Head out on an adventure to see Isla Bolaños National Wildlife Refuge

The refuge is located near Puerto Soley, in the province of Guanacaste. Welcome to a 25-hectare island that’s ready to surprise you with its flora, fauna and stunning beaches.  The island is 81 m long and is located 1.5 km from Punta Descartes.

It was created in 1981 to protect the large seabird population, and is part of Santa Rosa National Park, which is about 1 hour away. This peaceful island is located in Bahía Salinas on the country’s Pacific coast, close to the border with Nicaragua.

If birdwatching is your thing, you’ll be able to spot pelicans during the birds’ nesting season in January and February. Frigatebirds can be found here from November to June, during their lengthy stay along our shores. The animals you can catch a glimpse of here include snails, clams, lizards, and a variety of marine species.

Isla Bolaños is the only place in the Guanacaste Conservation area where the American oystercatcher is known to nest. The island is also a nesting site for the magnificent frigatebird and is one of the few places where brown pelicans nest. Its importance for these bird species led to its designation as a wildlife refuge.

The plant life in the area is typical of the tropical dry forest, and most of the terrain is challenging. The island is made up of layers of rocks that were formed over a period of more than 40 million years.

Visitors to the island can also find white sand beaches, clear aquamarine water, and calm waves. At low tide, it’s common to see large populations of crabs.

If you’re thinking of visiting on your own, you can make the trip on one of the boats that go around the island with a permit from the Santa Rosa National Park. There are no facilities inside the refuge, since the aim of the area is to protect the species located there.

Access to the refuge is from Puerto Soley, which is located 3 km from the island. The best option is to opt for a guided tour, which will ensure that you keep your impact on the island’s fauna to a minimum.

Did you already know about this place? If you haven’t done it yet, put it down on your list of places to discover. Our country has so many surprises in store! So let’s go and #VamosATuristear.


More information: Guanacaste Conservation Area.

WhatsApp: 8886-9510

Santa Rosa National Park: 2666-5051