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.
Today the remains of the old ceibo, whose trunk once measured more than 2.5 meters (8 feet) in diameter, have been broken down by natural processes and recycled by the secondary forest and the cacao plants that now occupy the area around its former base. During the early morning hours of May 11, 1989, it reached a point in its existence when the once strong fibers of the stem, now weakened with age and natural processes, finally let go. The tree came crashing to earth, falling exactly down the rows of cacao, barely fitting between two lines of trees spaced at 3 meters apart, and not damaging a single one. Sleeping neighbors as far as one kilometer away were awakened by the loud crack when the thick trunk snapped. Three of the old ceibo’s progeny, one near the Hacienda Barú Restaurant and two near Bomba El Ceibo gas station, remain in remembrance of the old patriarch who once dominated the skies.
Our breezy open air restaurant allows you to observe the gardens and natural surroundings as you dine. We have five private ranchos for guests that want an intimate setting perhaps for a romantic candlelight dinner or a special family meal.
Our menu is primarily very tasty typical Costa Rican food, but we do offer a variety of dishes for those who either don’t like or want a break from rice and beans.
We offer a selection Costa Rican fruit drinks known as FRESCOS meaning refreshing, soft drinks, a selection of Costa Rican beer, you must have heard of Imperial, wines and other licors.