Phone: 2542-0350

Wildlife Refuge La Marta, Provincia de Cartago – Costa Rica

La Marta Wildlife Refuge, established in 1991, is an open-to-the-public natural sanctuary located in the province of Cartago, Jiménez Canton, in the Pejibaye district, in an area once highly active with indigenous peoples, Cabécares, and to a much lesser extent, Sobornos. By the late 19th century, an agro-industrial estate was established here. After ceasing to exist and over the passing years, it has become one of Costa Rica’s most emblematic wilderness areas, not only for its enormous ecological value but also for its rich history, cultural background, and mystique within its boundaries.

La Marta spans over 1,518 hectares of land. It is part of the Friendship Biosphere Reserve, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the country’s first private wildlife refuge. Approximately 60% of the territory consists of primary forest, with the remaining 40% covered by secondary forest in various stages of natural regeneration. The topography of the Talamanca mountain range, coupled with the presence of two rivers in the area (Gato and La Marta rivers) and the altitude range in which the refuge is located, create a wide variety of habitats that allow for the presence of a large number of animals and plants. The refuge provides shelter for both resident animal species and migratory species, animals that sometimes travel hundreds of kilometers within a region in search of food and cover. A deep understanding of a location’s biodiversity helps establish conservation priorities in the protected area while directing efforts toward more realistic and efficient conservation goals.

Attractions: Privileged for its diverse attractions immersed in great scenic beauty, La Marta Wildlife Refuge represents a center for leisure, learning, and communion with nature and history for visitors. Within the refuge, various activities can be enjoyed for a healthy and unique experience of the wonders enclosed in the tropical rainforest, such as self-guided hikes or guided excursions.