For people who love to observe wildlife, the Peñas Blancas river offers a short tour with a wonderful opportunity to observe birds, mammals, amongst other common animals native of the area while navigating on the serene waters surrounded by rain forest and unique background of the region.
The big attraction is the easy possibility to see howler monkeys, toucans with their attractive plumage, and large crocodiles make this trip unforgettable.
To enjoy this beautiful river along with its generous biodiversity, we offer 3 options for half-day tours:
Peñas Blancas River:
The Arenal lake has a unique backdrop of the rain forest and the best view of the Arenal Volcano. This gorgeous area is very important to Costa Rica, since it is where 70% of the country's electricity is generated. It's also a driving force behind Costa Rica's green energy policy.
If you would like to visit this area, the best option for you would be to take the canoe tour. There, you will get the opportunity to get close to the flora and fauna that surrounds the area as well as relax in a half-day tour ending with delicious refreshments on the banks of the lake.
The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is one of the most visited locations in the northern section of Costa Rica. Because it is relatively near the La Fortuna area, it makes Caño Negro a perfect destination for a day tour; it takes around 2 hours to get from Fortuna to Caño Negro. The refuge extends to about 25,000 acres, surrounded by secondary forest that's close to rivers, canals, and wetlands, which make it easy to observe around 307 bird species, 78 types of mammals, 30 fish species, 96 reptiles, and around 300 species of plants; they come together to make a magnificent scene.
Because of its large ecological contributions, Caño Negro became one of the most important wetlands in the world. The refuge serves as an important habitat for a great quantity of migratory birds, most of them in danger of extinction. They visit this natural paradise annually, which is declared as the third Ramsar site of major importance in the world. This statement was agreed upon at the Wetlands Convention of International Importance (Ramsar Convention).
The most significant problem in conserving the wetland is the expansion of livestock, which generates caking of the soil and therefore limits the growth of the species of plants and trees typical of the area. Forest segmentation is a consequence of the latter that has become an obvious threat for the reproduction of the vegetation due to the increasing difficulty for pollinating agents to move with ease from plant to plant, as well as animals who act as seed dispersers. Moreover, the loss of the variability of the population of animals is also dire consequence.
In addition, the leaking of sediments into the Rio Frio elevates the water level during the rainy season that, along with the frequent passing of motor boats and the waves they produce, have a hand in the amount of tree fall due to root erosion. Forest reduction caused by the problems mentioned above is known as the “Edge Effect”.
Species in danger of extinction found in the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
The Wildlife Refuge inhabits some species that are in danger of extinction, among them are:
The Jabiru This is the largest bird in the country. It's classified in the stork family and needs large trees to nest in. Consequently, deforestation and wetland drainage had a hand in reducing not only its habitat but also its food resource.
The Rio Frio borders the surrounding Caño Negro and in its waters lives a strange live fossil with ancestral characteristics, known as the “Gaspar” fish. While visiting the refuge, it is possible to observe a considerable population, which adds to the attraction of the area. The Wildlife Refuge is one of the few places where this fish can find its food.
The Pink Spoonbill
The pink Spoonbill, with its unique coloring, contrasts the avifauna of Costa Rica. It is one of the most threatened animals, that, occasionally in small and distinguishable groups, can be seen feeding in the wetlands. The drainage of these wetlands has diminished the food resources of this bird, which usually forages in search of shrimp, crustaceans, and small fish.
In the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, you can find: