Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and Bird Watching
Includes: Private guide throughout the tour, drinks, entrance to Caño Negro National Park, boat tour to the refuge and a typical Costa Rica lunch.
Depart: 730 am (subject to change & special hours)
Duration: 7 hours aprox.
Bring: Comfortable clothes, binoculars, camera, insect repellent, sunscreen.
Price Per Person: $120 per person (minimum 3 people)
Caño Negro is a renowned wildlife reserve of international importance to conservation, which has become a popular place for tourists who seek excellent wildlife viewing. These amazing wetlands are located in northern Costa Rica near the border with Nicaragua in the cantons of Guatuso and Los Chiles.
The scenery is spectacular and the highlight is the wide range of migratory birds. Here you'll find several species of plants and animals not found anywhere else in the country. Many are unique or endangered. This Costa Rica ecological treasure supports some 350 species of birds, including Glossy Ibis, Anhinga, Wood Stork, Ibis Blanco, Gavilan Caracolero. One of the most beautiful is the Jaribu (large and endangered). It definitely is a bird watcher's paradise.
There are also 3 of the 4 species of monkeys and many reptiles waiting to be spotted on the sand banks. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera because you won’t want to forget the great views of wildlife found here!
The tour departs Blue River Resort at 7:30 am. We pass the city of Upala and drive through the village of Los Chiles over the Río Frío. Rio Frio flows into Cold Lake, Costa Rica's second largest lake that is at the center of the Caño Negro wildlife refuge. We take a short rest at the village of Caño Negro before embarking on our boat tour. In the wet season this takes place on several arms of the lagoon and in dry season (January to early May) on Cold Lake. It’s a remarkable journey to a remarkable place.
More About Caño Negro
Cano Negro Wild Life Refuge is considered among the four most important wetland areas in the world and was recognized in 1991 as a "Wildlife Area of International Importance."
Cano Negro preserves one of the most important humid zones in the country by being the home for many migrant, endangered and commercial species. The reserve is 9,940 hectares, made up of the Caño Negro Lagoon and the Rio Frio. Park land extends out some 800 hectares further. This wildlife refuge represents some of the most important and vital biological areas that support environment quality in the north region of Costa Rica.
Waterways play a big role for migratory populations, especially the birds. During the green (rainy) season from May to October, water from the mountains is plentiful and the Río Frío overflows its banks to form Lago Caño Negro positioned smack in the middle of the flyway for migrant North and South American birds. Millions of birds arrive here to winter over during the dry season beginning in December. The water level falls continuously for the next three to four months until all that is left is the main channel of the Río Frío and the migrants depart.
The Río Frío is a good place to fish for snook, guapote, alligator gar, drum, and huge tarpon (fish stories claim up to 100 kg or 220 lbs). Fishing is allowed in the reserve from July 1 to March 31, license $US 30 from the ranger station in Caño Negro village. There are no established high profile fishing guide outfits currently operating, but if you are willing to round up a boat and provide most of your own tackle, Caño Negro is a well-kept fishing secret.