Barra de Colorado is located in the lesser known part of the province of Limon, close to the border with Nicaragua and 35 kms north of Tortuguero. Most of the region is actually protected as it forms the Refuge Barra de Colorado, a rather unexplored and wild area that includes over 50 kms of rivers, canals, marshlands and lagoons that connect with Tortuguero to the south and Nicaragua to the north.
It is a favorite among explorers, adventurers and ecologists. There is a lot to see there as the flora and fauna is awesome and also lots to do;. The refuge is a hot and humid tropical forest where non anglers can rent either canoes or kayaks and explore the jungle through the river and the canals, the best way to go birdwatching. You can see keel-billed toucans, crocodiles, caimans, iguanas, white faced monkeys and if you are very lucky, you may see an ocelot and a West Indian manetee. There are still apparently a few jaguars in the area, but this timid great cat is usually only seen at night as this is when they like to hunt, they keep pretty much to themselves and are usually well hidden away during the day.
The small town sits on the Rio Colorado and is divided in to Barra de Norte and Barra del Sur, meanting North and South respectively. There are no roads to get there, it is only accessible by boat or by air as the whole area consists mainly of swampy wetlands, which is what makes this trip even more exciting! The airstrip is in Barra del Sur, where you will find a small grocery store and a souvenir shop, most of the activities take place in Barra del Norte, where you can find logdgings, hotels, restaurants and bars.
The whole region surrounding Barra de Colorado consists basically of swamps making hiking very difficult, even at times impossible. By boat is how one travels there, and it is easy to find some for rents, with or without guide. There is a ranger station by the entrance of the park, however there are no facilities there, so it is for day trips only.
It is lovely to visit Nicaragua while you are there, just take your passport with you should you need it when passing one of the police patrols.
Barra de Colorado has been voted one of the top ten places of the world for fishing, and anglers come from all over the world to catch their prize on this awesome 600 meters wide river The fresh water of Colorado has formed a unique habitat and huge monster fish such as two species of snooks and giant tarpons love it there, making it the only place in Costa Rica where you can catch tarpon weighing over 100 pounds.The Tarpons gather in the mouth of river usually, however they can also be found along the river all the way to up the Lake Nicaragua.
The facilities are clean and comfortable, the fishing lodge all have hot water, some have air conditioning. The only one within walking distance is Archie’s, all the other one can only be reached by boat!
Barra de Colorado is without a doubt the place to be, a must even, for the adventurous; anyone else may find it a little rough, it is however well worth the effort, this is experiencing the tropical world, the jungle, fully, as it should be!