Curu Wildlife Reserve, Costa Rica
The entrance gate of the Curu Wildlife Reserve is on the main road from Paquera to Cobano, 6 km from Paquera and 16 km from Tambor. From the entrance gate you drive 2 km through the farmland to the administration office at the beach. Around the administration you can ofthen see capuchin monkeys. Behind the visitor center lies the horseshoe Bay of Curu, a picture perfect tropical beach with white coral sand and calm waters. Along the beach you find resting banks and tables under the shade of trees.
Open hours: every day 7 am - 3 pm Cost: $ 15 per person per day
Hiking Curu: Trails through the Reserve
There are various trails through Curu, each one with its particular sights and habitats. They are classified from very easy to difficult. Some trails are very demanding and should only be tried during dry season.
The easiest walks are the trails called Laguna, Toledo, Finca los Monos and Ceiba. They are very well maintained and lead through different habitats where you can spot animals.
Quesera is a road which can be driven in dry season with a 4WD. By foot the hike takes around 2 hours. The small bay of Quesera with its white-sand beach offers a castaway's feel.
Posa Colorado is easy to walk on the first 500 metres until the view point, from where you can overlook the whole bay of Curu with the Tortuga Islands in front. After the view point the trail becomes more difficult. After an arduous hike of 1.5 km hike along the steep-sided hill you arrive at the secluded bay of Posa Colorado.
Laguna is an easy walk which skirts a small lagoon at the edge of pasture land.
The Ceiba trail leads along the scenic Rio Curu which is a magnet for many animals.
Killer is only for the adventurous sportsmen: it's a bushwhacking climb over a steep hill and down to the cliffs.
Avispero, the extension of the Killer trail, is a treacherous cliff-hugging trail. These hikes are only possible in dry season. Ask the rangers for trail conditions.
Finca de los Monos again is easy to walk passing through mangroves and coastal habitats.
It leads to the next trail:
Toledo, a short and easy stroll along the coast near the headland of the Curu bay.
Instead of hiking you can also choose to walk through Curu on a horseback. Another great option is a tour by kayak through the rivers and mangroves of Curu.
At the side of the Administration on the beach is Island Tour Adventure owned and run by Luis Schutt, a son of the reserve's founder. They have a wealth of knowledge and offer guided hiking or horse tours through Curu. They also offer kayaks for rent, do boat and snorkeling tours to the Tortuga Islands, fishing tours and Scuba diving.
Curu also offers the possibility to stay overnight in the reserve's cabins close to the beach. The rate per person is $30 for a basic accommodation in the cabin's bunk beds but it allows you to explore the reserve at night with a flashlight, or go on a early morning hike. For reservations call ahead: (506) 2641 0100 or visit: http://www.curuwildliferefuge.com