Acquired in 1941 by Dr. Alexander Skutch, this private Protected Wildlife Sight covers 192 acres. It is located in Quizarrá in the district of Pérez Zeledón, 130 kilometers southeast of San José. With the purpose of saving the sight of his work, the property was purchased in 1993 by the Tropical Science Center (TSC), a private non-profit organization that, since its founding in 1962, has dedicated itself to the study of nature and its relationship with human beings and of which Dr. Skutch was a member since 1964 until his death in 2004.
Los Cusingos, (The Fiery-billed Aracaris), is a part of a biological corridor that bears the name of Mr. Alexander, initiating in this refuge at 800 meters above sea level and terminating in the Chirripó National Park at 3820 meters above sea level. Amongst the species of mammals found here are agoutis, white-throated capuchin monkeys, tayras, sloths and armadillos and amongst the avifauna there can be seen easily Fiery-billed Aracaris, cotingas, tanagers, honeycreepers, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, warblers, parrots and the Laughing Falcons, making this a sight predilect for bird-lovers. There are also a great variety of butterflies and thousands of insects. Amongst the plants, the ‘Chonta’ palms, ‘baco’ and ‘chiricano’ trees, figs and wild avocados stand out as part of the premontane very humid forest in the reserve.
In respect to its water resources, Los Cusingos is transected by the Peñas Blancas River and as a sign of its cultural background, in the refuge are found archaeological remains called petroglyphs. The house where Dr. Skutch lived for more than 60 years and where he wrote more than 30 literary works has been converted by the TSC into a museum conserving his simple and austere life-style.
How to get to the Los Cusingos Bird Refuge?
After passing through the city of San Isidro in Pérez Zeledón, you will cross two bridges on the Pan-American Highway leading to the southern part of the country. 3 kilometers after the second bridge you will see the offices of Transit. Directly across from these installations, you need to turn to your left on a road that will lead you over the General River. Immediately after crossing the river you will cross a small bridge and come to a crossroad where you need to turn right to go through the town of La Hermosa. You will then cross another bridge and come to a crossroads where you should turn left to go to the community of Quizarrá.
The road is passable all year round and a part of it is paved. Along the way there are signs that will help guide you.
If you are traveling from the southern part
of the country
On arriving at the community of Palmares of Pérez Zeledón, turn to your right and follow this highway until you get to the community of Peñas Blancas where you turn to your left and continue until you reach the crossroads where you keep to your right to get to the community of Quizarrá. The road is rocked and is passable all year long. You will find signs that will guide you along the whole route.
The Refuge is open from Monday to Saturday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sundays from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. For bird-watchers that make a reservation in advance, we have special visiting hours if so desired.
Because the refuge is a sanctuary for birds, there exists a maximum of visitors that are allowed per day. In order to better serve you, make your reservations through the telephone (506)2738-2070 or, preferably, write us at email@example.com
On payment of the right of admission, the visitor can remain throughout the day in the sanctuary.
- Guides and chauffeurs do not pay entrance to the refuge
- The tour leader that accompanies a group larger than 15 persons pays only for the tour
- Children 5 years old or younger do not pay entrance nor tour
(Valid from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015)
|Entrance for Travel Agencies and Regular Foreigners||$13.00|
|Foreign students and children||$13.00
$ 6.00 (children 6 years old and older and only students with ID)
|Regular nationals||$ 3.00|
|National students and children||$ 2.00 (children 6 years old and older and only students with ID)|
|Guided tour||$ 10.00|