Punta Leona National Wildlife Refuge Costa Rica

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Location: 13 km (8 miles) south of Tarcoles River, district: Tárcoles, canton: Garabito, in the province of Puntarenas. Zone postal code: 61102
GPS Coordinates: 9.711847,-84.635911 (9°42’42.65″N, 84°38’09.28″W)
Size: 20ha (50 acres)
Altitude: sea level
Central Offices Telephone: +506 2231-3131
Punta Leona National Wildlife Refuge and Hotel Telephone: +506 2630-1000
Fax: +(506) 2232-0791
In U.S. call us at: +1 888 301-9473
Central Pacific Conservation Area (ACOPAC) Telephone: +506 2416-7878
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192
Website: www.hotelpuntaleona.com

Address map: Click here to view directions from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), Alajuela, Costa Rica TO Punta Leona Wildlife National Refuge in Puntarenas, Costa Rica at Google Maps

Punta Leona has one of the most important reserves on Costa Rica’s central pacific due to its geographic location and conservation plan. It consists of an area of 20 hectares of primary and secondary forest declared a Wildlife Refuge in April 26th 1994, by the MINAE: Ministry of Environment, energy and telecomunications.

MINAE declared Playa Blanca (White Beach) a protected marine land, which is one of the most important and richest ecosystems on the planet where many species reproduce and feed. Its existence is directly related to water resources. Playa Blanca was awarded four stars by the Bandera Azul Ecológica (Ecological Blue Flag) program, the only beach in Costa Rica to achieve this level.

The refuge is of great biological importance because it is one of the few areas that has remained in the transition zone between the dry tropical forest of the North Pacific and the tropical rain forest of the South Pacific. For the last two decades its main function has been as a center for investigation of mammals and birds, as to protect tropical forest and beach areas on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

Punta Leona is considered an excellent place for the observation of birds with more than 330 migratory and resident species; including the spectacular Red Macaw, toucans, woodpeckers, fly trappers, owls, among others. This reserve is also the home of white-faced monkeys, raccoons, kinkajous, tayras, anteaters, spider monkeys, iguanas, coaties and a great number of butterflies. In fact, the butterfly farm of Punta Leona represents a viable alternative to protect species and their habitat, and is an example of sustainable use of natural resources in harmony with a tourism project.

Punta Leona’s Wildlife Refuge has many easily accessible trails that are well marked for visitors. Wake up to the sounds to some of the over 330 exotic bird species living in the area. Participate in an early morning nature walk on our private wildlife reserve, rich in plant and animal life. Explore amongst giant tropical trees and hundreds of fascinating plant species.

Getting to Punta Leona National Wildlife Refuge:

From San Jose take the Pan-American Highway north passing through Atenas up to Orotina. Take the Tárcoles and Jaco exit and follow the coastal highway for about 13 km (8 miles). The hotel is located on the right side of the road, about 15 minutes after you pass over the Tarcoles River. Now you can also take the new Caldera Highway (route 27), taking the same exit to Tárcoles and Jaco and following the same directions until you get to Punta Leona National Wildlife Refuge and Hotel. The Caldera trip takes about 1 hour from San Jose while the other takes about 2 hours.

From Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), drive south on the Pan-American Highway to Puntarenas. From there, take the new Caldera Highway and take the exit of Tarcoles and Jaco and follow the coastal highway for about 13 km (8 miles). The Punta Leona National Wildlife Refuge and Hotel is located on the right hand of the road, about 15 minutes after you pass over the Tarcoles River.

By bus

Take a bus from the route San Jose – Jaco, which takes about 1 hour to Punta Leona National Wildlife Refuge and Hotel entrance (Transportes Jaco, +506 2223-1109).

By plane:

You can also take a flight from the Daniel Oduber Airport to the Quepos 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 Punta Leona National Wildlife Refuge, which is about 1 hour.

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