Finca Pangola is a multi-use farm that protects habitat for wildlife while supporting an economically productive forestry project. The forestry project that conforms to Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) rules to be sustainably managed and harvested, occupies 450 hectares of the farm. The forest reserve protects an additional 650 hectares (over 1000 acres!) of lowland rainforest, much of which is healthy primary forest, some still in virgin condition. There is an additional 100 plus hectares of lagoons, riparian habitat and wetlands.
The wildlife on the property is diverse, and both bird and mammal species are abundant. Peccaries, tapir, deer and three species of monkeys are frequently seen. The Spectacled Owl, Great Green Macaw, Ringed Kingfisher and Slaty-tailed Trogon are some of the emblematic species of Finca Pangola.
Hiking trails and horseback trails are under construction. Along the hiking trails observation platforms will be built at different heights to allow birdwatchers the opportunity to search for birds at different forest levels. A world class boardwalk is also under construction, which will take you through the primary rainforest and to each of the five large ceiba trees. These five old-growth trees are the inspiration for the name of this tourism destination: Cinco Ceibas. At Cinco Ceibas, there are also plans for a boat house which will supply kayaks and canoes for visitors to use to explore the many lagoons and backwaters of the reserve.
Photo above: Holly Robertson on the nearly completed boardwalk at Cinco Ceibas
There currently is a main house that can be rented out to visitors. In 2011, construction of a 25 unit eco-lodge will begin. Finca Pangola also hosts the field offices of the Rainforest Biodiversity Group. Here volunteers are working within the local community conducting English classes, environmental education classes and bird identification and tourism training. The volunteers and and Ulises Aleman, the former head researcher for the Great Green Macaw Research Project, act as guides for the property. Click here for more information on Rainforest Biodiversity Group's volunteer program.
Other Bird Route sites in the area include Quebrada Grande Reserve, Tirimbina Rainforest Center and Selva Verde Lodge.
(N 10° 33' 5'', W 84° 8' 37'')
Finca Pangola is accessed via the town of Río Cuarto, which is between San Miguel and Agua Zarcas along the western length of the Costa Rican Bird Route. From San Miguel follow the signs N toward Agua Zarcas for 5.0 km to Río Cuarto. In Río Cuarto, go right at the Importadora Monge. It is not a well signed right turn, so one will need to pay close attention. There is a small park on the left side after you turn. Follow this road 3 km (8 km from San Miguel) to a Y. Go left. Continue another 5.5 km (12.5 from San Miguel) to another intersection. Go left again and follow the road up and around a factory to the right to the town of Santa Rita. Continue 1.5 km until you get to a T at the main plaza. Take a right, and head past the Colono hardware store on your right. Follow this road for another 23 km (36 km from San Miguel) to Pangola. Finca Pangola is on your right side. Look for the blue gates and the Costa Rican Bird Route sign.
From Pital head south toward San Miguel. In Río Cuarto you will take a left at the Importadora Monge. Continue via the directions above. There is bus service available to the town of Pangola, however the trip is only offered once a day, and it takes three hours to cover the 20 km between Pangola and Pital.