Our initial plan when headed to the southwest and Peninsula de Pedernales was solely to use this mountainside retreat as a base for our explorations. But within an hour of our arrival we quickly canceled a day’s worth of plans in order to spend more time in this Never Never Land-like abode.
El Rancho Platon really does feel like a luxuriously adult version of Peter Pan’s dreamland. An element of fantasy was so present to me as I toured its jungled acres that I felt as if at any minute a fairy would appear to sprinkle me with pixie dust. Choose between staying in tree-house suites or bamboo-sheltered studios, or find yourself in the main house (where we stayed), which features its own private waterfall! Included in the per-person price are three spectacular meals a day, and for a little bit more you can enjoy a wide array of guided activities from horseback riding, to hiking, to tubing the breathtakingly fast (and beautiful) river that runs through the grounds. The hotel also features spa services that, after our long and bumpy ride, our party took full advantage of and could not recommend more.
Currently, El Rancho Platon features 10 rooms, but can sleep up to 50 people. Many of the rooms feature bunk beds making this spot ideal for families (some individual rooms can sleep up to 8). The entire resort can be rented out for events and reunions (can you say party?!?!) or reserve by the room for a wonderfully seclusive experience (only 1 other couple was staying here the entire time we were visiting… Pretty romantic!).
Here are the specs:
The Pros: Impeccable grounds, unique room features, amazing food, the list goes on and on! There aren’t a lot of places to stay in the region, but this is a great option. Well-located for side trips to Bahia de las Aguilles, Parque National Jaragua, Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahorunco, Polo, Los Patos & Lago Enriquillo, you’ll want to make sure you leave at least one full day to enjoy the property itself. We spent our day at Rancho Platon tubing and climbing a beautiful waterfall. Both of these activities turned out to be highlights of our trip and I couldn’t honestly tell you to visit this place without trying them out.
The Cons: It takes a long time to get here (about 40 minutes off the main road) and it’s a bumpy ride. However, plans are currently in the works for improving the road and anyways, they don’t call it eco-adventure tourism for nothing! My one gripe: our a/c broke on the last day which made for a bit of a sweaty evening. Also, bring your bug spray! You are in the jungle, after all.
Overall: DO NOT MISS EL RANCHO PLATON. I would make the trip to the island just for this one stop. It is entirely different from what most tourists experience in this country, and 100% worthy of your business.