Follow the hanging bridges through the Arenal rainforest canopy and the walking trails along the forest floor to spot numerous bird, animal and plant species. Clearings and open spaces in the forest canopy offer a glimpse of the magnificent Arenal Volcano in the distance.
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica
You are transferred to Los Chiles to begin a 2-3 hour boat journey up the Rio Frio in search of sloth, caiman, lizards, tropical birds, monkeys and turtles as well as a diverse range of other wildlife that is abundant in the lush rainforest and wetlands.
The Cano Negro refuge itself is located 25 kilometers south of Los Chiles in the northern area of the Alajuela province, approximately a two hour drive from Arenal. It has been declared a site of international importance for the nesting of migratory birds and occupies an area of 9,969 hectares in the Río Frío Basin.
This is an area of great ecological, economic and social importance for Costa Rica, so much so that in 1984 it was declared to be a wildlife refuge and in 1991 it was included in the RAMSAR list, an organization that protects wetlands of international interest.
There is a system of lagoons, rivers, flood forests, yolilo palms, Santa María plants and marshes. Seasonal flooding occurs throughout and its environment is characteristic of the northern zone that borders Nicaragua.
There have been 307 species of birds, 78 mammals and 96 reptiles reported in the refuge in addition to more than 300 plant species grouped in to 73 families of shrubs and trees. However, according to a 1988 study by the Organization of Tropical Studies (OTS), there are actually 1,016 plant species and 5,000 animal species in the refuge.
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Photos of Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Other experiences in Arenal Volcano
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
Enjoy a peaceful gondola ride above the Arenal rainforest and take in the breathtaking views of the volcano and the still, blue lake. Choose to return back to your starting point the same way or via the Canopy Tour; an exhilarating zip line through the forest canopy.
This easy and manageable hike will allow you to enjoy the most extraordinary view of the Arenal Volcano as you walk along the base of this marvelous 'Mountain of Fire'. See recent lava flows and rock formations and learn about the big eruption of 1968.
Embark on a journey of exploration through the beautiful Arenal Volcano National Park, spotting unique flora and fauna along the way and learning about the activity and history of the still-active Arenal Volcano.
Ascend through dense primary forest, which is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, to the summit of Cerro Chato - Arenal Volcano's 'older brother'. Finish this half day walk with a refreshing swim at La Fortuna Waterfall.
The Eco Termales hot springs are a beautiful sanctuary surrounded by nature. The smallest of the hot springs in the Arenal area, Eco Termales is perfect for privacy and relaxation.
This half-day quad bike tour combines adrenalin and adventure with incredible wildlife and tropical forest, all set within the shadow of the majestic Arenal Volcano.
Take to the water of Lake Arenal in your own kayak and explore the shores to spot a multitude of different bird species, and perhaps hear the unmistakable call of a howler monkey.
Drift silently along the Peñas Blancas river, which winds through lush, verdant forest, and see a huge variety of wildlife including monkeys, sloths, iguanas, tortoises, crocodiles and several types of birds.