Located on the Pacific coast 3km northeast of Dominical on the road to Quepos, this wildlife refuge forms a key link in a major biological corridor called the Path of the Tapir. It comprises around 330 hectares of private and state-owned land that has been protected from hunting since 1976. The range of tropical habitats that may be observed here include pristine beaches, riverbanks, mangrove estuaries, wetlands, primary and secondary forests, tree plantations and pastures.
This diversity of habitat plus its key position in the Path of the Tapir account for the multitude of species that have been identified in Hacienda Barú. These include 351 birds, 69 mammals, 94 reptiles and amphibians, 87 butterflies and 158 species of tree. Ecological tourism provides this wildlife refuge with its only source of funds, so guests are assured that money spent here will be used to further the conservation of tropical rainforest.