SAN JOSE – Costa Rica has invested $1.4 million in tourist infrastructure for the Caño Negro National Mixed Wildlife Refuge, a wetland and wildlife protection area located in the north of the country, an official source said on Friday.
The Presidential House indicated that a visitor center was constructed in the refuge, as well as an 18-meter high tower for observing birds, a dock for embarkation and landing of tourists and a raised terrestrial path.
The project was unveiled to the community and rangers on Friday by Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis and Environment and Energy Minister Edgar Gutierrez.
“This new infrastructure is necessary to revive the local economy, increase tourist visits and provide better working conditions to our park rangers,” the official said.
The investment includes a management and usage plan for the docks, an operational strategy to implement comprehensive solid waste management, as well as workshops to strengthen and support local entrepreneurship in sustainable tourism, marketing, legal advice and leadership.
At the Caño Negro Mixed Wildlife Refuge, which covers 9,969 hectares, more than 300 species of birds can be observed, including the northern kingfisher, the blue heron and the reindeer kingfisher.
It is a declared Ramsar site of international importance, located in the northern part of the province of Alajuela, near the border with Nicaragua, and constitutes, together with some parts of the neighboring country, one of the most outstanding examples of wetlands in Mesoamerica.
These works are part of the Sustainable Tourism Program financed with resources from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which has allowed the investment of $25 million to various national parks in Costa Rica.
The Caño Negro refuge is the last protected wilderness, of the 10 chosen for tourism infrastructure investment and the strengthening of sustainable management.
The other areas benefited by the project were the national parks of Manuel Antonio, Corcovado, Marino Ballena and Volcano Rincon de la Vieja, in the Pacific; Cahuita and Tortuguero, in the Caribbean; And Volcano Irazu, Arenal Volcano and Poas Volcano (center).