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Cipanci Wildlife Refuge Costa Rica: created on March 28th, 2001, in order to protect tropical forest, wetlands and mangroves ranging from Bebedero River to the confluence of Lajas, and from the Toro Island, on the mouth of the Tempisque River, to the mouth of the Charco River, and in order to hence the breeding of aquatic and terrestrial birds, fish, shrimp and reptiles, located between the cantons of Nicoya and Cañas in Guanacaste province.
These mangroves in general, plays a major role in maintaining ecological balance and biodiversity of their environment, fulfilling a critical role in providing power to tropical estuarine systems.
At Cipanci National Wildlife Refuge is possible to find a wide variety of birds, both aquatic and terrestrial, as the Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao), the Great Curassow (Crax rubra), the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), the American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), the American Darter (Anhinga anhinga), the Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) and the Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria), the largest storks in the world. Moreover, within the common fauna found some mammals such as howler and capuchin monkeys, coatis, collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu) and squirrels, as well as frogs, iguanas, snakes and crocodiles, this being the most representative species of the site.
The Cipanci National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Tempisque-Arenal Conservation Area, so is in one of the hottest and driest parts of Costa Rica, with an average annual temperature of 28ºC. The flora is typical of the area, with more than 750 species of plants and a wide range of tree species such as the Pochote (Bombacopsis quinata), the Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa), the Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), the Ron Ron ( Astronium graveolens) and the Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata), among others.
Finally, the Cipanci National Wildlife Refuge is undoubtedly a buffer zone of protected wilderness areas, as well as an important nesting site for birds, not forgetting that it is a Tempisque protection zone. Besides, the refuge also offers a boat tour service through the Fishermen’s Association of Nispero community (Asociación de Pescadores de la comunidad del Nispero). It also has several programs for environmental education and forest fires, management, control, protection, research and volunteerism. Other nearby Costa Rica parks includes Palo Verde National Park, Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve, Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodriguez Caballero National Wildlife Refuge , Barra Honda National Park and Palustrino Corralde Piedra Wetlands.
Getting to Cipanci Wildlife Refuge:
From San José, take the Pan-American Highway north to the junction of the road to La Amistad Bridge on the River Tempisque, turning toward the bridge. Now you can also take the new Caldera Highway to Puntarenas and then follow the Pan-American Highway.
From Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR), drive south to the junction of the road to La Amistad Bridge on the River Tempisque, turning toward the bridge.
Take a local bus from San Jose – Nicoya through Tempisque, which takes about 4 hours making the stop at La Amistad Bridge (Empresa Alfaro-Tracopa, +506 2222-2666 / +506 2685-5032). From here you can take taxi to Cipanci Wildlife Refuge, which is about 15 minutes.
You can also take a flight from the Juan Santamaria Airport to Daniel Oduber Airport, either with Sansa Airlines or Nature Air every day. From here you can rent a car and drive, or take a bus or taxi to Cipanci Wildlife Refuge, which is about 45 minutes.
Location: district: Bolsón, canton: Santa Cruz, province: Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 50302.
La Amistad Bridge GPS Coordinates: 10.247719,-85.22645 (10°14’51.79″N, 85°13’35.22″W)
Schedule: 8:00 a.m. at 4 p.m.
Arenal-Tempisque Conservation Area (ACAT) Telephone: +506 2695-5180 / +506 2695-5908
Tempisque Conservation Area (ACT) Telephone: +506 2686-4967 / +506 2686-4968
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192