Costa Rica Real Estate 

National Wildlife Refuges

Preserving the Species 

 

BARRA del COLORADO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE:
This refuge’s 50-kilometer long coastline has almost a massive array of channels, lagoons, rivers, river islands, forests, marshes and holillo forests. It also offers an ideal haven to some rare and endangered species of plant and animal life. 
Attractions
Scuba diving, Snorkeling, Sport Fishing, Bird Watching, Beachcombing (50 km coastline)
Animals
West Indian Manatee, Caymans, Crocodiles, Gars, tarpons; also tapirs, jaguars, cougars, large populations of howler and white faced capuchin monkeys, ocelots, jaguarundies, and three-toed sloths; rare amphibians. Birds include: osprey, keel billed toucan, neoptropic cormorant, blue great freen macaws, heron, white hawk, great tinamou, curassow, and red-lored amazon. Seasonal birds can include glossy ibis, black-necked stilt, anhinga, American widgeon, northern shoveler, wood stork, white ibis, black-bellied whistling-duck, snail kite, green backed heron, and blue-winged teal.
Vegetation
Holillo forests, marshland
Services
None
Park Size
91,000 hectares (244,770 acres)
Location
Limon Province, bordering the Barra Del Colorado River, North of Tortuguero on the Caribbean Coast

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CAÑO NEGRO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE:
Host to record numbers of migratory waterfowl, this Refuge offers freshwater lowlands lakes which form in the rainy season.   The lakes are fed by the FrioRiver, allowing exceptional fresh water fishing during certain parts of the rainy season.
Attractions
Sweet Water Lagoon, Bird watching – including migratory
Animals
Endangered species of cougars, tapirs, jaguars and ocelots as well as tayras, two-toed sloths, otters and howler, white-face capuchin and spider monkeys.
Birds: glossy ibis, black-necked stilt, cormorants, American anhinga, northern jacana, American widgeon, wood stork, white ibis, black-bellied tree duck, northern shoveler, snail kite, green backed heron, roseate spoonbill, blue-winged teal, Nicaraguan grackle.
Freshwater fish, Gar
Vegetation
Marshland
Services
Information center, picnic areas
Park Size
9,969 hectares (24,623 acres)
Location
Province of Alajuela,  80 miles North of San Jose

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CURÚ NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE:
Established for the purpose of conserving one of the last segments of forest with fauna that are left in the Southeast of the NicoyaPeninsula.  This Wildlife Refuge is one of the smallest sanctuaries in Costa Rica. Despite its small size, it boasts a rich and diverse wildlife – it encompasses five distinct ecological habitats which range from tropical dry, to moist forest, to mangrove swamps and marine habitats. 
Attractions
Scenic beaches for swimming and diving, gentle waves
Animals
Deer, raccoons, 115 species of birds
Vegetation
500 plant species form a part of the ecosystem here. The vegetation is a mixture of deciduous and evergreen species. Some of the trees in these forests include the silk cotton, the Panama and the redwood. Curú itself is the name of one of the trees.
Services
none
Park Size
84 hectares (207 acres)
Location
Eastern part of Nicoya Pennisula, 5 km from the town of Paquera, 142 km from San José.

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GANDOCA-MANZANILLO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: This area has a great diversity of land habitats with some primary forests and with numerous sea and river habitats, including the best preserved coral reefs in the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica. Gandoca-Manzanillo is classified as a humid tropical forest because of the lagoon. The beach here is the nesting ground of four species of sea turtle, including the Leatherback. Protecting all wildlife, particularly those species threatened with extinction or with very reduced populations, this refuge also protects the only natural large mangrove oyster bank in the coastal reef. 
Attractions
Coral reef snorkeling, turtle watching
Animals
Along the reef are lobsters, sponges, red and black urchins, green anemones, crabs, hydroids, sea cucumbers, shrimp and green turtles, and further out, manatees. On land are: tapir, tarpon, cayman, crocodiles  
Birds: frigatebird, brown pelican, lineated woodpecker, collared aracari, chestnut-mandibled toucan, sulphur winged parakeet, red-lored amazon, and ornate hawk-eagle (among the 358 species of birds here).
Vegetation
Forest, grassland, mangrove swamp
Services
Information center, picnic areas, primitive latrines
Park Size
5,013 hectares land (12,382 acres)
4,436 hectares marine (10,957 acres)
Location
Province of Limón, Southern Border, Caribbean coast

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GOLFITO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE:
The terrain includes a chain of mountains and plateaux that plunge abruptly into the sea, forming a jagged coastline with high cliffs. This Refuge is a rugged wilderness area with very heavy rains. The forest in the refuge is thick, very evergreen.  A fairly common palm that grows here is the black palm.  Also there's a botanical rarity found here, the quira (Carydaphnopsis burgeri), a tree that belongs to the Lauraceae family, a very primitive plant. 
Attractions
Wildlife, bird watching
Animals
Collared peccaries, raccoons, white-faced capuchin, spider squirrels, anteaters, jaguraundies, margay cats, howler monkeys, agouties, frogs, snakes and coatis, raccoons. Birds: macaws, brown pelicans, Riverside Wren, Yellow-billed Cotinga, Orange-collared Manakin, Golden-naped Woodpecker, and Baird's Trogon, ibis herons, parrots, and owls.
 
Vegetation
There are some 400 species of trees, many of which are very tall. Common among them are the butternut tree, plomo and purple heart. These species found here in abundance face the fear of extinction elsewhere. The other trees include manwood, silk cotton, bully tree and black palm. A rare primitive plant that is found here is the quira.
Services
Park headquarters and trails
Park Size
1,309 hectares (3,233 acres)
Location
PuntarenasProvince, OsaPeninsula

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OSTIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE:
This refuge offers a rich collection of tide pools filled with marine creatures such as fish, sea anemones, sea urchins, starfish and shellfish. The beach offers the unusual & fascinating sight of transparent ghost crabs, bright red Sally light foot crabs and a variety of lizards. The southeast end of the refuge, near the mouth of NosaraRiver, has a beautiful network of mangrove vegetation, which offers an ideal place for bird watching.
Attractions
Wildlife, marine life, bird watching
Animals
Marine life (above), Baula turtles, Lora turtle, iguanas, crabs, howler monkeys, coati-mundi, many species of birds.
Vegetation
Some regions of beach have a sparse vegetation belt and include mainly deciduous trees such as frangipani and plants of cacti. Also sandy lands that offer cocnut palm, royal palm and piñuelos. Mangroves in some areas.
Services
None
Park Size
300 hectares land (741 acres)
800 hectares marine (1,976 acres)
Location
Province of Guanacaste. Includes the town of Ostional.

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Costa Rica Real Estate 

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