Location: 6 km from Puerto Humo district: San Antonio, canton: Nicoya, Province: Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
El Rosario GPS Coordinates: 10.318925,-85.387342 (10°19’8.13″N, 85°23’14.43″W)
Size: 440 ha (920 acres)
Schedule: 8:00 a.m. at 4 p.m.
Tempisque Conservation Area (ACT) Telephone: +506 2686-4967 / +506 2686-4968
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192
Mata Redonda Wildlife Refuge Costa Rica: created in January 7th, 1994, in order to protect tropical forest and wetlands areas in the lowlands of the Tempisque River Basin. It is located south of Palo Verde National Park in Santa Cruz of Nicoya, Costa Rica.
The Mata Redonda Wildlife Refuge is part of the Tempisque Conservation Area, so it is located in one of the hottest and driest parts of Costa Rica with an annual average temperature of 28ºC. It consists of seasonal palustrine wetland of the fresh-saline mix type and constitutes feeding and breeding habitat for over 60 species of resident and migratory water birds, such as Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis), Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), Roseate Spoonbill(Ajaia ajaja), Wood Stark (Mycteria Americana), Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) and jabiru (Jabiru mycteria).
The flora is very similar to the one visitors can find in Palo Verde National Park, with big trees such as the Spanish cedar(Cedrela odorata), the Pochote (Bombacopsis quinata), the Laurel (Cordia alliodora), the Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa), the Ron Ron (Astronium graveolens) and the Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)amongst others.
The fauna is very similar too, and some of the most common mammals are the Howler and Capuchin Monkeys, Collared Peccaries (Pecari tajacu) and Coaties, besides crocodiles, frogs, iguanas and snakes.
There are no public park facilities at this national forest wildlife refuge. Other nearby Costa Rica Parks include Palo Verde National Park, Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodriguez Caballero National Wildlife Refuge, Cipanci National Widlife Refuge, Corral de Piedra Wetlands, Barra Honda National Park and Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve.
Getting to Mata Redonda 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 and follow the Highway to Nicoya, turn to the right and continue for about 25 km to Puerto Humo and then turn left and continue for 6 km until you get to Rosario town on the banks of the Tempisque. It is possible to reach it in a four-wheel drive vehicle from the town of Rosario to the refuge. 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 and follow the Highway to Nicoya, turn to the right and continue for about 25 km to Puerto Humo and then turn left and continue for 6 km until you get to Rosario town on the banks of the Tempisque. It is possible to reach it in a four-wheel drive vehicle from the town of Rosario to the refuge.
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 Mata Redonda Wildlife Refuge, which is about 25 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 Mata Redonda Wildlife Refuge, which is about 45 minutes.