Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

Size: 9.969 hectares.
Distance from San José: 291 kilometers.
Dry Season: January through April.
Trails: Limited.


This wilderness of the park consists of a large lake and marshes surrounding it, made by alluvial sediments. It covers an area of 800 hectares and its 3 meters deep. During the dry season, the lake dries up almost thoroughly.
This refuge is gaining popularity amidst nature-oriented tourists. The reason for this is that the lake fills to the start of the rainy season, with the runoff from the River Frio. This natural phenomenon creates ideal conditions for birds to procreate, so that a bird watcher’s paradise.
The diversity of bird life is amazing in this park, visitors can spot Northern’s Jacana, white ibis, spoonbills, wood stork, Jabiru (which is the largest bird, and seriously endangered), cattle egrets and ducks. The refuge protects the only permanent population of Nicaraguan Grackle, an endemic bird of Nicaragua Lake Basin.
There are also many threatened species that are protected here as jaguars, pumas, ocelots, and caimans, as well as some more common animals such as raccoons, monkeys, wild boars, sloths deer and otters.
The refuge is located near the settlement of Malekus, direct descendants of the Guatuso indigenous who once lived in the area. This reserve is established just 165 km north of San Jose, southeast of the town of Los Chiles, near the Nicaraguan border.