Ecotourism in Costa Rica. Today one of the most important Ecotourism destinations around the world.

Want to travel to see Costa Rica’s wildlife and birdwatching?

With the experience of Renzo Sturmo, an Italian guy ingrained in Costa Rica for +30 years, offer private and customized birding tours around Costa Rica. Enquire direct by visiting

birding experience in Caño Negro

Tourism in Costa Rica is all about ecotourism. Costa Rica was one of the first countries around the world to promote itself as an ecotourist country.

Wildlife in Costa Rica is everywhere, and conversation politics are solid with responsible tourism making this country a place to visit.

According to the online magazine Global Green Travel, “…Costa Rica has been ranked among the world’s best ecotourism destinations on more than one occasion…”.

What makes Costa Rica a prime worldwide ecotourism destination?

Costa Rica is a small country. Only 51,100 km2. This is less the West Virginia, and smaller than Ireland or Latvia.

But with a huge richness in biodiversity. 5% of the earth’s biodiversity is in Costa Rica. More than 850 species of birds are resident in Costa Rica, 240 species of mammals (equal to 6% of the rest of the world), 1500 different species of Butterfly and 12 000 different species of moths, about 245 species of reptiles, over 1,300 discovered species of orchids growing in Costa Rica. Some scientists estimate that there could be up to 300,000 different insect species in Costa Rica. So far, only around 35,000 have been recorded. And so on. Numbers are staggering.

If Ecotourism is part of your life, it will be difficult to get bored in Costa Rica.

And finally, Costa Rica has 12 of the planet’s 18 different life zones, providing a huge range of climates.

Want to travel to see Costa Rica’s wildlife and birdwatching?

With the experience of Renzo Sturmo, an Italian guy ingrained in Costa Rica for +30 years, offer private and customized birding tours around Costa Rica. Enquire direct by visiting

Bird watching tour costa rica

Protected areas of Costa Rica

Today about 25% of the territory is a protected area. 28 national parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 32 protected zones, 15 wetland areas/mangroves, 11 forest reserves and 8 biological reserves, as well as 12 other conservation regions that protect the distinctive and diverse natural habitats found throughout the country. It will be easy to make ecotourism in Costa Rica
Among all these places, the National Wildlife Refuge of Caño Negro (Cano Negro Refuge) is a top 3 destination you must see for great ecotourism in Costa Rica.

Ecotourism in Costa Rica
The National Refuge of Cano Negro.

Cano Negro refuge is a small protected area dominated by seasonal wetlands. Beside the refuge of Caño Negro is a small area (10.000 hectares), wetlands and forest around this refuge extend from the base of the Tenorio Volcano to the Nicaragua lake.
In Cano Negro you will find seasonal lagoons, rivers and creeks, forests and other interesting ecosystems that provide a wonderful location to experiment ecotourism in Costa Rica.
this variegated ecosystem makes Caño Negro an exceptional place for various species of animals, such as +150 birds, caimans, turtles, crocodiles, iguanas, jaguars, sloths, and 3 species of monkeys.

For nature lovers is easy to get a lot of fun during a boat tour in Caño Negro.

Things to do in Caño Negro Refuge – Costa Rica

Ecotourism activities in Costa Rica at Cano Negro Refuge are mostly by boat. Remember, this is a wetland, and all the action is along the river and lagoons. A boat tour in Cano Negro is the best way to enjoy nature and get very close to it.
Wildlife in Caño Negro is everywhere, so of course, during every activity, you will see caimans, iguanas, basilisks, and birds.

But special activities are birdwatching and photography.
According to, the National Refuge of Caño Negro is one of the best birding hotspots in Costa Rica. With more than 150 species of birds, a 2 nights stay and at least 2 boat tours in Caño Negro are a must.

The Refuge of Caño Negro
Why stay at Hotel de Campo

The best hotel option in town is Hotel de Campo.

This hotel is located just in front of the refuge of Caño Negro, and is inside an open and natural tropical botanical garden, with more than 100 species of trees.
From shorebirds and kingfishers in front of the lagoon to warblers, wrens and tanager inland.
This tropical botanical garden is home to dozens of birds, and a place where spider monkeys come to feed almost every day.

Ecotourism in Costa Rica

Hotel de Campo is an ecotourism hotspot inside this ecotourism destination in Costa Rica.
At Hotel de Campo in Caño Negro, cooking healthy food is also a must. This is the reason why Hotel de Campo is a small family farm. They grow chicken for the fresh eggs that they serve with breakfast, and they also make fresh Italian tagliatelle. They grow sheep for organic lamb meat. They have a couple of cows for fresh milk and a small cheese production. Most of the fruits come from the garden and are used for fresh natural fruit juice and for the marmalade that you eat for breakfast. As much as possible they buy other products locally.

Costa Rica travel tips for the refuge of Cano Negro

Costa Rica and the refuge of Cano Negro are full of nature. Wildlife is everywhere. But while life is not always at your fingertips.

Eventually, wildlife doesn’t like us, and it stays far.

When you travel to Costa Rica for Ecotourism, be sure to have with you some important items.

  1. A good pair of binoculars. Yes, nature is far away to see. Our animals are small, and a good pair of binoculars is one of the best investments when you visit Costa Rica.
  2. A good camera. Even if you are not an expert in pictures, try to avoid cell phones. Yes, they make nice pictures, especially panoramic pictures. But is not enough to take a nice souvenir back home. Can be at least a bridge camera, with a zoon of at least 400mm.
  3. This is mostly for birdwatchers. A nice speaker. In Costa Rica, you will find a large number of birds that answer well to a recall. This will make your birding life better and easy.
  4. Rubber boots. Especially during the rainy season, go like locals. We use rubber boots because they are the best choice. They dry fast, you can clean them easily, and they are cheap.
  5. DO NOT flip-flops, especially when you are visiting nature. You may see locals on flip-flops walking in a forest. But they are local! you not! Use rubber boots!
  6. Mosquito repellent. There is no need to bring a fancy mosquito repellent from home. We have it here and they work well.
  7. Burning plaquettes. You will find mosquitos (more or less depending on the season and the place) everywhere in Costa Rica. The best option to avoid mosquitos during the night in your room is using a burning plaquette. Easy to use, easy to carry, cheap, you can buy it everywhere.

Are You Interested In A Birding Tour To Costa Rica and Caño Negro?

To make a reservation for a birding experience in Caño Negro, you can contact Hotel de Campo Caño Negro directly. It offers packages for birdwatchers, or you can request a special one. Scroll down, and look at the option Hotel de Campo Caño Negro is offer you.

In case you are looking for a vacation package to go birding around Costa Rica, you can contact Birding Costa Rica Tours with Renzo Sturmo.

Ecotourism experience in Caño Negro

Looking for full day Caño Negro boat tour?

You are in vacation in Costa Rica. Why the rush?

Instead of a stressful full day caño negro boat tour from Arenal, you better drive to Caño Negro, and spend at least 1 night here. To experience Caño Negro, and have a unique caño negro tour, at least 1 night is our recommendation.


Because is the best way to enjoy a full day caño negro boat tour. Have a good dinner, sleep nicely at Hotel de Campo, and wake up in the morning in Caño Negro ready for a boat tour.

The 3 days - 2 nights Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Boat Tour is one of the most sold vacation packages. With this offer, you will be sure to receive a full experience Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. And also, and this is a major point, with Hotel de Campo we guarantee you will be visiting the Original Caño Negro.

Birdwatcher/photography vacation packages

From 2 to 4 nights customizable options

#1 Best Agami Heron Birding Costa Rica Vacation Package is our #1 sold package. It is fit for any birdwatcher and/or photographer that has a short time during their vacation in Costa Rica. This affordable vacation package at Hotel de Campo, located just in front of the lagoon of the National Wildlife Refuge of Caño Negro, you will have up to 8 hours of tours for birding in Costa Rica, or taking the best shot of your vacations.

This prime vacation package for your vacation in Costa Rica is directly offered by Hotel de Campo. After many years of experience, we design this package. Eventually, it becomes the first choice for those tourists that love birding and photography but also like some free time for themself. The more time you spend on a boat tour at Caño Negro Refuge, the more chances you have to spot the bird that you are looking for, or to take the best shot of your vacation.

Contact us

Original Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

If you have any other questions about your vacation in Costa Rica and would you like to visit Caño Negro please write to us

    Capuchin NATURELOVER post

    Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge Facts

    Things to do in cano negro?

    The National Wildlife Refuge Caño Negro location is a very well know destination in Costa Rica for nature lovers who want to spot wildlife, and for birdwatchers / photographers. This is a prime hotspot for wildlife and birdwatching.

    For information you can visit:

    How to go to Caño Negro Refuge

    The National Wildlife Refuge Caño Negro location is on the northern plains of Costa Rica, between Los Chiles and Upala. The road that communicates the National Wildlife Refuge Caño Negro is the 138. from Arenal (La Fortuna) is about 2:30 hrs, From Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí is about 2:45 hrs, and from Tenorio Volcano about 1:45.

    Here you can find a few caño negro costa rica map to follow. If you have any doubt, please contact us.

    From La Fortuna to Caño Negro
    How do I reach Caño Negro Refuge

    From Bijagua to Caño Negro Refuge
    How to I go to Caño Negro

    From Tenorio Volcano to Caño Negro Refuge
    caño negro costa rica map

    From Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí to Caño Negro Refuge
    caño negro location

    What do I Need to Pack for Caño Negro - Costa Rica?

    For an eco-tour vacation, I do recommend bringing clothes that dry fast and wick away moisture, good walking shoes, lots of sunscreen and mosquito repellent, sunglasses, a hat, a microfiber towel, and an insulated water bottle.
    If you’re visiting in the rainy season, then we recommend bringing a waterproof rain jacket and a waterproof backpack or rain cover.

    When is Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge open?

    Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge open is always open, 365 days per year. Just drive there, and enjoy the wildlife.

    Do you need to book in advance to visit Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge?

    No, you don’t need to book in advance the entrance for Cano Negro Refuge, but you should book in advance at Hotel de Campo Caño Negro, especially in high season from November to April.

    Best time to visit cano negro?

    The best time of the year to explore the National Wildlife Refuge Caño Negro does depend on what you are looking for. Eventually, every day is the best time to visit Caño Negro. So let me ask you… What do you expect from Caño Negro? Why would you like to explore Caño Negro Refuge?
    At the time to decide on visiting Caño Negro, or at the time to ask us about a stay in Caño Negro, this information is very important.

    What is the best time to visit Caño Negro?

    Where is the Best Place to Visit in Costa Rica for birdwatching and photography?

    One of the best places to visit in Costa Rica for a nature lover, or a more specialized birder and photographer is Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Here you can enjoy special Vacations in Costa Rica birdwatching ecotourism.
    This is an amazing refuge with a different scenario. We have a lagoons area, a river, and a mostly forest section.
    This almost unique wetland, allows you to enjoy the different panorama and also switch between animal species: birds, sloths, monkeys, caimans, iguana, and so on.

    Can I enjoy birdwatching and/or an ecotour on a rainy day?

    YES. Rain is part of the ecosystem, and finally, birds and mammals are not very worried about that.
    In any case, we do offer private tours and specially organized based on your interest. So, when you arrive at Hotel de Campo, we will organize the best moment to go explore the refuge

    Is Caño Negro - Costa Rica Safe for Families?

    Yes! Caño Negro and Costa Rica in general are great destinations for family vacations. Caño Negro is a very quiet place, very safe. It is a safe place to discover nature. Also, for families, our tours are always private. So, you will enjoy it for sure.
    For a family vacation, we offer rooms with up to 3 beds (2 doubles and 1 single bed) and joined rooms. So, you will never be apart, but with privacy.

    What is the currency of Costa Rica?

    The currency of Costa Rica is the colon, colones plural.

    Which Shoes Should I Bring to Caño Negro - Costa Rica to enjoy eco-tours and/or a birdwatching tour?

    For the rainy season, a waterproof hiking shoe. Also, and especially for wetland places and rainforests, a good pair of rubber boots. This is what the locals use. They protect you very well from rain and mud. And also, they dry up very fast.
    During the dry season, very comfortable hiking shoes, always waterproof.

    Do I Need a GPS to Drive in Costa Rica?

    Not really. Costa Rica has only a few main roads, and normally to arrive at some destination, you will not have more than 1 or 2 options.
    Instead of a GPS, I will use Waze, or Google Maps (not so accurate as Waze).
    I am sure, that everybody can share with you their location with Whatsapp and Waze.

    Looking for a full package?

    With Hotel de Campo you can enjoy a Wonderfull vacation in Costa Rica at the National Refuge of Caño Negro, choosing between 6+ packages. Or customize your own.

    Made for birdwatcher & photographer

    We prepare 3 packages from 2 to 4 nights, with up to 15 hrs of private birding and photography tour. You can customize this vacation packages.

    Made for nature lover

    We prepare 3 vacations packages from 1 to 3 nights, that include up to 5 hrs of boat tours in Caño Negro. This packages doesn’t include private trip, but you can upgrade it