Costa RicaCosta Rica

       pelicans on rock montezuma
  - Costa Rica

Guayabo, Pajaro & Negritos Island Reserves

Guayabo, Pajaro & Negritos Island Reserves

Quick Facts

  • Location : 8 miles northwest of Puntarenas
  • Altitude : Sea level
  • Area : 9.4 to 198 acres
  • Hours : 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Telephone : 2695-5180
  • Entrance Fee : $10.00

Located in the picturesque Gulf of Nicoya, the islands of Guayabo, Los Pajaros and Negritos dot the crystalline waters of the Pacific Ocean. All three are important nesting sites for the brown pelican, yellow-naped parrot, brown booby, frigate bird and laughing gull; Guayabo Island is also a wintering destination for peregrine falcons.

read more close

The surrounding Pacific waters are very rich in marine life; common species include red and yellow snapper, dolphins, turtles and whales. The trio of biological reserves is situated off the central Pacific coast and is a sightseeing attraction along the passenger ferry that travels from Puntarenas to Paquera, on the Nicoya Peninsula. From the boat, Guayabo Island is the easiest to identify, with its large, flat landscape. Due to strong winds, this section of the Gulf of Nicoya is a popular choice for sailing.

Guayabo Island

Guayabo Island was added to Costa Rica’s National Park System in December 1982. The 16.8-acre island is comprised mostly of sedimentary rock that dates back some 60 million years. Soil conditions are generally inhospitable, and the island is covered in shrubs and low-growing plants like guaco, a favorite nesting material for resident and migratory bird populations. Wild fig, coyol palms, and viscoyol palms also grow on the island. Guayabo is one of four known nesting sites in Costa Rica for the brown pelican; populations have been recorded at more than 300 birds – one of the largest populations in the world. Of the three islands, Guayabo is the only with rudimentary trails: above the high-tide line a looping path winds along the beach.

Los Pajaros Island

Los Pajaros is almost completely round and shaped like a dome. The island spans 9.4 acres and is covered in shrubs and second-growth grasses and can be walked during low tide. Wild guava and crown fig are the Los Pajaros’ two most prominent tree species.

Negritos Islands

The Negritos Islands – Negritos Adentro and Negritos Afuera – are the largest of the three reserves. The islands’ combined area totals almost 200 acres and consists of semi-deciduous forest and species like gumbo-limbo, lacewood, and spiny cedar.


Hot and dry year-round, the islands witness a small amount of rain between May and November.


There are no facilities and camping is not permitted. A beach trail winds around Guayabo Island, but is only accessible during low tide. A permit from the Tempisque Conservation Area (2695-5180) is required to visit the island.

Getting There:

From Paquera or Puntarenas, it is necessary to hire a charter boat and guide to the biological reserves as there is no public transportation

Guayabo, Pajaro & Negritos Island Reserves in Pictures

Best Hotel Deals in Costa Rica!

Get up to 30% off Hotels & Resorts worldwide compared to other major booking sites like Expedia and Priceline with our exclusive pricing ...