Punta Rio Claro Wildlife National Refuge Costa Rica

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Protected for 20 years as a Biological Reserve, this land was once known as Punta Marenco Biological Reserve, but thanks to the effort of the owners, it was declared in April 17th 1997, by the government, as Punta Rio Claro National Wildlife Refuge, to protect the rainforest and beach areas in the Drake Bay area of the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, but primarily, for the protection of species in danger of extinction such as the Scarlet Macaw, Squirrel monkey, Howler Monkey, tapirs, Jaguar, Humpback Whales as well as many other species of mammals, birds and sea life.

It encompasses a 500 hectare of growing primary tropical rainforest with miles of pristine beaches. Without roads or airports, the difficult access has allowed this corner of the world to maintain its natural beauty. Punta Rio Claro is your gateway to Corcovado National Park, one of the most important natural preserves in Central America. Punta Rio Claro is one of the last refuges for Jaguars, Giant Anteaters, Tapirs, White lipped Peccaries and a host of other rare rain forest animals. High plateau forest, with trees towering over 140 feet and supporting hundreds of species of ferns, bromeliads and orchids, combines with palm swamps and mangroves to make the refuge a botanists dream.

Punta Rio Claro National Wildlife Refuge is a very discreet place, perfect for relaxing or for experiencing a tropical paradise adventure and get fascinated with the lush flora and fauna, and enjoying the opportunity of partaking in many different exciting activities. Experience adventure tours and sports like bird and whale watching, snorkeling, swimming, horseback riding and more, or simply stay, relax and enjoy the rainforest and wildlife that the refuge has to offer.

During your visit you will have a chance to see monkeys playing around and the noisy Scarlet Macaws, and during the whale season, from June through April, Humpback Whales migrate each year from both the Northern and Southern hemisphere to their breeding grounds just off the coast of Costa Rica. It is one of the most spectacular gatherings in nature.

Punta Rio Claro also has knowledgeable guides of these areas who give tours to nearby Corcovado National Park, Caño Island or walks through the Punta Rio Claro National Wildlife Refuge. Throughout the course of the walk along the primary rain forest trails, you may visit a beautiful creek or a giant tree of several hundred years. The naturalist will point out wildlife and also explain points of interest in the ecology of the rain forest. The trails are relatively steep in places, but the pace is slow. A system of trails through various areas of Punta Rio Claro National Wildlife Refuge, are excellent for bird watching, wildlife observation and exploration. People can expect to see numerous birds such as toucans, parrots and other exotic species as well as various animals including the 4 species of monkeys.

The hike will lead you to the mouth of the Rio Claro (Clear River), a natural fresh water swimming pool right next to the ocean. After arriving to Rio Claro you can continue an additional 20 to 30 minutes along the beach trail to a beautiful beach called San Josecito, where visitors can have a picnic lunch under the palms or mango’s trees.

Punta Rio Claro’s hilltop lodgings accommodate a maximum of 25 guests in comfortable, rustic cabanas, each with private deck, offering a panoramic view of the Pacific and surrounding jungle.

Getting to Punta Rio Claro Wildlife National Refuge:

Take the Interamerican Highway from San Jose to Piedras Blancas until the La Chacarita gas station and then take the exit to the right (dirt road) to Puerto Jimenez, or you can take the exit to Sierpe and then take a boat to Punta Rio Claro Wildlife National Refuge which is south of Drake Bay. The total trip from San Jose takes about 7 hours.

By bus

Take a bus from the route San Jose – Puerto Jimenez, which takes about 8 hours (Transportes Blanco, 2771-4744). From here you can rent a taxi to Punta Rio Claro Wildlife National Refuge, which takes about 50 minutes.

You can also take a bus from the route San Jose – Puerto Jimenez, which takes about 8 hours, and get off at Palmar Norte (Transportes Blanco, 2771-4744). From here go to Sierpe and there take a boat to Drake Bay and then take a taxi to Punta Rio Claro Wildlife National Refuge.

By plane:

You can also take a flight from the Juan Santamaria Airport to the Puerto Jimenez Airport, either with Sansa or Nature Air airlines, both with daily flights. From here you can rent a car or take a taxi to Punta Rio Claro Wildlife National Refuge, which takes about 50 minutes.

Location: Pacific coast, 7km (4 miles) north from Corcovado National Park, district: Sierpe, canton: Osa, province: Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 60503.
Drake Bay GPS Coordinates: 8.690428,-83.664175 (8°41’25.54″N, 83°39’51.03″W)
Size: 405ha (1000 acres)
Punta Rio Claro Wildlife National Refuge Telephone: +(506) 8877-3535
Osa Conservation Area (ACOSA) Telephone: +(506) 2735-5580 / 2735-5276
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192
Website: www.puntamarenco.com

Address map: Click here to view directions from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), Alajuela, Costa Rica TO Drake Bay Puntarenas, Costa Rica at Google Maps

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