Aviarios del Caribe Reserve, Costa Rica
Following Highway 26 south of Puerto Limon, the river valley breathes life into the tropical vegetation, which is a burgeoning haven of unique flora and fauna. Here, 31 km south of town, is the small wildlife refuge of Aviarios del Caribe in the Estrella River delta.
This privately owned, 217 acre park (88 ha) provides refuge for monkeys, sloths, caiman, river otters and turtles as well as 255 species of bird. An array of guided tours are available, the most popular of which is kayak tour that offers incredible glimpses of wildlife.
The surrounding river valley carved by the Estrella River boasts some fabulous national parks such as the Hitoy-Cerere Biological Reserve and Selva Bananito, as well as the World of Orchids, home to several hundred species of orchid. The region's economy is supported by banana plantations which are the lifeline of the small pueblos in the valley.