Iguana sitting on a trunk in Hacienda Baru, Costa Rica.

© pisces2386/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge

Top choice in Quepos to Uvita

Consisting of pristine beaches, riverbanks, mangrove estuaries, wetlands, primary and secondary forests, tree plantations and pastures, this 330-hectare nature reserve forms a key link in a major biological corridor called the Path of the Tapir.

Explore the reserve by hiking five trails making 8km of marked and well-kept self-guided pathways. Monkeys, sloths and toucans are commonly spotted here. Experience the rainforest canopy by tree climbing or ziplining 'Flight of the Toucan,' (US$49 per person) or join birdwatching and walking tours.

The refuge now also has an 'Ecotram', a motorized chair that goes through the treetop canopy and turns 340 degrees for nature viewing.

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