Overview

Introduction

A unique and special area encompassing the wetlands, dry tropical forest and mangroves of the Tempisque river in Guanacaste.

Located entirely within the borders of Costa Rica, the Tempisque River (or Río Tempisque) flows southeast from the Guanacaste Cordillera (in the foothills of the Orosi Volcano) until it reaches the estuary on the northern end of the Gulf of Nicoya. Stretching 144 kilometres, it is considered to be the most important river in the Guanacaste region. 

The rivers’ dry tropical rainforest is an important habitat for several different species of monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, migratory and aquatic birds such as the roseate spoonbill and bare-throated tiger heron. The southern leg passes through the Palo Verde National Park and in the wet season spreads out to form extensive marshes that welcome migrant birds from across the Americas. As the dry season (December to May) progresses the marshes shrink to isolated patches and pools, and the migrant birds depart for their summer nesting grounds in temperate climates. At this time many of the resident tropical bird species nest on a small mangrove island in the river known as Isla de Pajaros (bird island), which provides excellent opportunities for bird watching.  The Tempisque river bridge was built to link the Nicoya peninsula to Southern Guanacaste and reduce travel time to San Jose.  It was funded as a gift from the Taiwanese government and opened in 2002.  The government subsequently cut off trade relations with Taiwan in favour of China - the locals now call it the ‘Backstab’ bridge !

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Elena Larkin
Elena Larkin
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT - 6 hours

Currency

Colon

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

11 hours 35 minutes BA direct flight to San Jose from London Gatwick

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Costa Rica expert

Lloyd Boutcher
Lloyd Boutcher

Lloyd joined Sunvil for a year as part of his International Tourism Management sandwich course in 1995. After having completed the course at Brighton University he came back to Sunvil to develop a UK programme and to run the Royal Shakespeare Company’s short breaks programme in Stratford-Upon-Avon. After several years it became quite clear that clients were quite happy to make their own UK travel arrangements and so he was tasked with developing the Costa Rica programme which had just been launched. He is now director of the growing Sunvil Latin America programme.

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Tempisque River, Costa Rica

Tempisque River

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

Required Information

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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