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Fodor's Costa Rica 2014
Curú National Wildlife Refuge
Curú National Wildlife Refuge Review
Established by former farmer and logger-turned-conservationist Frederico Schutt in 1933, Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Curú was named after the indigenous word for the pochote trees that flourish here. Trails lead through the forest and mangrove swamps, where you see hordes of phantom crabs on the beach, howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys in the trees, and plenty of hummingbirds, kingfishers, woodpeckers, trogons, and manakins (including the coveted long-tailed manakin). The refuge, classified as a Blue Flag project, is working to reintroduce spider monkeys and scarlet macaws into the wild, as well as building an artificial reef. Visitors can stay in simple beach-front cabins with solar-power ($30 per person); meals are $10 each. Call ahead to arrange for lodging, guides, horseback riding, kayaking tours, and early-morning bird-watching walks. Even overnight guests have to pay the $10 entrance fee.
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