This guided nature walk will take you into a protected wilderness where you’ll find yourself surrounded by mesmerizing sights and sounds of a large variety of birds and jungle creatures living in two types of forest environments. With over 140 different species of tropical trees and encompassing over 3,000 acres of both dry and wet forest, this reserve provides a drastic contrast of ecosystems that people of all ages find fascinating to explore.
Your tour will begin when you are picked up from your hotel and driven through farmlands, small towns and patches of forest before ending up at the Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve. Your guide will give you an introduction about the land and its history as you begin your walk through the well maintained trails. Bring your camera and binoculars to get a closer look at the wildlife you will see as you venture within these protected forests.
One of the most unique features about the reserve is that two contrasting forests, wet and dry, create a mishmash of ecosystems, providing a diversity of habitats and wildlife living together. This is one of the only places in Costa Rica where you can walk through a forest and see both lush, green trees contrasted with bare, leafless trees. You’ll walk through evergreens thriving in the wet forest and among trees in the dry forest that lose their leaves in order to preserve water in the hot climate.
The contrast in ecosystems not only affects the foliage, but animal life too. It brings forth an abundance of wildlife including sloths, White-faced and Howler monkeys, the White-nosed coati as well as many endangered species that also live here. Your guide doubles as an extra set of eyes to help you find and identify exotic plants and animals filling you with interesting facts about what you’ll discover.
Another beautiful sight to see during the dry months of March and April are the native Yellow Cortez trees as they burst into a huge canopy of yellow flowers that eventually cover the ground as well. You might also be impressed by the towering old growth forest trees that were luckily preserved in the 1960s and are found scattered throughout the property, visible all year round.
When two travelers took up residency here in the early 1960s they fell in love with the property but were sad to see the biodiversity depleted due to the growing agricultural industry. Cherishing the natural beauty of the area, they made it their intention to find a way to allow the affected parts of the forest to self-heal and naturally flourish once again. They successfully raised the funds to buy the land, turning it into a national park and one of the first protected conservation areas in Costa Rica.
This tour includes a bilingual guide, drinks and transportation from Mal Pais, Montezuma, Tambor and Santa Teresa. Transportation for clients staying in Ylang Ylang is not included, clients need to arrive at Sano Banano. Depending on where you are staying, one way transportation from your hotel to the Reserve can take between 20 and 45 minutes. Combined time of hike and round trip transportation typically takes from 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Please bring a pair of binoculars, camera, enclosed hiking shoes, insect repellent, sun block and rain gear. Park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Note: this tour does NOT include the $15 per person park entrance fee.