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Key Info

South of Fortuna

Price & Hours

$10 for adults
8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily

Details

Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Bird-watchers rejoice: This swampy wildlife refuge houses thousands of water birds, including jabiru storks, cormorants, ducks and roseate spoonbills. This haven sits near La Fortuna and you'll notice an abundance of sea dwellers as you stroll along the Caño Lake and Frío River. You'll also find large crocodiles crawling through muddy swamps and jaguars, turtles and sloths roaming the wetlands. But if you're in Costa Rica between January and April, skip exploring Caño Negro; during these months the lagoon becomes dry and the local sea creatures flock to other places.

Recent travelers praised the refuge's warm staff saying they possess a wealth of knowledge about where to look for the area's rare bird species and wildlife. Many visitors also recommend bringing insect repellent and binoculars. 

The best way to visit Caño Negro – set on the brink of the Nicaraguan border – is on a daytrip from La Fortuna, which sits about 60 miles south of the refuge. From La Fortuna, a variety of full-day tours are available. Past visitors reported good experiences with Canoa Aventura and Arenal Expeditions. The refuge welcomes visitors every day between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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