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El Viejo Wetlands
El Viejo Wetlands is a tourist attraction surrounded by nature which frames Palo Verde National Park, providing a natural buffer zone for thousands of multicolor tropical birds. Palo Verde is recognized internationally thanks to its biological wealth and diverse ecosystems. This RAMSAR site shelters many endangered species living in marshlands and creeks throughout the Tempisque river basin. Palo Verde National Park realms contain an outstanding number of individuals, starting with more than 280 species of birds, almost 80 different mammals and more than 50 species of reptiles and amphibious critters. Furthermore, this wonderful area will reward the keen eye of the Nature lover with more than 740 kinds of interesting plants and majestic trees. El Viejo owns a Private Wildlife Refuge (Minaet - Act 35492-), and was acquired in 1979 by a Costa Rican family related to sugar cane production. From the original 18,000 acres, they segregated some 5,000 acres destined to become a sanctuary for native wildlife species as well as for the enjoyment of many generations to come!
“La Casona remains as a faithful symbol of the golden era for the Great Haciendas in Costa Rica and Nicaragua” The elderly “Casona” at El Viejo was built to last. This venerable construction will tell the story of the Guanacaste cowboys or “sabaneros” who lived way before cars, cell phones or internet. This house of ancient lineage proudly represents the hard working spirit of those who lived and died by the midst of the 1800s in a faraway era of colonial Costa Rica Throughout the years, the Casona has been owned by quite diverse individuals. Among the most prestigious names, we can mention Anastasio Somoza, the former ruler of Nicaragua, as well as Próspero Fernández, his Costa Rican counterpart.
Location El Viejo Wetlands is located 10 miles South West from Filadelfia, Guanacaste main entrance. We are only 24 miles a away from Liberia or El Coco Beach and 31 miles from Flamingo Beach and surrounding areas.
Tours & Activities
We shall commence our journey enjoying a refreshing “tropical fruits buffet” by the courtyard at “La Casona”; coffee or tea will be served while you take the best of Guanacaste’s splendid landscape scattered by evergreen trees or flame-colored flowers visited by the loud magpie jays. Put away your cameras for just a moment and get ready to aim for a new world of exotic experiences beyond the hills. The forest road will take us into a captivating journey amidst hidden trails and enticing rivers. Our well equipped canopy-covered boats, expertly steered by our river captains, will let our guests enjoy an incredible number of tropical species such as rose spoon-billed or the mythical Jabirú stork. And for the youngest explorers, the trip might bring unique opportunities to observe reptiles such as crocodiles or the always expected white-throated capuchin monkeys During our boat trip river, we realize –in person and live- how the adventure photographers might feel when they approach and capture many of those unforgettable natural scenes in the wild. Hey fellows, it is a jungle out there! Fun isn’t over yet, after the boat tour we visit again “La Casona” to enjoy the flavors of an invigorating typical Costa Rican buffet waits for our guests. Magic is on the air while we enjoy the flavors of home-made cuisine, traditional and delightful.
El Viejo Zip-line Activity
Looking for more adrenaline flowing action? We’ve got some hot stuff that might interest you! Get ready to glide above forest canopy while the splendorous landscape embraces your excitement. This world-class zip line offers 6 riding cables, 10 platforms and 1 hanging bridge for an incomparable exhilarating experience. Besides, our zip line is certified by the US ACCT in order to guarantee a safe and responsible way to enjoy a unique adventure in Costa Rica.
Sugar Mill Tour (Trapiche)
It was all about sugar cane! Colonial time in Guanacaste was certainly sweetened by the raw sugar and the “panelas”. Nothing like the refreshing flavor of the traditional panela lemonade know as “Agua e sapo” By the way, don’t worry, there is no toad included in the secret ingredients (Sapo means
toad in Spanish) How about sharing some of our most precious traditions such as the “ox-operated sugar mill” (trapiche), hand made tortillas, aromatic fresh coffee or the best candy ever tasted. We invite to meet some folks who will be glad to tell you the real story of Costa Rican Haciendas and the working families. An enjoyable occasion for everyone!
Eco-ride (Electric Shuttle by the Refuge and wetlands)
Not interested in a boat ride? Well, we have the perfect option for highly committed guests who really care for nature. We are proud to present our electric shuttle ride to the wetlands. Does it sound like something you would like to do along with a Naturalist Guide? We in El Viejo Wetlands are fully aware and conscious of our responsibilities towards nature. Therefore we decided to create a low-impact activity which permits wildlife observation in good harmony with the sensitive ecology of marshes and swamps. Bird watchers, nature lovers and ecologically-minded people will ultimately discover the intense life of wetlands, nesting and feeding areas, and the pleasure of nature sighting from non-contaminant vehicles.
Who said the heart of Texas is the only place for a good rodeo experience? Let us enjoy all the excitement of best Guanacaste rodeos with the spirited and courageous “sabaneros” Folk music, brave animals, dancing horses, festival parades and our cheerful guests will all share an authentic 100% Guanacaste cultural activity, where the past and the present become one to create a memorable time of joy. Visit us for an unforgettable celebration with the real people who once helped building this magnificent region along with its incomparable history and traditional life!
Weddings, Anniversaries and Special Celebrations The Casona during the day, or at night! We in El Viejo Wetlands believe we can share the spirit of the sabaneros portrayed by the Casona with very special guests and friends. Special moments, anniversaries or weddings, as well as team building activities or corporative groups, can find a perfect setting with us. If you are looking for the perfect unique site for you and your beloved ones, consider us as the ideal option!