Country Guide » National Parks
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is located in the northern part of Costa Rica, only about two hours away from La Fortuna, which makes it a popular destination for nature lovers and travelers. For its biodiversity and large marshes, the 25,000-acre refuge is considered one of the most important wetlands in the world.
The refuge is known by birdwatchers and biologists for being home to over 300 bird species, some of which are in danger of extinction, including the Jabiru – the largest bird in the country – which nests only in large trees that have disappeared due to deforestation. Besides birds like the Pink Spoonbill, the northern shoveler and the white Ibis, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is also home to the prehistoric Gaspar fish and over 78 mammal species, including the rare white-tailed deer.
Conservationists have realized that the combination of root erosion due to overflowing rivers, the passing of motorboats and the expansion of livestock has put this refuge under constant peril. Experts recommend to visit the refuge during the green season (May-November) when the rainfall injects new life into the surroundings. The green season also marks the time when millions of migratory birds arrive to shelter themselves from the harsh winters up north.