The Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is in the north of Costa Rica, close to the border with Nicaragua, about 140 kms from San Jose. It is isolated and accessible only by boat from the Banks of the river. If you want to stay nearby, there is the small town of Los Chiles about 20kms away, a traditional small Costa Rican town, with its own repeating energy.
Riding down the broad river with its dark brown water, surrounded by vegetation encroaching right to the edge of river bank and as dense and tall as jungle can be, you get a “heart of darkness” feeling, the feeling that the strong flow of the river carries you to who knows what. In tributaries of the river the water is literally black, reflecting the volcanic earth of the river bottom.
The river journey is through territory inhabited by myriad species of wildlife, endangered species, monkeys, birds, caimans and you are deep in their world, the surrounding jungle like a huge green wall.
Monkeys climb and swing in nearby trees, howlers prominent in family groups, a caiman basks on a sand bank and lazily gets up to walks away, birds perch on broken logs in the river contemplating the life of the river, and small birds swoop out and follow the boat soaring and diving at speed. A Basilisk, known as the Jesus Christ lizard becuase of its ability to walk on water for up to 20 metres, sits on a tree.
Being in a boat you don’t feel you are interfering, just a patient observer carried along by the power of the flow of the river. Creatures ignore you, having only a passing curiosity about you. You are in their world, and they own it.