Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
A transitional zone located between the Caribbean
and the Northern Plains, the Sarapiqui area however offers a better
and quicker access through the Caribbean region. Puerto Viejo, the
main village in the Sarapiqui area is located an hour and half from
San Jose, on a paved road that leads through the Braulio Carrillo
National Park then via Las Horquetas. The trip is very scenic.
The Sarapiqui river and others crawl sinuously across
the landscape, vast sections are waterlogged most of the year and
the water canals are still vital means of communication in the entire
Much of the area is still covered with tropical rainforest
and several private reserves established in the area offer nature
lovers a true paradise for birding and nature contemplation. Fishing
is excellent in this territory, crocodiles and water birds abound
along the water canals together with turtles, monkeys and sloths.
Several lodges scattered along the area offer the
visitor excellent shelter, good food as well as knowledgeable guides
from the zone in charge of making worth the visit to this territory
that lies between the northern arm of the Braulio Carrillo National
Park and Nicaragua’s southern lowlands.
The village of Puerto Viejo is located in the confluence
of the Sarapiqui and the Puerto Viejo rivers. In Costa Ricas
colonial times this river port due to its proximity to the San Juan
river was the main shipping port. Nowadays, most of its income still
comes from the river traffic.
Some of the attractions in the area for nature lovers
are: Selva Verde, locted in Chilamate de Sarapiqui, a private reserve
well known for its birdlife such as Oropendolas and others. La Selva
Biological Station is another attraction. Managed and operated by
the Organization of Tropical Studies (OTS). Located 2 miles south
from Puerto Viejo, this reserve is particularly interesting due
to the profuse birding life that protects through its 1,500-hectare
extension. More than 420 species of birds have been identified.
There are trails spreading along the reserve leading, to fantastic
scenerarios suitable for research purposes or simply nature admiration.