The Jaguarundi Wildlife Refuge was created on August 18th, 1998, in order to protect primary and secondary rainforests in the mountains of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, which is located just south of the Barva Volcano in Heredia.
The Jaguarundi Wildlife Refuge is a rain forest with evergreen vegetation, with an average height ranges from 20 m to 30 m (65ft to 98ft) and an abundance of epiphytes and mosses. Contains about 4000 different kinds of plants, among which stand out the “Chile Muelo” (Drimys granadensis), Oak (Quercus costaricensis), “Arrayán blanco” (Weinmannia pinnata), “Lengua de Vaca” (Miconia tonduzii), Aguacatillo (Ocotea mollifolia), “Tucuico” (Ardisia revoluta) and Poas Magnolia (Magnolia poasana).
Probably, the most representative group of wildlife at Jaguarundi Wildlife Refuge are birds, such as the Common Bush-tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus), Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus pileatus), Grey-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys), Ruddy Treerunner (Margarornis rubiginosus) and the Black-cheeked Warbler (Basileuterus melanogenys), which are commonly observed form mixed flocks. There are also other less common species such as the Black-faced Solitaire (Myadestes melanops), Collared Trogon (Trogon collaris), Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus), Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis), Brown Jay (Psilorhinus morio) and the Golden-browed Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia callophrys), which by its songs and bright plumage are highly valued by local people.
Similarly, it have been reported several species of mammals such as the Tayra (Eira barbara), Brown-throated Sloth (Bradypus variegatus), Red Brocket (Mazama americana), Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi), as well as Kinkajou (Potos flavus) and Variegated Squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides).
Regarding the herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles), special mention is the sectors located on the slopes of Cerro Chompipe, where researchers have found some very interesting, including an endemic species: the Holdridge’s Toad (Bufo holdridgei), which also is included in the official list of wildlife species with small populations, as well as jungle-runners (Ameiva).
The Jaguarundi Wildlife Refuge has an average temperature of 23ºC (75ºF), receiving some 3000 mm (150 inches) of rain annual average, which is distributed unevenly throughout the year. The precipitations are scarce during the dry season which lasts from December to April and has an average minimum rainfall during the month of January. On the other hand, rainfall increased during the rainy season which covers the period from May to November, being October the wettest month. During the rainy season presented an interim period during the month of July, when rains are less in comparison with the rest of the rainy season. This phenomenon is popularly known as San Juan Little Summer.
Other nearby Costa Rica parks includes Cerro Dantas National Wildlife Refuge, La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park and Wildlife Refuge and Braulio Carrillo National Park.
Getting to Jaguarundi National Wildlife Refuge:
From San Jose, take the highway to Heredia City, and then follow to San Rafael de Heredia. Go about a mile and past the recreation center at Monte de la Cruz, until you reach the foot of Cerro Chompipe.
Take a local bus from San Jose or Heredia to San Rafael (Buses Heredianos, 2222-8986), or take Ruta nº 424 bus from San José – Santo Domingo – San Pablo to San Rafael de Heredia (Transportes Rutas 407, 2261-8766). From San Rafael take another bus to Monte De La Cruz. You can catch this bus next to the big yellow church.
Take a bus from Heredia directly to Monte De Le Cruz. This bus stops next to the National University. These buses come every hour and are bright purple and have Monte De La Cruz written on its front. You can also take a bus from the university to San Rafael and then go on to Monte De La Cruz from there.
Location: near Monte de la Cruz recreation center, until you reach the foot of Chompipe Hill in Heredia, Costa Rica.
GPS coordinates: 10.086333,-84.078584 (10°05’10.80″N, 84°04’42.90″W)
Altitude: from 1500 to 2100 (6,500 feet) above sea level.
Central Volcanic Cordillera Conservation Area (ACCVC) Telephone: +(506) 2268-1587 / 2268-8091
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192