Caño Negro Wetlands

The Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge is a wetland and wildlife protection area located in the northern part of Costa Rica, near its border with Nicaragua. It is considered one of the most important wildlife refuges for hundreds of resident and migratory bird species, as well as other species of fauna, such as caimans, crocodiles, freshwater turtles, reptiles and amphibians in general, insects and more.

The extensive wetlands, which are actually flooded extensions of the Rio Frio and other tributaries, also provide a unique landscape for nature photography lovers. The large number of birds that live in Caño Negro, in addition to migratory species, make it a privileged destination among ornithologists and those who enjoy birdwatching, since in addition to having a large number of species, they live in this sanctuary in large numbers and the landscape of the place makes them relatively easy to see.

Animals of Caño Negro

Caño Negro is a sanctuary that serves as a habitat for many species of fauna. There is an important population of fish, some in certain danger of extinction such as the Tropical Gaspar. Bird species are also abundant, including herons, roseate spoonbills, hawks, large birds of prey such as eagles, and several species of parrots and macaws. As for mammal species, you can find the white-tailed deer, the ocelot, the puma, the caucel or Margay, the Jaguarundi, the Tolomuco or Taira, sainos (wild pigs) and three of the four species of monkeys in Costa Rica, including the Howler Monkey, the Capuchin Monkey and the Spider Monkey.

Tours to Caño Negro

The Caño Negro wetlands are located about 1.5 – 2 hours from La Fortuna. The best way to get there is along the road from Muelle to the North, towards Los Chiles.

Although it is possible to visit the area on a self-guided tour, there are many benefits to visiting the area on a guided tour, including the knowledge of the guide, perfect logistics, transportation and many private types that only the guides know. The tours include transportation from La Fortuna, or if you have your own transportation or a rental car, you can drive to the area and take the tour without ground transportation from La Fortuna.

The best tours in Caño Negro

To see the details of each tour, we invite you to visit our tour section at

Unique Caño Negro

The classic Pantoon boat tour will take you to the most unspoiled part of the Rio Frio and the wetlands of the area. As you sail up and down the river in this comfortable boat, you will possibly see monkeys, bird species, reptiles such as iguanas and snakes and much more. The tour lasts half a day and a little more if the travel time from La Fortuna is included in case you book it with transportation

Canoeing in Caño Negro

This tour is an eco-adventure classic! Not only is it the most silent and eco-friendly way to discover Caño Negro’s wetlands, but it involves exercising while silently observing the fantastic natural environment.

Caño Negro Eco Safari

With this tour, you will have the opportunity to discover the flora and fauna of Caño Negro aboard a small inflatable boat with a silent engine. This provides the opportunity to get very close to species of fauna that will not run away due to the noise of the engine.

All these tours are operated by Canoa Aventura. Please contact us in case of doubts or questions about the best option for you as well as prices and departure times.

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