The Cabo Blanco Reserve is located in the southern side of the Nicoya Peninsula, right next to Mal Pais and Cabuya. After visiting Nosara, Samara and Guiones, I finally reached the furthest spot of the Peninsula, which Iím visiting as part of a Costa Rica surfing trip that I started a few weeks ago. If you are planning a Costa Rica adventure travel, you have to come to the Nicoya Peninsula to enjoy some the most beautiful beaches in Guanacaste.
Cabo Blanco was a closed reserve for many years, with no visitors allowed. That policy changed in the early 1990ís, and the natural beauty of the zone can be witnessed first-hand. In front of the Reserve, the Cabo Blanco Island can be seen, a rocky, small island that is habitat to dozens of species of birds. The primary forest is tropical, due to the precipitation being higher than in other parts of Guanacaste. Because of that, the vegetation in Cabo Blanco is different from the northern Guanacaste reserves. The dry season goes from April to December, and the rest of the year is the rainy season as in most of the country.
The forest is deep, with many species of trees and animals. During our tour, I saw different types of monkeys, raccoons, anteaters, porcupines, ocelots and many more mammals. If you are enjoying a Costa Rica birding tour, you will appreciate seagulls, pelicans and a lot more. The wildlife in this area is very rich, and you also have to be careful with the snakes, since Boas have been seen in the area. Cabo Blanco is fun, and one of the best Costa Rica tourist attractions.
One of the coolest things that I saw was in the southern end of the beach, which are marine fossils embedded on the exposed rocks, and dating back from 20 million years.
Access to the park is restricted to 40 persons per day so you have to book in advance. Due to the status of protected area, there are no Costa Rica hotels in Cabo Blanco, and the trails are also limited, you can use a 3 mile long trail across the forest and part of the beach. If you come by Mal Pais or Montezuma, go to Cabo Blanco, it is a great place to explore.
If you are in the Cabo Blanco Reserve at the southern side of the Nicoya Peninsula, you have to visit Cabuya. This small town is known as the entrance to Cabo Blanco, and shares the lush white sanded beaches with its neighbors Montezuma and Mal Pais. Cabuya should be part of any Costa Rica surfing trip being a quiet beach with great swells.
Cabuya is a fishing town, as many of the coast towns in Guanacaste. Nowadays, tourism plays a big role in the local economy, On the way to Cabuya, an impressive jungle with huge trees, vines and their roots can be appreciated from the road. You will find some rivers forming estuaries and natural pools perfect for swimming. Rio Lajas (Lajas River) is one of these rivers, right on the entrance to Cabuya. At Lajas, you can practice different activities besides swimming in the many rock formations and tide pools, such as hiking; Costa Rica bird watching of herons and toucans; and surfing at some lonely spots in case you want to keep all the waves for you.
Right after Rio Lajas, you will find a huge Ficus tree (known as Higueron), which is believed to be over 200 years old. It is an impressive tree, and it is right by the road. After the tree, and when you finally arrive to the beach, you will see a beautiful place with multicolored water, making a perfect spot for snorkeling. You can walk, sunbath or just stay at the beach and watch the wonderful sunsets. If you want to go surfing in Cabuya, look for Los Cedros beach, a popular spot. With all these attractions, Cabuya is a great Costa Rica eco tour.
Once you are in town, you can go hiking, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking or surfing. The cemetery island (Isla de Cabuya) is another popular touristic attraction in Cabuya Access, and itís the only cemetery built on an island in the whole country. Services available in town include supermarkets, internet cafe, restaurants, Costa Rica eco hotels, a bookstore, church, art exhibitions and yoga classes, among others.