- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Preserve
Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Preserve Review
Conquistadores named this area Cabo Blanco on account of its white earth and cliffs, but it was a more benevolent pair of foreigners—Nicolas Wessberg and his wife, Karen Mogensen, arriving here from Sweden in the 1950s—who made it a preserve (Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco, in Spanish). Appalled by the first clear-cut in the Cabo Blanco area in 1960, the pioneering couple launched an international appeal to save the forest. In time their efforts led not only to the creation of the 12-square-km (4½-square-mile) reserve but also to the founding of Costa Rica's national park service, the National Conservation Areas System (SINAC). Wessberg was murdered on the Osa Peninsula in 1975 while researching the area's potential as a national park. A reserve just outside Montezuma was named in his honor. A reserve has also been created to honor his wife, who dedicated her life to conservation after her husband's death.
Informative natural-history captions dot the trails in the moist evergreen forest of Cabo Blanco. Look for the sapodilla trees, which produce a white latex used to make gum; you can often see V-shape scars where the trees have been cut to allow the latex to run into containers placed at the base. Wessberg cataloged a full array of animals here: porcupine, hog-nosed skunk, spotted skunk, gray fox, anteater, cougar, and jaguar. Resident birds include brown pelicans, white-throated magpies, toucans, cattle egrets, green herons, parrots, and blue-crowned motmots. A fairly strenuous 4-km (2½-mile) hike, which takes about two hours in each direction, follows a trail from the reserve entrance to Playa Cabo Blanco. The beach is magnificent, with hundreds of pelicans flying in formation and paddling in the calm waters offshore—you can wade right in and join them. Off the tip of the cape is the 698-square-meter (7,511-square-foot) Isla Cabo Blanco, with pelicans, frigate birds, brown boobies, and an abandoned lighthouse. As a strict reserve, Cabo Blanco is open only five days a week. It has restrooms and a visitor center but no other tourist facilities, and overnight camping is not permitted. Rangers and volunteers act as guides. This is one of the hottest parks in the country, so be sure to bring lots of water with you.
- Address: 10 km (6 miles) southwest of Montezuma via Cabuya, 60111
- Phone: 2642–0093
- Cost: $10
- Hours: Wed.–Sun. 8–4.
- Location: Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Preserve
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
Diving amongst a vast school of hammerhead sharks in the Cocos Island of Costa Rica is accessible to experienced scuba divers or to the general traveller aboard a dive submersible. Read more
Pat Hewitt of Costa Rica Travel Exchange planned our great trip to Costa Rica. Read more
I am having a difficult time deciding on an itinerary for our 8 days in costa rica. Read more
· News & Features
Officials plan to close Costa Rica's two public zoos and free animals due to environmentalist criticism. ... Read more
Do you dream about going snout-to-snout with a bear, or at least observing a bear from a safe and responsible... Read more
Costa Rica's main draws are firmly rooted in its landscapes—rainforests, beaches, mountains, and... Read more