Country Guide » National Parks
The Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge is located on the lush green exotic Caribbean coast, in the province of Limon, between the Rio San Juan and the Tortuguero National Park, close to the Nicaraguan border. While this is quite a remote refuge, it is well worth visiting for its diversity and exotic beauty. Those with an adventurous mind who enjoy getting really out of the beaten path will simply love hiking its trails and its boat trips.
The 92,000 hectares of the park consist mainly of wetlands and rainforest, home to a plethora of indigenous flora and fauna. The best time to visit the Refuge is during the dry season between February and April. Monkeys, crocodiles, sloths, frogs, toucans, red macaws, and myriads of other tropical birds are abundant in the region and you will not have to look very hard to see them, while the vegetation is very lush green and abundant. The refuge is also a great place to go fishing for its abundant lagoons, creeks and rivers, indeed it has become an important sports fishing destination; snapper, tarpon and snook are the most frequently caught around there, while the river San Juan is teeming with Bull Sharks that migrated from the Caribbean sea. It is possible to rent a boat to go fishing within the park by may you may also rent one in any of the small lodges located along the rivers.
Barra, as the locals call it, is very similar to The Tortuguero National in way of biodiversity; they share the same plants and animals. Officials under the Regional Conservation Unit administrate the parks, but Barra is a lot more remote and receives a lot less visitors for being so difficult to reach. Tourists, especially those interested in ecotourism, are only just beginning to realize the richness of the flora and fauna of Barra. Few lodges are now also beginning to work towards ecotourism but most of their income still comes from sport fishing.
The park can be reached by air via domestic flights from the Juan Santamaria International Airport of San Jose to the airstrip of Barra del Colorado village that is located by the Rio Colorado, actually inside the refuge. Those who prefer the hard scenic way will catch a boat from one of the canals at the north of the city of Limon in Puerto Moin. The trip is an adventure by itself and provides the travellers with incredible sight seeing as the canals go through some of the most stunning parts of the region. Visitors are also treated to the mysterious sounds of the jungle as they travel silently through tropical wild forests. Ultimately, the park is accessible by road, starting from Limon all the way to Puerto Lindo, weather permitting.
Activities in Barra de Colorado Wildlife Refuge
- Boat Trips
- Sport Fishing
- Bird watching