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Puntarenas

Despite its being a National Wildlife Refuge, Curú is a private property. It forms part of a ranch of 1,214 hectares, two thirds of which are forest with the remainder used for cattle breeding. To visit the refuge, permission must be obtained from the owners of the ranch. There are two main roads that lead to this lovely and scenic spot on the Pacific: Puntarenas ferry - Naranjo Beach - Paquera - Curú (29 kms.) or Tempisque ferry - Pueblo Viejo - Santa Rita - Jicaral - Lepanto - Naranjo Beach - Paquera - Curú (72 kms)

Curú National Wildlife Refuge is located in the southwestern part of the Nicoya Peninsula, on the shore of the gulf. It includes 84 hectares of beaches, mangrove swamps and semi-deciduous and deciduous hill forest of great beauty. Identifaction has been made of 115 sea and land birds, including the cattle egret, broad-winged hawk, magpie jay, white-fronted amazon, laughing hawk, blue-browed motmot and lineated woodpecker. The refuge also protects white-tailed deer, raccoons, Southern opossum, howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys, coyotes, white-nosed coaties, common long-nosed armadillo and boa constrictors. All along the shore, between Curú and Quesera Beaches, the shallow water abounds with oysters, lobsters and giant conch while the cliffs are covered with chitons and different species of crabs.

The refuge extends over 4,5 kms. of coast and is flanked by hills of sedimentary rocks that date from the Tertiary Era. These suddenly drop into the sea forming active cliffs and small coves, as in the case of Curú where the beach is over 1 km long. Beyond it and along the upper reaches of River Curú, the terrain is higher and covered with mangrove swamps composed of black, red tea buttonwood and white mangrove. To the east are the Colorada and Quesera Beaches with fine, white sand, shallow waters and a gentle slope, ideal for swimming and underwater diving. Other attractive features of this coastal habitat are the plentiful hours of sunshine and the mild sub-humid and very hot climate, tempered by the sea breezes.

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The Curú National Wildlife Refuge
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