Isla Costa Rica is a tiny little community at spitting distance from the Peruvian border. The little town is built on an island, distancing it from the busy world around it. The 60 families that occupy the island have been living there for generations. Traditionally they have been making a living as fishermen, leaving the island to fish in the mangroves and near the coast.
Isla Costa Rica isn't just a tiny island without cars, trucks or motorcycles. It is also a border town. At any given moment the island has police patrolling the beaches, making sure this little town is a safe place.
Isla Costa Rica has a lot to offer to visitors. Most travellers visit the little island to see the mangroves that surround the island. The community makes a great effort to preserve this special piece of their environment, supported by several non profit organisations. The mangroves are the home to many birdspecies, as well as fish and other wildlife. A trip through the mangroves is something to remember.
You can also visit the nearby beach, giving you the chance to relax and enjoy the ocean. The beach is not located on the same island, it is secluded and can only be visited by boat.
The community has opened its homes to visitors. With the members of the community you will be able to learn more about their culture, eating the fresh fish and enjoy the laidback way of life they are used to. If you are interested, they will let you join them on their boat in the morning and go out for a good time fishing.
Places to stay in Isla Costa Rica +
Places to stay in Isla Costa Rica
Mid-range Hotels: No
High-range Hotels: No
Places to eat in Isla Costa Rica
The food will be prepared in the homes of the community members. The fresh fish, shrimp and shell fish will be prepared in their traditional way by the women and you will be able to enjoy the fresh juices that will accompany the meals. In case you don't like seafood, don't worry. The community also offer great vegetarian meals or meals with chicken or other meat.
Practical information about Isla Costa Rica +
Getting to and around in Isla Costa Rica +
How to get to Isla Costa Rica
Isla Costa Rica is located about 40 minutes from the Ecuadorean border town of Huaquillas. To get to Huaquillas, take any bus to Machalla and transfer busses to the city, there are also direct busses to Huaquillas from Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. If you are coming from Peru, take any bus to Tumbes and cross the border to Huaquillas. From Huaquillas take a local bus or taxi to the harbor of Puerto Hualtaco. Busses leave from the plaza near the Panamericana busterminal (5 minute ride). At the harbour ask for boats leaving for the community. Boats have no regular departure time, they leave when the tide is right. Costs and time to get there (to the harbour of Puerto Hualtaco): From Quito $11,00 - 15 hours From Machalla $1,50 - 1,5 hours Please contact the coordinating organisation to arrange a visit to the island: Fundacion ArcoIris www.arcoiris.org.ec
Map of Isla Costa Rica