THE CABO BLANCO TOUR
Cabo Blanco National Park: Absolute Nature Reserve, Costa Rica.
The beautiful 1,172-hectare Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve , located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Puntarenas province, is the oldest protected area in Costa Rica’s famous system of national parks and nature reserves and home to one of the few remaining pockets of tropical dry forest. It was founded in 1963 thanks to the efforts of the Swedish immigrant Nils Olof Wessberg and his wife Karen Morgenson who donated the area to Costa Rica before the park system even had been created (in 1970).
THE CABO BLANCO TOUR
Departure: 7:00 am – Back: 1:00 pm
Price: $95 per person
Minimum: 2 pax
Transport from Mal Pais / Santa Teresa or Montezuma (Minivan a/c).
Beverages Naturalist Guide (Spanish, English or Deutsch).
* Private Round Trip Transportation.
* Wild Refuge entrance fee.
* Drinks – Fruits – Water.
* Bilingual Naturist Guide. (English – German – Spanish)
Tel: 011(506) 8849-8569 (Costa Rica)
Fax – Costa Rica: 011(506) 2642-0891
Fax – New York: (646) 417-5171
Fax – Los Angeles: (213) 402-3893
What is Cabo Blanco National Park
The beautiful 1,172-hectare Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Puntarenas province, is the oldest protected area in Costa Rica’s famous system of national parks and nature reserves and home to one of the few remaining pockets of tropical dry forest. It was founded in 1963 thanks to the efforts of the Swedish immigrant Nils Olof Wessberg and his wife Karen Morgenson who donated the area to Costa Rica before the park system even had been created (in 1970). In recognition of this early visionary conservationist effort, some refer to them as the fathers of Costa Rica’s national park system. A plaque has been erected near the Cabo Blanco ranger station in honor of Nils Olof Wessberg.
Initially, Cabo Blanco was called an absolute nature reserve as no visitors except scientists were permitted. Now tourists can also enjoy the natural beauty of Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, but in order to minimize impact, the reserve remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. There are a number of trails that allow the visitor to explore the area, for example Sendero Sueco that leads to the totally unspoiled Playa Balsita. From there, you can take another trail called Sendero El Barco. Both trails have tidepools so make sure you check with the ranger station before entering the reserve – otherwise you might get stuck at high tide.
Some animals, such as howler-, spider- and white faced monkeys, sloths, iguanas, raccoons, agoutis, armadillos, anteaters, peccaries and deer can be observed easily, while creatures such as the margay and ocelot are more elusive and are only spotted by a lucky few. Marine birdlife is abundant, too, and you likely will see the brown booby, as well as magnificent frigatebirds, laughing gulls, common terns and brown pelicans. In the coastal areas, large populations of fish, crabs, chitons, lobster, shrimp, giant chonches and clams are present.
You can reach Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve by a four wheel drive vehicle on a 11 km long dirt road from nearby Montezuma. If you don’t have a car, you can hire a taxi in Montezuma, where mountain bike rental provides another option for transportation. The reserve is open 8 am to 4 pm Wednesdays to Sundays and an entrance fee of 6 $ has to be paid at the ranger station. There you can also get a map explaining the trail system and the natural attractions found alongside the trails. Part of the outstanding beauty of this area is that there is no infrastructure so it is advisable to bring water and food along if you want to spend a couple of hours in the park.
Hiking through Cabo Blanco (Self guided tour - Complete Info)
More Info about Cabo Blanco National Park:
Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve was the first National Park to be established in Costa Rica. In 1963, thanks to the dedication of a Swedish couple Karen Morgensen , and Olof Wessberg land that had previously been farmed was left to return to its natural state for this pioneer project. Now 1250 hectares of forest and many kilometers of dramatic coastline are home to hundreds of animal and plant species (including the white faced and howler monkeys and the long-tailed coati) and Cabo Banco Reserve is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Cabuya is the gateway to this wonderful reserve, this small community borders the principal entrance to the park and offers a wealth of natural sites to discover. Nestled along the jungle-fringed coast with a backdrop of mountains, Cabuya is great base for hiking, beachcombing and bird watching and all those nature lovers looking for a place off the beaten track. Here you can fill your days with the many available activities, or simply unwind in a hammock and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you.
The hotels offer warm hospitality, personal service, friendly atmosphere and excellent value. Their location is convenient for visiting not only Cabo Blanco, but also nearby Montezuma and Mal Pais.
Come and enjoy the tranquil beauty of Cabuya and experience the unspoiled simplicity of Costa Rican village life.
How to get to Cabo Blanco:
Cabo Blanco is situated in Cabuya in the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula, in the central Pacific Zone.
From San Jose it is possible to arrive:
By Air, from the main international airport to the airstrip in Tambor. From here it is a scenic 37 Km drive passing through Cobano and Montezuma.
By Land, if you are travelling by car, take the main road (Panamerican) to Puntarenas where you catch the ferry to Paquera. The crossing takes about and hour and the views are spectacular. From here follow the signs to Tambor, Cobano, Montezuma and on to Cabuya.
It is also possible to reach this area by bus, there are direct buses to Puntarenas where you can take the passengers boat to Paquera. From here there is a connecting bus service to Montezuma. A mini bus service or private taxi take you the remaining 7 Km to Cabuya and the park.
This area is ideal for those looking for interesting hikes, abundant nature and the unspoiled simplicity of a costarican village community. Stroll along the deserted beaches, wonder the hibiscus-lined lanes, or take to the hills on grassy trails. Spot iguanas scrambling up branches of impossibly spiny trees, discover the largest stangler fig tree in the area, hear the roars of the howler monkey and admire the gentle gliding of the pelicans skimming the waves.
Cabuya is the only village in Costa Rica to have the town cemetery located on an otherwise uninhabited island. Cabuya Island is connected to the mainland by a wide stony trail which is completely submersed at high tide. Originally the landing point for boats delivering supplies and collecting local produce its rocky shores now offer great snorkeling and swimming.
Another place not to be missed is the Lajas River, which you cross as you enter the village. Its shady banks are ideal for bird watching, where kingfishers, herons, toucans and even roseate spoon bills can be seen. Upstream there are refreshing swimming holes and natural Jacuzzis to cool you down on the hottest of days.
At high tide the swimming is safe off the Cabuya shore, and there are some stretches of sandy beach. Low tide exposes dramatic rock formations and tide pools. About two km beyond River Lajas there is a pleasant sandy bay Los Almendros which is popular with surfers, and about 1 km further on at Los Cedros there is another sandy beach and river ideal for swimming.
Other options for days trips include:
The beaches and waterfall of Montezuma, are only 7 kms away along a scenic costal road and easily reached by public transport. There is a regular bus service between Cabo blanco and Montezuma.
Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve
The park is open from 8 am to 4pm, closed Monday and Tuesday. Entrance fee $ 6. There are a choice of trails easy and strenuous, that traverse the park. One of the trails leads you to a spectacular bay where you can watch the pelicans and rest in the shade before starting the uphill trek back.
Mal País and Santa Teresa, with their impressive sunset and big surf ensure an unforgettable day out. Hike, drive or ride horse back along the 7 km hilly track to reach these beach hamlets.
For those who like horseback riding, there are full and half day trips to the waterfalls of Montezuma, Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, and along the trails close to cabo Blanco Nature Reserve where you can spot all types of wildlife and some amazing views of the coast line.
For the serious fisherman the are Sportsfishing operators offering offshore fishing from well equipped boats or maybe you would rather fish the local way with a hand line off the rocks and catch fresh fish for dinner.
Bird watching. Owing to its proximity to fresh water rivers, coastline and the nature reserve this area offers a great diversity of bird species. Cabo Blanco is the main nesting site for over 120 different species of birds.
For the active there are bicycles, kayaks and snorkeling equipment available for rent. Scuba diving and boats trips to various destinations including Tortuga Island and the undersea volcano can be arranged.
The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve is at the extreme southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula.
With its unique combination of climate and geographical location, it ranks as one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Costa Rica.
Cabo Blanco has also a special place in the history of National Parks in Costa Rica, as it was the first protected area in the country.
Nature and Wildlife:
The reserve encompasses 1,172 hectares of mixed forest, which is classified as moist tropical forest. About 150 trees have been identified. Evergreen species predominate, but dry forest species are found as well. Among the most common trees are lance wood, bastard cedar, wild plum, gumbo-limbo, trumpet tree, dogwood, frangipani and spiny cedar. One of the spiny cedars in the park towers 50 meters and measures 3 meters in diameter.
The majority of the reserve is secondary forest some 40 years old. The remaining primary forest accounts for 15% of the land and is located at the highest and most inaccessible point of the reserve.
The forest is home to a large variety of animals. White-tailed deer, pacas, armadillos, anteaters, howler, spider and white-faced monkeys, collared peccary, coyotes, porcupines, raccoons and families of coatis abound. With a keen eye you can find traces of ocelots, jaguarundis or margay cats.
Among the many birds are magpie jay, motmot, long-tailed manakin, cattle egret, crested caracara, elegant trogon, white bellied chachalaca, ringed kingfisher and sulphur-winged parakeet.
An additional 18 hectares (45 acres) of the ocean belongs to the protected area of Cabo Blanco and the abundance of life underwater greatly exceeds that on land.
About 2 km from the reserve's southern tip lies the Isla Cabo Blanco. Since the times of the Conquistadores it has been known as the "White Cape", because encrusted guano covers the rocks in dry season. This sea bird sanctuary is inhabited by large numbers of brown pelicans, frigate birds, laughing gulls, common terns and Costa Rica's biggest community of brown boobies.
History of the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve:
In the fifties the government of Costa Rica encouraged settlers to "develop" pieces of land on the isolated southern part of the Nicoya Peninsula. For clearing a piece of land, settlers were rewarded with ownership.
Within a few years most of the dense woodland of the peninsula had been "cultivated".
In the early sixties the Swede Nicolas Wessberg came to Costa Rica with his wife Karen Mogenson. Karen claimed she had a dream in which she saw the vision of a spot like Montezuma and she was certain that they would find their paradise here. They bought a farm near Montezuma and Nicolas Wessberg often went to the virgin forests at Cabo Blanco to collect seeds for their orchard.
When development of this yet unspoiled area began, his concern led him to seek support to preserve the area. He contacted conservationist organizations abroad and was advised about the creation of national parks as they existed in the United States. With the help of many people who contributed to purchase pieces of land at Cabo Blanco and after years of persistent talks with the Costa Rican government, the status of an Absolute Nature Reserve was finally given to Cabo Blanco in 1963. However, it took many more years to raise the environmental consciousness of the local people who were used to hunting and clearing the forest for small family farms.
The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve was the initial step in the development of Costa Rica's extensive national park system which led to the country's successful ecotourism.
Sadly, Nicolas Wessberg was assassinated in 1975, when he helped to create the Corcovado National Park on the Peninsula de Osa.
However, his wife Karen and many like-minded people continued his work. Karen became one of Costa Rica's leading environmentalists and when she died in 1994 she donated most of her money to initiate the creation of another nature reserve.
TOURS, ACTIVITIES & TRANSPORTATION AT www.ZUMATOURSGROUP.com
We live for introducing like-minded adventurers to the natural beauty hidden away in the outer reaches of this region - a good many sights rarely seen by the human eye. We guarantee an adventure that reflects our long standing commitment to real life-changing experiences and world-class service.
Tel: 011(506) 8849-8569 (Costa Rica)
Fax – Costa Rica: 011(506) 2642-0891
Fax – New York: (646) 417-5171
Fax – Los Angeles: (213) 402-3893
Your visit to Costa Rica is not complete without a visit to Montezuma. This small town has a large number of tourist attractions and is the most visited town on the Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Puntarenas. Despite its size, Montezuma offers the visitor many activities and diverse, beautiful natural surroundings to enjoy. In this tropical paradise there are white sand beaches, various forests and green areas, and the principle attraction of Montezuma – three amazing waterfalls.
TORTUGA ISLAND TOUR
This is another great opportunity for world class snorkeling.
This tour includes transportation by land to Montezuma and by boat to Tortuga Island, which is approximately 1 hour from the coast.
Incredibly clear waters and beautiful white sand beaches characterize Tortuga Island, where you will also enjoy a delicious box lunch right on the beach.
TORTUGA ISLAND TOUR RESERVATION FORM (CLICK HERE)
With the Pacific Ocean, abundant in marine life and the lush tropical ambiance, its no surprise Costa Rica is one of the worlds top fishing destinations.
The coastal waters are home to many Yellow-fin Tuna, Mackerel, Jack and Mahi-Mahi.
The warm, crystal-clear waters of Tortuga Island and the Costa Rica Pacific are home to a vast array of sea life making Tortuga Island is one of Costa Rica's top diving destinations. At our PADI & CMAS Dive Center, professional diving instructors combine their expertise with the utmost personal attention in scuba lessons for every level of PADI & CMAS Certification. Whether you are a beginner or a certified diver, this is a fun, safe and exciting day you'll never forget.
See the beauty of Montezuma from the tranquil pace of horseback. Jungles, mountains, beaches and waterfalls are all within easy reach.
At El Pinto expeditions, we offer quality tours for a wonderful horse-riding and all round natural experience for everyone, no matter what riding level or previous experience.
No previous experience at all? No problem, that is our bilingual guide’s specialty.
He has lead many people through their first ride with equal attention to safety and enjoyment.
The Wild live Refuge of Curu is the best place in the Nicoya Peninsula to see many different species of animals such as; howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), white face monkeys (Cebus capucinus), and spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi).