Bahia Salinas – Isla Bolaños National Refuge for Forest Wildlife

Bahia Salinas – Isla Bolaños National Refuge for Forest Wildlife

It has an extension of 25 hectares. It is in the Bahía de Salinas, opposite Pochotes Beach, from Puerto Soley it is a steep and rough island whipped by strong winds. It is the only place known in Costa Rica where American oysters nest, frigate birds or scissortail birds, as well as one of the few places where you can find pardo pelicans. Bahía Salinas is a bay located on the Pacific coast of Central America, between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

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The bay serves as a natural boundary between the two countries, marking the border by an astronomical straight line that starts from the Costa Rican Sapoá River to the center of Salinas Bay. The section that belongs to Costa Rica is located in the northwest corner of the canton of La Cruz, province of Guanacaste, while the part that belongs to Nicaragua is located southwest of Rivas.

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To the south of the border line, within the bay, there is an archipelago of islands that belong to Costa Rica: the archipelago of the Murcielago Islands and Bolaños Island, which are natural wildlife refuges administered by the Santa Rosa National Park. Bahía Salinas has a great marine biodiversity, and is, in turn, a local fishing area through Puerto Soley.

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The wind is very frequent in the bay and in the area near it, however, being a bay, the waves tend to be very low. the temperature of the water in the bay during the dry season can drop to 15 degrees. This due to the force of the wind that pushes the water from the surface to the sea and water from the depths rises to the surface.

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By creating a vertical water current, in addition to colder water, this current is also loaded with nutrients; hence the richness of the waters of the bay and surroundings. Most of its beaches and diverse territories are virgin and its nature is exuberant. It has a great tourist attraction and because the wind is frequent you can often find kiteboarders and some windsurfers.

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The strong winds go from November to March (practically the dry season). The sighting of species of tourist interest is frequent and they range from birds, sea turtles, monkeys of different species and larger mammals (all year round) to humpback whales (August-December).

Bolaños Island

Located in the center of Bahia Salinas, it is a refuge for wildlife, and at the same time a sanctuary for various seabirds, its climate is dry and hot. The scarce vegetation consists of bushes that are difficult to penetrate, which helps to prevent the growth of other species, in addition to the fact that the land on the island contains little organic material. Geologically, it is an island that is very rocky, since it is mostly sedimentary rock dating back millions of years. It has small white sand beaches scattered around it. Among the most important marine species that nest on the island are the brown pelican and frigates.

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