The Cabo Blanco Park, just 45 minutes from Latitude 10, is the clearest example that forests can be regenerated if efforts toward conservation are pursued. It also holds a special place in the history of National Parks in Costa Rica as it was the first protected area of the country, established in 1963. This great park, extending for 1,250 hectares in the outer tip of the Nicoya peninsula, was mainly composed of devastated lands by indiscriminate deforestation in the 1960’s when the park was created.
Now, it’s a fully regenerated secondary forest full of huge native trees of all species and abundant wildlife. The park can be explored by following several paths that are available to visitors. The longest trail is about 5 km. long and takes you to the beach right in front of the Cabo Blanco Island.
The park also protects all marine life around its shoreline and the around the island of Cabo Blanco which extends 1 km. out from its complete shoreline (1800 additional hectares of marine area).
The Cabo Blanco Island is an incredible rookery for all sorts of marine birds. The island has the greatest colony of Brown Bobby birds in Central America, and also maintains the largest population of pelicans in the Nicoya Peninsula.
The Cabo Blanco Park is a living example that existing ecosystems can be restored when there is the determination and will to let nature take its course.
About 2 km from the reserve’s southern tip lies the Isla Cabo Blanco. Since the times of the Conquistadores it has been known as the “White Cape” because encrusted guano covers the rocks in dry season. This sea bird sanctuary, off limits for visitors, is inhabited by large numbers of brown pelicans, frigate birds, laughing gulls, common terns and Costa Rica’s biggest community of brown boobies.
Nature and Wildlife of Cabo Blanco:
The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve encompasses 1,172 hectares of mixed forest, which is classified as moist tropical forest. About 150 trees have been identified. Evergreen species predominate, but dry, deciduous forest species are found as well. Among the most common trees are lance wood, bastard cedar, wild plum, gumbo-limbo, trumpet tree, dogwood, frangipani and spiny cedar. One of the spiny cedars in Cabo Blanco towers 50 meters and measures 3 meters in diameter.
The majority of Cabo Blanco is secondary forest, around 50 years old. The remaining patch of primary forest accounts for 15% of the land and is located at the highest and most inaccessible point of the reserve.
The forest is home to a large variety of animals like white-tailed deer, pacas, armadillos, anteaters, howler, spider and capuchin monkeys, collared peccary, coyotes, porcupines, raccoons and coatis. With a keen eye you can find traces of ocelots, jaguarundis or margay cats. (See also: Animals of the Nicoya Peninsula in the Wildlife Guide). Among the many birds are magpie jay, motmot, long-tailed manakin, cattle egret, crested caracara, elegant trogon, white bellied chachalaca, ringed kingfisher and sulphur-winged parakeet.
An additional 18 hectares (45 acres) of the ocean belongs to the protected area of Cabo Blanco and the abundance of life underwater greatly exceeds that on land.
During your visit to Latitude 10 you may request taking a naturalist guide and explore all the amazing wildlife the park has to offer or just go on a romantic hike with your loved one!