HACIENDA BARÚ - Nature²
AUTHOR: Stephen Shroud
Visit Hacienda Barú and connect with your natural side. Zip through the canopy, explore our trails with local guides or hike the seven kilometers of self-guided trails. You can visit for the day or stay longer at Barú Lodge. Make sure to treat yourself to the delicious food at Jaguarundi Restaurant.
At least 95% of Hacienda Barú’s 330 acres is protected. There is much to discover along the beach, mangrove, stream, wetland, and young and mature forest habitats. Since the mid-1990, we have offered tree climbing tours, but now, you can glide through the immense forest gallery along the Flight of the Toucan zip lines and observe how light and humidity change as you get higher into the canopy. Or hike through the lowlands, along the mangrove, and in the mountain with our guides pointing out and explaining the species you encounter, especially birds. You can even hike into the mountain and spend the night in our jungle tent camp and explore the forest at night.
We offer five cabins, six rooms, a swimming pool, a souvenir shop, a restaurant, and tours. The cabins are a 500-meter walk from the beach. Playa Barú has big waves and strong currents, which makes swimming dangerous, but also offers a chance to hike three kilometers of undeveloped coastline. If you get there early and at the right time of year, you may be able to see baby sea turtles released from our nursery scuffling their way to the ocean.
Since 1995, Hacienda Barú has managed the forests and beach as a National Wildlife Refuge under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment. We form part of the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) that connects Barú to the Savegre River forests and permits more biodiversity than if we were an isolated island of forest.
Hacienda Barú has a biological research station and a Cooperation Agreement with the University of Costa Rica to support research in our region. The station accepts researchers and groups and provides access to the forest, dormitories, food service, a laboratory, and a classroom. Research over the years has helped educate us on how to manage the refuge better and provide our guides with specific information about the forests. Our resident biologist spends considerable time reaching out to local schools to share what we do. She works with local volunteers to assist the sea turtle nursery and Barú’s beach clean-ups.
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