Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is a gorgeous protected area in the Northern region of Costa Rica. A magnificent wetland and a wildlife filled river next to it. Now, it simply got better!

Costa Rica’s national park system is getting a major advance with the introduction of fantastic new facilities for visitors to enjoy the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.

A visitor’s centre and a series of accessible walkways crossing parts of the seasonal lakes and wetlands at Costa Rica’s amazing Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge were inaugurated Friday, August 4, reported the National System of Conservation Areas, SINAC.

Howler Monkey at Caño Negro

Howler Monkey at Caño Negro

Previously only accessible by boat, the installations open the wetlands that abound with bird life and other animals to virtually any visitor, including those in wheelchairs, small children and others who may not be able to partake in boating.

Those who do wish to explore by boat are welcome; some fishing is allowed during certain parts of the rainy season. The region is home to the prehistoric garfish.

The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge was established in 1984 and is internationally known as a protected wetlands under the United Nations Ramsar Convention. The lowland zone is warm, with temperatures ranging from 70 – 90ºF.

The refuge is host to record numbers of migratory waterfowl. The freshwater lowlands lake which forms in the rainy season is fed by the Frio River.

Positioned 80 miles north of San José over windy roads and some rough terrain between the counties of Los Chiles and Guatuso, in the northern part of Alajuela province, the park consists of 25,100 acres and receives an average annual rainfall of 120 inches, so bring your rain slicker!

The new eco-friendly-designed infrastructure consists of a visitors centre with bathrooms, an exhibition room and souvenir shop. There is parking for 16 light vehicles and two buses, as well, said the SINAC.

A new pier next to the visitor’s centre gives entrance into the protected area during the year and overlooks the Frio River.

The forests, grasslands and marshes of the area provide shelter for various endangered species including cougars, jaguars, tapirs, ocelots, peccary and several species of monkey – capuchin, mantled howler and Geoffroy’s spider monkey.

In the dry season, the river is reduced to little lagoons, channels and beaches which provide perfect conditions for thousands of migratory birds including storks, spoonbills, ibis, anhingas, ducks, herons, and cormorants.