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HOME - 1 Costa Rica Link to Hotels, Travel, Vacations, Tours & Information  Hitoy-Cerere Biological Reserve

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Limón

The Park Headquarters are in La Estrella Valley, 67 kms. from Limón- Penshurt- Pandora. The distance between San José and Hitoy is 227 kms.

Very moist evergreen forests, rushing rivers, tree ferns, high humidity, heavy rainfall, and a very varied wildlife are some of the features of Hitoy-Cerere, a biological reserve located south of Limón Province that has barely been explored. The reserve forms part of a vast Talamanca Mountain Range. The formation of this chain of mountains started by volcanic activity during the Eucene Period, some 40-60 million years ago, and was concluded about 3-5 million years ago.

The predominant species in the rainforest, which grows from 150-1,000 meters above sea level, are Spanish cedar, wild tamarind, Santa María, bully tree, nargusta, possum-wood, and silk cotton tree all laden with mosses and other epiphytes. The thick forest mass is watered by innummerable rivers such as the Hitoy, whose name means "river-with-moss-covered stones" and the Cerere, or "river of clear waters", which plunge down the steep slopes. The forest protects endangered species such as the tapir and the jaguar, or species with dwindling populations, such as the silky anteater, the three-toed sloth and the Neotropic river otter. Frequently seen animals are the woolly opossum, grey four-eyed opossum, tayra, tiger cat, howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys, and over 115 species of birds. The Montezuma oropendula, for example, stands out because of the numerous hanging nests it builds in a single tree. Other species of birds are the keel-billed toucan, spectacled owl, green kingfisher, cayenne squirrel- cuckoo and turkey vulture. The hot and humid habitat is naturally also home to snakes, frogs and numerous butterflies, together with thousands of insects.

The wealth of waterways is explained partly by the heavy and almost permanent rains which are twice the quantity the forest needs, that makes the atmosphere damp and close.

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Temporary Photo: Capuchin Monkey
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