Cabuya, North Puntarenas

Pura Vida is a way of life in Cabuya
Pura Vida is a way of life in Cabuya
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Home to the country's first ever protected area - the Cabo Blanco Absolute Reserve - the small fishing town of Cabuya is attractive to travelers for many reasons. This off-the-beaten path village sits at the tip of the stunning Nicoya Peninsula. Easily accessed from Montezuma via a 20 minute car or bus ride, Cabuya is an ideal spot to venture away from the crowds.

In October 1963, the efforts of Nicolas Wessberg and Karen Mogensen were successful and the Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve became the first protected land in Costa Rica, which spans 1250 hectares. Sitting at the very tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, this scenic, tropical rainforest is home to an abundance of bird species and plenty more wildlife. Much of Cabo Blanco is secondary forest, which is about 60 years old. This reserve is now considered the prime example that forests can be regenerated if the right efforts and measures are made.

Roughly 150 tree species grow in this area, including the evergreens, lance wood, bastard cedar, gumbo-limbo and dogwood. Travelers will predominately see the spiny cedar - the most popular species in the reserve - some of which may tower more than 40 meters into the air.

Because the reserve sits along a transition area where dry and wet forests meet, there is a combination of evergreens and diverse wildlife. Travelers can easily spot the howler and white-faced monkeys, and may just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the white-nosed coati, margay, coyote and white-tailed deer. With a recorded 150 species of birds, including magpie jays, long-tailed manakins, cattle egrets and elegant trogons, it's easy to spot many different winged creatures.

Rent an ATV and have an afternoon of adventure in Cabuya. Through street routes along the coastline and within the jungle, travelers will have an up-close look at some of this region's best wildlife.

Hoping to find authentic cuisine in Cabuya? Lela's Define de La Luna, or dolphin of the moon, boasts some of the best home-style Costa Rican cooking. The family-owned Panderia is considered to be one of the best hidden gems in the peninsula. Serving up fruit smoothies, cold coffee beverages, pasta and sandwiches, Panderia has a little something to offer any traveler.

From wildlife adventures to true Costa Rican culture, Cabuya is the place to explore.