We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“quiet and beautiful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Curu National Wildlife Refuge

Curu National Wildlife Refuge
Nicoya, Costa Rica
Improve this listing
Ranked #6 of 12 attractions in Nicoya
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Birdwatching, Viewing wildlife
More attraction details
Attraction Details
Owner description: Privately owned, this refuge has excellent birding and wildlife watching.
Brest, France
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“quiet and beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

We were walking from paquera and we enter in the refuge for 3 days/ 2 night. It was our first week in Costa Rica. On the way of the room, we saw many animals: monkeys, crocodile, birds, crabs...
We hicked a lot and see many wildlife. We realized after that this was easy there than in the national park.
The staff was really nice and you can take nice meals there.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Lots of wildlife”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

This isn't the easiest place to visit, but there's a large variety of wildlife to be seen here.

Date of visit was actually February 2008, but couldn't review at that time.

Visited October 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
209 reviews 209 reviews
61 attraction reviews
Reviews in 128 cities Reviews in 128 cities
233 helpful votes 233 helpful votes
“Day trip to Curu very enjoyable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

We drove to Curu from Tamarindo and it took about 45 minutes longer than the GPS estimate, but was well worth it. Just the drive alone to Curu is amazing. The Nicoya Peninsula is so beautiful and untouched. About 30 minutes before Curu it becomes a dirt road that is pretty bad with both steep inclines and declines. The way out was easier with less cars being on the road.

We picked up a trail map at the welcome center and got some estimated times of the hikes. We hiked a few trails and so saw much and felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. The trails are very diverse and interesting. You will really feel like you are in the deep jungle here, and having the ocean so close makes it a unique place. We saw many deer, howler and white-faced monkeys, coati, lizards/iguanas and many different birds. The trails are relatively flat and not difficult to hike. The biggest obstacle on the trials are the colorful , but yet very creepy crabs. They are everywhere! These are present on the trails closer to the ocean. I made my husband lead the path to scare them away. We spent 2 hours at Curu but wish we had at least another hour to explore.

Crabs and all, worth the drive and a highlight of our trip.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ogden, Utah, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Private Costa Rica-wildlife and nature abound. afordable tours”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

This is an amazing wildlife reserve. We stayed for two days and loved it. The cabins are rustic with basic clean sheets, cold showers, electric lights, and a fan. The scenery and the porch is great. We had our own private beach and animals came to visit us in the evening.

There are well maintained trails that you have to yourselves and can explore with out running into other people. The boat tour and snorkel were great. I also took a horse ride and was able to see a lot of wildlife and an uncrowded or touristy view of the area. The staff seem to have a lot of passion and care for this reserve. There is a lot to do in Curu by day but once night falls there is not much one can do. So take advantage of daylight hours and start activities and hikes early. So bring a book and some games and be sure to pack a long a flash light to walk to and from your cabin. The tour prices are much lower in Curu then in other place in Nicoya. And all the tours we did ended up being one on one with the guides. If you don't stay the night at least do your day activities at Curu

The dinning hall is lovely and the food was homecooked. We enjoyed our personal conversations with one of the owners who also prepared our meals. The dinning hall is only open by reservation and for certain hours. Bring your own snacks and drinks.

Curu would be the perfect place to bring your family or a group of students.

Only bad thing is that if you are traveling with out a car you have a long walk into the main part of the reserve from the bus stop. Also the bus schedules is very vague and we ended up waiting for a long time a long the road side before we caught a ride to our next destination.

I am impressed and thankful for what the Wildlife refuge and Curu is trying to do by re-introducing trees and being eco-friendly. I hope that others will go to this wonderful place and help support their efforts.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Best day of our trip!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

The day began with a snorkel trip to two rather disappoining locations with limited fish varities near rock formations, not reefs I was accustomed to in the Caribbean. The break taken between dives at a sandy beach was lovely and included freshly cut pineapple, watermelon and coconut. I was sad to see our guide just spill the coconut milk on the ground, but the pineapple was the sweetest ever eaten and tender to the core! After snorkeling we had the best lunch of the vacation which was prepared and served in the "dining hall" by a lovely old woman who put ice in our drinks with her bare hands and this did not bother me one bit because the meal was so excellent....fried fish, black beans, rice, cooked vegetables and salad, finished with more tasty fresh fruit! After lunch we set out on the trails, following the map provided. On the trail along the beach we witnessed many monkeys feasting on the mangos in the trees lining the walk. One needed to be careful as they would take a few bites, then drop the fruit from above.seemingly aiming right for us. The trails across the lagoon were exciting and eerie. I kept expecting to encounter a dinosaur amoung the mangroves. The scary part occured when suddenly we heard very loud growling seemingly nearby. I feared a jaguar or even worse, but then I witnessed several howler monkeys swinging from the branches far above us. We continued on to the exit sign and walked through a field of cows grazing who seemed curious about our presense. Fortunately, the bull ignored us. To our good fortune, we reached the road moments before the public bus arrived to inexpensively take us on the 20 minute ride back to our hotel in Tambor.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Curu National Wildlife Refuge also viewed

Nicoya, Province of Guanacaste
Nicoya, Province of Guanacaste
Nicoya, Province of Guanacaste
Nosara, Province of Guanacaste

Been to Curu National Wildlife Refuge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Curu National Wildlife Refuge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Bookmark for later
Save Saved
You added Curu National Wildlife Refuge to your Saves list