The Curi Cancha Wildlife Refuge was created in October 24th, 1997, in order to protect cloud forest in Tilaran Mountain Range near Las Juntas, part of the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area. Curi-Cancha National Wildlife Refuge is a new park that used to be private property and is now opened to the public, located in the very heart of Monteverde, covering both lowerand wet montane and premontane wet virgin cloud forest, so it has a cool climate, sometimes very windy too.
The lower part is drier, with few epiphytes, but the upper portion is cloud forest. While the forest is not quite so pristine as Monteverde, the most spectacular birds are much easier to see, making it perfect for birdwatchers. The refuge is particularly good for the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), one of the most sought-after bird of the cloud forest. The refuge is also a good place to find Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus momota), Blue-Throated Goldentail (Hylocharis eliciae) and Orange-bellied Trogon (Trogon aurantiiventris). Among mammals, it has a lot of white-faced and howler monkeys, raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, armadillos, Three-toed sloths, anteaters and many more.
The The Curi Cancha Wildlife Refuge has the advantage of far less tourists and visitors than the main Monteverde Cloud Forest Parks, but shares similar ecosystems, with a mixture of primary and secondary forest. It also has a lovely location with several beautiful view points. The Curi Cancha Wildlife Refuge has 5 different trails, Sendero Leo 1.8km, Sendero Ficus 1km, Sendero Manga 2.2km, sender El Guacharo 950mts and the Sendero Pumade 1,5km, but be careful, even though are pretty and very peaceful, they can also be very slippery when it is raining so wear suitable foot wear!
The The Curi Cancha Wildlife Refuge but also offers experienced bilingual nature guide and round trip transport, as well as it has some rustic facilities such as bathrooms and entrances. Other nearby Costa Rica parks include Children´s Eternal Rainforest, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.
Getting to Curi Cancha National Wildlife Refuge:
From San Jose take the Pan-American highway North to kilometer 133, then turn right towards Sardinal, 1 km after the Aranjuez River and Cuenca Restaurant, until you reach Santa Elena (about 29 Km). Once you reach Santa Elena, continue for another 6 km following the signs. Now you can also take the new Caldera Highway to Puntarenas and then follow the same directions to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. From Sardinal to Monteverde, it is recommended a 4×4 car, even during the dry season, since some 20 km correspond to a gravel road.
From Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), drive south on the Pan-American Highway through Liberia, Bagaces, Cañas and Las Juntas to Sardinal. Here, turn to the left at the gas station to Santa Elena (about 29 km). Once you reach Santa Elena continue for another 6 km following the signs. From Sardinal to Monteverde, it is recommended a 4×4 car, even during the dry season, since some 20 km correspond to a gravel road.
Take a bus San Jose – Monteverde, which takes about 5 hours (Transmonteverde S.A, 2222-3854). We recommend buying the ticket the day before to secure your space.
You can also take a bus Puntarenas – Monteverde, which takes about 2 hours (Transmonteverde S.A, 2222-3854). There is also a bus service leaving from downtown Santa Elena to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Location: 300 m east from Monteverde cheese factory, about 1 km before the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, district: Monteverde, canton: Puntarenas, province: Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 60109.
GPS Coordinates: 10.304847,-84.809052 (10°18’17.45″N, 84°48’32.59″W)
Size: 76 ha (187 acres)
Curi Cancha National Wildlife Refuge Telephone: +(506) 2645-6915
Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area Telephone (ACAT): +(506) 2666-5051
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192
Facebook profile: www.facebook.com/pages/Refugio-de-Vida-Silvestre-Curi-Cancha-Monteverde