Located on the gorgeous Central Pacific coast
of Costa Rica lies the important nature reserve of Punta Leona in Puntarenas province. This reserve is one of the most vital in Costa Rica’s Pacific sector both from a geographical and conservation point of view. Punta Leona is actually home to one of the last remaining forests that are found in the transitional life zone between the rainforests of the Southwest and the dry forests of the Northwest.
Punta Leona Refuge
Created over 25 years ago to protect the region’s varied flora and fauna, the Punta Leona Refuge is a 300-hectare (750 acres) private nature reserve mainly consisting of lush primary and secondary forests. Also functioning as a center for bird and mammal research, this reserve is the habitat of over 330 migratory and native bird species. Exotic, tropical and beautiful, the Punta Leona Refuge was also the set for a Hollywood movie starring the famous French actor Gerard Depardieu.
Not frequented much by tourists, who barely even know of its existence because of its unique location, Punta Leona is a fascinating place to visit for nature lovers, bird watchers and families alike, who are given a rare insight into the rich biological diversity of Costa Rica. Home to rare and endangered Scarlet Macaw
, the reserve is also the dwelling place of a number of indigenous birds and animals like the Marbled Wood Quail, the Three-wattled Bellbird, Hummingbirds, Toucans, Spider Monkeys, White-faced Monkeys, White-nosed Coatimundis, iguanas and a variety of beautiful butterflies.
Pristine White Sand Beach
Located near a pristine white sand beach, Punta Leona has three varied walking and hiking trails, all of which are easily accessible and prefect for bird watching. Though a hotel/beach resort actually operates on this reserve, Punta Leona still manages to provide tourists with an environment that is both distinctive and enigmatic. Even if you do not stay at the hotel, visitor can access this park by paying a small fee.
Close by to the Carara National Park
and the Manuel Antonio National Park
, Punta Leona is an hour’s drive west from San Jose City
, along the main costal highway past the town of Tarcoles
. If you are coming from the south, this beach is a few kilometers north of Playa Herradura