Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge

If you're seeking a national park experience without the crowds, Caño Negro should be on your list; its excellent birding and wildlife viewing still have an “undiscovered” feel. Long a favorite among fishing enthusiasts and bird-watchers, this remote area is off the beaten track and may be difficult to get to if your time in Costa Rica is short. You can cross into Nicaragua, via Los Chiles, but there are almost no roads in this part of southern Nicaragua, making access to the rest of the country nearly impossible. The border crossing at Peñas Blancas, near the North Pacific coast, is far more user-friendly.

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