tree in English -- that dominated the skies between what are today the Hacienda Barú Restaurant and the El Ceibo Service Station. Its familiar form, tall straight trunk and distinctive umbrella shaped top, was a well known landmark in the area.
The parcel of tillable land surrounding it was known to rice farmers as the ceibo lot. Though it stood about half a kilometer from the beach, it was clearly visible for several kilometers out to sea. The local fisherman used to determine their positions relative to this tallest, most distinctive fixed point while fishing in the vecinity of Barú and Guápil Beaches.
The wood storks roosted in the umbrella-shaped crown of the ceibo for a few nights each year on their annual migration. Barn owls frequented the inner chambers often calling loudly in the night even to the point of disturbing the neighbors’ sleep. Chestnut mandibled toucans made their nests there and at least one variety of bats resided in the darker recesses. Clouds of the small furry mammals poured from a gaping hole in the trunk about 20 meters (65 feet) above ground every evening at dusk.
Our Gift Shop is well known in the area for having a wide variety of gifts. Not only will you find T-Shirts, Hammocks and Jewelry, but also a beautiful selection of Costa Rican made Arts and Crafts. Our policy is to buy (as much as possible) from local artisans who work with local materials of a sustainable resource.