Transilvania Wildlife Refuge Costa Rica

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Transilvania Wildlife Refuge Costa Rica was established on May 22nd 1998 to protect tropical forest areas on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The Refuge is located right in between the Manuel Antonio National Park and Marino Ballena National Park. At just 10 minutes from the Portalon Wildlife Refuge, at one of the most beautiful beaches in the southern zone, the Matapalo beach, which is also a nesting site for the Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). There are no public park facilities at the Transilvania national wildlife refuge.

Getting to Transilvania National Wildlife Refuge:

From San Jose take the Pan-American Highway north passing through Atenas up to Orotina. Take the Tárcoles-Jaco-Quepos-Manuel Antonio exit. Once in Quepos follow the signs that say airport and Dominical. The road becomes a dirt road, follow it for a little over 20 kilometers. You will pass several small villages and across the Savegre River. After crossing the river you will pass through the village of Pasito just before getting to Portalon, then follow the road for 4km to the south. Now you can also take the new Caldera Highway (route 27), taking the same exit to Tárcoles-Jaco-Quepos-Manuel Antonio and following the same directions until you get to Transilvania National Wildlife Refuge. The Caldera trip takes about 3 hours from San Jose while the other takes about 4.5 hours.

There is another route from San Jose through the Cerro de la Muerte. Drive south on the Pan-American Highway for some 135 km (81 miles) to San Isidro. Continue 37Km on a winding, mountainous road to an intersection where you meet the coastal highway. Take the exit to your right onto the coastal highway heading towards Quepos until you get to Transilvania National Wildlife Refuge. The whole journey takes between 4 and 5 hours.

From Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), drive south on the Pan-American Highway to Puntarenas. From there, take the new Caldera Highway (route 27) and take the exit of Tarcoles-Jaco-Quepos-Manuel Antonio. Once in Quepos follow the signs that say airport and Dominical. The road becomes a dirt road, follow it for a little over 20 kilometers. You will pass several small villages and across the Savegre River. After crossing the river you will pass through the village of Pasito just before coming to Portalon, and follow the road for 4km to the south to Transilvania National Wildlife Refuge.

By bus

Take a bus from the route San Jose – Quepos / Manuel Antonio – Ballena National Marine Park, which takes about 4 hours (Transportes Morales, 2223-5567). When you board the bus ask the driver to please stop at Portalon, when you get to that stop, you can walk to the Transilvania National Wildlife Refuge, which can take about 5 minutes.

You can also take a bus from the route San Jose – San Isidro de El General, which takes about 4 hours, (MUSOC, 2222-2422) and then take another bus San Isidro de El General – Quepos, which takes about 1.5 hours, (Transportes Blanco, 2771-4744). Get off at Portalon and then go to Transilvania National Wildlife Refuge, which can take about 5 minutes.

By plane:

You can also take a flight from the Juan Santamaria Airport to the Quepos Airport, either with Sansa or Nature Air airlines, both with daily flights. From here you can rent a car or take a taxi to Transilvania National Wildlife Refuge, which takes about 20 minutes.

Location: Pacific coast, 4km (2.5 miles) south from Portalon, district: Savegre, canton: Aguirre, province: Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
Matapalo GPS Coordinates: 9.3288,-83.954256 (9°19’43.68″N, 83°57’15.32″W)
Size: 97ha (156 acres)
Central Pacific Conservation Area (ACOPAC) Telephone: +(506) 2416-7878
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192

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

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