Located at the tip of the Nicoya Penninsula, Cabo Blanco National Park is home to its famous white cape, plenty of bird species warm waters perfect for swimming and fishing.

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve: Where Nature's Legacy Flourishes

Stretching across 3,070 hectares or 7,586 acres, Cabo Blanco Reserve embraces an elevation spectrum ranging from sea level to a gentle 5 meters (0 to 16 feet). Here, a diverse tapestry unfolds, where lush rainforests, sun-drenched beaches, meandering mangroves, and life-rich riverbanks converge. Immerse yourself in nature's wonders along meticulously groomed hiking trails, where each step reveals new facets of this pristine paradise.

This remote reserve shelters a thriving community of wildlife, where nature reigns supreme. Among its inhabitants are elusive margays, jaguarundis, and ocelots, representing three majestic feline species. Overhead, capuchin and howler monkeys swing through the canopy, their calls echoing through the rainforest. Anteaters, armadillos, raccoons, kinkajous, pizotes, and graceful deer also share this pristine domain. As you explore, encounter the enigmatic reptilian world, from the iconic black and green iguanas to whip-tailed lizards and awe-inspiring boa constrictors.

Birdwatchers will be entranced by a kaleidoscope of avian wonders, including scarlet macaws, crested caracaras, magpie-jays, long-tailed manakins, and elegant trogons. Along the shores, witness the balletic movements of brown pelicans, sandpipers, frigate birds, brown boobies, and laughing gulls as they scour for sustenance.

Under the thoughtful stewardship of the Costa Rican government, Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve welcomes explorers from 8 AM to 4 PM, Wednesday through Sunday, with Mondays and Tuesdays as days of renewal for this pristine gem. A well-equipped ranger station provides essential amenities, including public restrooms, ensuring your comfort during your visit. The entrance fee, a modest $12 per person, supports the park's conservation efforts, although overnight accommodations are not available within its bounds. Most visitors choose to reside in the inviting hotels of Mal Pais or Montezuma, making each day an opportunity to reawaken their spirit within the embrace of nature.

Venturing further, you'll discover the reserve's unique location, nestled between tropical dry and wet forests, nurturing over 140 tree species, including the wild plum, trumpet tree, lancewood, and the revered sapodilla, the source of natural chewing gum. A highlight awaits at the reserve's southern tip—the famous white cape, where a congregation of rocks serves as a haven for a multitude of bird species. The reserve's two beaches, Playa Cabo Blanco and Playa Balsitas, witness hundreds of pelicans soaring in search of aquatic treasures.

One final treasure awaits—a beach at the southernmost tip adorned with ancient fossilized oysters and marine shellfish. While these natural wonders are a sight to behold, they remain undisturbed, a testament to the respect and reverence held for this untouched paradise.

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve At a Glance

Region: Southern Nicoya Peninsula
Closest town: Montezuma and Mal Pais
Size in hectares: 3,070 (7,586 acres)
Year established: 1963
Elevation in meters: 0 – 5 (0 – 16 feet)
Private managed: no
Government managed: yes
Rangers station: yes
Overnight facilities: no
Public restrooms: yes
Entrance fee: $12pp
Days: Wednesday - Sunday (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Hours: 08:00 - 16:00
Hiking trails: yes
Boat tours: no
Average temperature range in Fahrenheit: 70 - 90
Average yearly precipitation in millimeters: 2,800 (110 inches)
Habitat: mangrove, rainforest, beach, river

How to get there

From San Jose, take Rt. 27 west to the Puntarenas exit.  Take this exit, Rt. 17 west to Puntarenas and follow all the way to the ferry.  Cross the Gulf of Nicoya on the ferry to Paquera.  From Paquera, take Rt. 160 south to Cobano.  Turn left on Rt. 624 and follow to Montezuma.  From Montezuma, continue south on the dirt road passing through Cabuya and eventually to the reserve entrance.  A four wheel drive vehicle is necessary on this road.

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve Weather

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve, located in the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, experiences a tropical climate influenced by its coastal location. Here's an overview of the weather you can expect when visiting Cabo Blanco:

Dry Season (December to April):

  • The dry season is the most popular time to visit Cabo Blanco Reserve due to its sunny and rain-free weather.
  • Average High Temperature: 84°F to 86°F (29°C to 30°C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 68°F to 70°F (20°C to 21°C)
  • This period offers clear skies, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and beach exploration.

Wet Season (May to November):

  • The wet season in Cabo Blanco brings more frequent and heavy rainfall, especially in the afternoons and evenings.
  • Average High Temperature: 84°F to 86°F (29°C to 30°C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 68°F to 70°F (20°C to 21°C)
  • While rain showers are common, the reserve's lush landscapes come alive during this time, offering unique opportunities for wildlife sightings and vibrant greenery.


  • Cabo Blanco Reserve receives a substantial amount of rainfall during the wet season, with an annual average ranging from 80 to 120 inches (2,000 to 3,000 mm).
  • The rainy season nourishes the park's diverse ecosystems and contributes to its lush rainforests and vibrant flora.


  • High humidity is a characteristic feature of the park's climate year-round, creating the ideal conditions for the thriving rainforests and coastal habitats.

Weather Variability:

  • While the dry season typically offers more consistent weather, it's essential to be prepared for the possibility of sudden rain showers, especially during the transitional months of May and November.

Best Time to Visit:

  • The dry season, from December to April, is generally considered the best time to visit for those seeking drier and sunnier weather, ideal for outdoor adventures.
  • However, the wet season offers a unique opportunity to witness the park's lushness and thriving wildlife, making it an attractive option for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve's climate ensures a dynamic and ever-changing environment, where rainforests, beaches, and rich biodiversity flourish year-round. Whether you visit during the drier months or the wet season, you'll have the chance to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of this coastal gem.

Packing List For Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve

When packing for your adventure in Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve in Costa Rica, it's essential to be prepared for the diverse tropical environment. Here's a packing list to help ensure you have everything you need:


  • Lightweight, breathable clothing like T-shirts, shorts, and lightweight pants for warm and humid days.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and long pants for sun protection and to guard against insects, especially if hiking.
  • Sturdy hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes with good grip for exploring the reserve's trails.
  • Sandals or water shoes for river crossings and wet conditions.
  • Rain jacket or poncho for unexpected rain showers, especially during the wet season.
  • Hat and sunglasses for sun protection.
  • Swimsuit for swimming in natural pools or beaches.
  • Quick-drying, moisture-wicking socks.

Outdoor Gear:

  • Daypack or small backpack for carrying essentials during hikes and exploration.
  • Binoculars for wildlife and birdwatching.
  • Camera or smartphone with waterproof protection to capture memories.
  • Reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during outdoor activities.
  • Insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries for evening activities or cave exploration.

Cave Exploration Essentials (if applicable):

  • Closed-toe shoes with good grip for cave exploration (if not renting specialized cave shoes).
  • Helmet with a headlamp attachment for guided cave tours.
  • Knee and elbow pads for added comfort while maneuvering through cave passages.
  • Spare clothes to change into after cave exploration, as it can be muddy and wet inside.

Travel Documents:

  • Passport and visa (if required).
  • Photocopies of important documents, stored separately from originals.
  • Travel insurance information.
  • Maps or GPS device for navigation if self-driving.

Personal Items:

  • Personal toiletries, including eco-friendly options to minimize your environmental impact.
  • Medications and a basic first-aid kit.
  • Any necessary prescription medications.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with sun protection.
  • Travel-size hand sanitizer.

Money and Security:

  • Cash in the local currency (Costa Rican Colón) for small purchases and markets.
  • Credit/debit cards for larger expenses.
  • Travel wallet or money belt for added security.


  • Travel adapters and chargers for your electronic devices.
  • Power bank for keeping your devices charged on the go.


  • Spanish phrasebook or language translation app for communication.
  • Reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic waste.
  • Travel umbrella or lightweight rain poncho.
  • Sense of adventure and curiosity to fully embrace the beauty and challenges of Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve!

Remember to adjust this packing list based on the specific season you'll be visiting and the activities you plan to engage in. With the right gear and essentials, you'll be well-prepared to explore the lush rainforests, sun-kissed beaches, and captivating wildlife of Cabo Blanco Reserve. Visit our packing list for more ideas.

Fun Fact: The blanco part of the name Cabo Blanco is a result of a section of cliffs and rocks which are permanently colored white due to bird droppings.

Nearby Destinations

Malpais-Santa Teresa7 km
Montezuma17 km
Tambor28 km


Latitude: N 9° 35' 11.51"
Longitude: W 85° 5' 35.95"

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