The best time for animal spotting is around 8am, or on Wednesday mornings, after the reserve has been closed for two days. The heat chases a lot of the wildlife into the more heavily forested sections of the reserve, which are off-limits to visitors, but you’re still likely to see howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys and white-tailed deer; agoutis and coati are also common. Harder to spot mammals include the margay, northern tamandua and collared peccary – Cabo Blanco has what is thought to be the last herd of these boar-like creatures on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Birdlife is astonishingly plentiful, in the forest itself (where you might catch a glimpse of a long-tailed manakin or a sulphur-winged parakeet) but particularly down by the shore – you’ll often see scores of pelicans and clouds of magnificent frigatebirds, while Costa Rica’s largest community of brown boobies nests on Isla Cabo Blanco, the guano-encrusted island that lies 2km offshore.

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