Reserva Biologica Hitoy Cerere

The Reserva Biologica Hitoy Cerere is 30 kilometers, as the crow flies, inland from the Caribbean Coast. The preserve is located at the foot of the Cordillera de Talamanca at an altitude of 150 to 1,000 meters. The preserve contains more than 9,000 hectares, and is difficult to reach. It is virtually undeveloped: not surprisingly, it is also one of the least-visited parks in Costa Rica; no more than 500 people visit the preserve each year. It is surrounded by three Indian reservations: Estrella, Telire and Talamanca. Hitoy Cerere is most important as a watershed for drinking water needed by the people who live on the coast, and as protection for the tropical evergreen rain forest from inevitable lumber operations. Many large and small rivers flow through the park. Water is not a problem; the park receives an annual rainfall of 4,000 to 7,000 mm.

The Indians who originally lived in the area give the park its name. Hitoy and Cerere are Indian names for two of the rivers in the park. Cerere means “River of the Clear Waters.” The park, with its challenging terrain, is best suited for well-trained, energetic adventurers. Anyone who wants to conquer this jungle should begin by following the river. Hikers may encounter beautifully spotted margays and other wildcats. The jungle is also full of peccaries, agoutis, deer, tapirs and monkeys. Ever rarer harpy eagles circle the sky above the forest. Cuckoos, blue-headed parrots, toucans and Montezuma oropendolas inhabit the treetops.

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