This particular site is unique in that it is actually two sites combined. The two reserves include the farms known as Bosque Tropical del Toro (BTT) and Finca Paniagua, which together protect over 400 hectares of wildlife habitat. Bosque Tropical del Toro is a jungle hideaway situated on the banks of the Toro River and protects a rare wetland type dominated by the Yolillo Palm. Finca Paniagua is a working farm that protects large tracts of forested hills in the Sarapiquí lowlands.
Guido Quesada, the owner of BTT, has been implementing an extensive native species reforestation project. His efforts have been rewarded by the return of the Scarlet Macaw, Green Ibis and Crested Owl.
BTT is off the beaten path, and off the grid. There is no electricity at the moment. A single solar panel lights a few bulbs in the evening. There are currently two cabins with a separate, fully equipped kitchen for rent. You can also make a day trip to BTT by taking a boat or driving from Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí and you can have lunch with local families in the community of La Unión which is reached by crossing the Toro River in a hanging basket.
BTT offers horses for you to take to Finca Paniagua. Finca Paniagua offers great rainforest hikes, and even better birding. The farm has an unusually high number of difficult to observe birds. These species include Collared Forest-Falcon, Blue-crowned Motmot, White-whiskered Puffbird, Black-faced Antthrush, and Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant. The site is also very important for neotropical migrants such as the Ovenbird, Prothonatory Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler.
Finca Paniagua is just an hour drive from Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. Don Oscar Paniagua can offer pairs of travelers home cooked meals and lodging. BTT and Finca Paniagua are accessible from other Bird Route sites including Gavilán Lodge and Selva Verde Lodge. These sites also offer easy access to Lomas de Sardinal and Quebrada Grande Reserves.
Contacting Guido directly is currently the best way to ensure a successful trip to BTT. He speaks perfect English and can help set up boat tours for you as well. Guido Quesada can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone in Costa Rica at 506-2283-0216 or 506-8382-6803. Guido can also help you set up trips to Finca Paniagua. You can try to contact Oscar at 506-2237-2338 or 506-8381-4966 if you speak Spanish. Additional information on BTT can be found on their website at http://www.bosquedeltoro.com.
(N 10° 34' 23'', W 84° 3' 8'') (N 10° 35' 54'', W 84° 2' 11'')
From the center of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí continue NE past the Banco Popular and on past the Banco Nacional. At the Banco Nacional, going right will take you to a small marina where you can hire a boat to take you to BTT with Viajes Lao. Continuing to the left past the Banco Nacional you will go over a small bridge and curve to the right. From Puerto Viejo go 17.8 km to an intersection where you will go left at Sardinal. From Sardinal continue 3.6 km to the community of La Delia. From La Delia it is 1.6 km to Finca Paniagua on your left, and from the Paniagua farm it is an additional 3.1 km to the Toro River Bridge. Cross this bridge, turn right and continue 2.2 km to the center of La Unión. You will see the football field on the right. Continue past the field and you will see a thatched roof gazebo. This is the house of Memo, who can help you get across the river to BTT.