Established by former farmer and logger-turned-conservationist Frederico Schutt in 1933, this 106-hectare (262-acre) refuge has a fabulous beach and bay, perfect for kayaking; plus hiking trails leading through forest and mangrove swamps. Named after the indigenous word for the spiky-barked pochote trees that flourish here, the reserve is home to hordes of phantom crabs on the beach, howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys in the trees, red brocket deer grazing in open fields, 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 on building an artificial reef. Visitors can stay in very basic beach-front cabins with solar-power ($30 per person, including entrance fee); meals are $10 each. Call ahead to arrange for lodging, guides, horseback riding, kayaking tours, and early-morning bird-watching walks. The entrance fee is $10.
7 km (4½ miles) south of Paquera on road to Cóbano, left side of road, Paquera, 60105, Costa Rica
Apr 14, 2008
You may or may not see another human being on the trails here. You WILL see all kinds of birds--we saw a black-headed trogon and several turquoise-browed mot-mots--as well as spider and capuchin monkeys, coatis, agoutis, crabs, lizards, etc. And the beach is amazing. This is a real hidden gem.