Five hundred years ago, over 550,000 sq km of dry tropical forest stretched down the coast from northern Mexico to Panama. Today only 2% of virgin forest remains, including a breathtaking swath of greenery just outside of El Fuerte, in an area known as Bosque Secreto. The delightful Río Fuerte, which is incredibly rich in birdlife (including herons, osprey, kingfishers and flycatchers), winds through much of the forest. The area is also home to over 1800 species of native plants.
Turismo Fuerte, Hotel Río Vista and Posada del Hidalgo lead sustainable boat trips along the river, taking in plenty of bird-watching and some 2000-year-old petroglyphs along the way.