cano negro wildlife refuge


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cano negro wildlife refuge


Small River Boats can take you into the Rio Frio, pointing out all the wildlife, including the Jesus Lizard which skates across water and was said to be the prototype for the small dinosaur in the Jurrasic Park movie. Be mindful to stop at or shortly beyond the Nicaraguan border, though.


This was one of our favorite tours, and we went on a lot of them in the month we were in Costa Rica. We saw the most animals here all from a slow boat with 3 knowledgeable guides who saw and pointed out many things along the way. We saw 3 kinds of monkeys, sloths, bats, caiman, crocodiles, many birds, iguanas, crabs, turtles and other wildlife. The tour starts from your hotel and when you get to the boat landing there is a small outdoor restaurant where they provide a light breakfast before the tour begins. Then when you return there is a good lunch, too. A great way to spend a day.


Cano Negro is a wildlife refuge near the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. Home to a wide array of wildlife, it is definitely worth taking a nature sightseeing boat tour down its river, the River Frio.Our tour was about 2.5 hours long and our guide easily demonstrated his value by recognizing and pointing out many creatures, large and small. During the trip, we saw caymans, basilisk lizards (that run on water), birds, howler monkeys, and snakes. Each time we saw new animals and birds, the guide would slow the boat and give plenty of time for pictures. The boat was also comfortable and open, but provided shade from the sun. There are no bathrooms on board though.Cano Negro is interesting as well for its status as a semi-private/semi-public refuge. This means that in addition to the wildlife and forest you would see, there are also some farms and livestock along the river that date back to before the refuge was created and are now allowed to continue along the river. Interestingly, the water is also muddied due to the runoff of pineapples from nearby farms.All in all, I would recommend the Cano Negro experience as a chance to see a diverse array of wildlife and the great eyesight of the guides. This experience is definitely worth it.


A slow boat ride along the River Frio where there is so much wildlife to see. guides very knowledgeable and friendly. All followed by a traditional lunch. Don't miss


My girlfriend with her great thirst for knowledge chose this excursion and I'm certainly glad she did! Although it is about a 2 hour drive from la fortuna the guide keeps you well entertained explaining about the agriculture you pass and how it is grown, harvested and where it is exported to. She also taught you loads of interesting facts about Costa Rica although she did lie and say Jurassic park was filmed in Costa Rica. And although from the beautiful landscape you pass it easily could have been, you film buffs will know it was actually filmed in Hawaii! Any way when you get to the boat you do see a great spectrum of Costa Rican wildlife, at least 30 different species of birds, 2/3 different species of monkies, Caymans, iguanas, sloths and lizards! They also had a very good understanding of the animals particularly when it came to describing the birds! Once the trip is done you get a pretty decent buffet lunch before they drive you home.Now I will mention although the trip is fabulous the day we went it was mostly full of very keen "birders" and you have to put up with listening to their first world problems about their "binos", those are binoculars for you and I! Although this wasn't a problem I am not a keen "birder" as I have a perfect girlfriend (her words not mine) and was more keen on the monkeys and sloths which sometimes got shadowed by the demand for the birds. So if you are a keen "birder" this is the trip for you! And if you are not, like me, you will still enjoy the trip! I mean I now know that there is a lot more to a king fisher than being a logo of a popular Indian beer!To conclude if you are keen to see some Costa Rican wildlife this is certainly a great way to do it! You can also choose to do the same tour by canoe.Thank you for reading my review!Mr. Lorenzo


We loved the full-day excursion from Arenal to Cano Negro and the Rio Frio. Our exceptional guide, Walter Hamm Davis [], drove us about 2 hours to the river and boat. He spotted 29 fabulous birds and animals that we would never had seen ourselves in the trees and on the shoreline. We found 3 types of Kingfishers, herons, egrets, the Common and Greater Potoo (very unusual), sloths, anteaters, monkeys, turtles, and much more. Walter's enthusiasm was exciting to us, and we fell in love with this rich treasure of wildlife. In fact, we saw more here than at Corcovado National Park. Going to Cano Negro on a private tour is worth every cent because the birds and animals are often hidden and Walter or your guide can patiently show you the exact location on the spotter scope. It's a highlight of a trip to Costa Rica.


This is a full day trip, tour required. The drive is about 2 hours each way including about 1 hour each way on a very bumpy road in what could be a very full tour van/bus. The trip down the river is about 90 minutes, you can tour by canoe or in a boat. The canoe is obviously more work, quieter, and has fewer people, thus more personal. Basically the canoes travel about 50 yards ahead of the boat so you see much of the same stuff. Lots of wildlife to see caimans, birds, lizards, monkeys, and sloths. Binoculars would be helpful. The give you a little snack when you arrive in the morning and light lunch after the tour before heading home. On the way there you will stop to see some iguanas at a restaurant. The iguanas are in the wild but fed by the restaurant so they are always there in great numbers.


Both our driver and guide (Rosa) were excellent. I would not have wanted to drive that long way myself! It was raining but the boat has a cover so no problem there. Bring bug spray! Loved the iguana stop and the many interesting things we saw on our tour. I think the cost was very reasonable for this informative and interesting trip.


A long bus ride from LA Fortuna and worth it. The guide is very knowing and gets herself well understood. On the road we learned about the fields we went by: pineapple, sugarcane, bananas, oranges, trees for construction. A stop for iguana (dozens of them) photos. On the river a very good boat captain got us all good views of: caymans, monkeys, sloth, many different river birds. And the meal was pretty good too.


The best birding weekend ever! Never saw so many different species in such a short time. And almost all from a boat, just floating through the small rivers and big lakes. Highly recommended for everybody who is crazy about bird watching!


The highlight of our visit here was our Rio Frio river cruise that even included a very brief stop in Nicaragua long enough to take a picture. We saw an abundance of birds and other critters thanks to our great boat guide. We had lunch in the little town near the boat dock and had a chance to wander around a bit to see the locals in action.


Cano Negro is a must see for nature fans. The experienced guides from Canoa give a great impression in a short time. For booking I recommend Alfredo who has a booth next to the Rainforest cafe. Not only provided he a good overview of available tours but also he offered really good rates.


For best wildlife viewing, book a 6am tour with a knowledgeable guide through one of the lodges. Fascinating.


The Cano Negro reserve boat trip was excellent. It is a 7-8 hour excursion from La Fortuna including the driving time and lunch so plan for the whole day. We saw monkeys, birds, caiman, sloth etc. The boat goes slowly and stops whenever any interesting wildlife appear so you can really see it. Great tour.


We found it a bit disappointing; it's a long drive from La Fortuna and we expected to see more wildlife. But maybe our expectations were too high. Boat tour was nice and tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable

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