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Costa Rica: Caño Negro

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Caño Negro | Costa Rica | Americas

[Visited: April 2000]

One of the national parks closest to the Nicaraguan border, Caño Negro is accessed by boat from Los Chiles, which actually is only three kilometres from the border. Although most tours start from Fortuna, a town where I had been just a day before for a visit to the Arenal volcano (which was covered in clouds), it is possible to arrange for a tour from the much less touristy Los Chiles. Already after one curve in the river, we stopped to spot caimans and for hours on end, this did not stop. This area is so rich in wildlife, that you can see animals almost wherever you look. But it was amazing how the guides picked out animals, sometimes small or completely hidden by their camouflage, far before any of us could spot them. At one time we even saw a nest of young caimans, at least 15, lying on top of each other.

Picture of Caño Negro (Costa Rica): Bats in Caño Negro National Park

We also spotted lizards which are able to walk on water, for which reason they are called Jezus Christ lizards. We were fortunate enough to see one from close up, and we could admire their special feet which, in combination with its speed, allow them to perform like the person they are named after.

Picture of Caño Negro (Costa Rica): Caiman in Caño Negro National Park

Getting back to Los Chiles proved a little adventure, as the engine of our boat broke down completely and we therefore had to wait, in the rain, for a possible other boat to pick us up. And fortunately, this happened, and we were towed back to the bordertown. Which, actually, also deserves a visit. Roads end here, and you feel that this place is therefore isolated even though it is a jumping point for those who travel on to Nicaragua, the neighbour in the north. And crossing the border was exactly what I would do the next day.

Picture of Caño Negro (Costa Rica): White faced monkey in Caño Negro National Park

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