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Historically, the economic importance of the San Juan during the California Gold Rush captured the interest of Cornelius Vanderbilt, whose oceanic steamship service used the route to transport thousands of men and tons of gold on the 42-day journey between New York and San Francisco, via Nicaragua. Vanderbilt constructed gigantic dredges in the lagoon to place much needed sand for railroad beds in low-lying areas. One dredge is still visible from the Rio Indio lodge, in the shallows of the bay. After hundreds of frenetic years, the San Juan is again quiet, peaceful and serene. The jungle trains are silent; the dredge melts slowly into the water and the forest have reclaimed the clearings. The old railway beds now serve as hiking trails for intrepid tourists and forest beasts. The only thing missing is you!
The main dining room, lounge bar and reception are done in solid oak. Cable television, satellite telephones and e-mail service are available to our guests, nevertheless, our hope is that you will leave that world behind and discover everything that makes Rio Indio naturally magical.
Thatched-roof walkways between the lodge and the spacious guest bungalows traverse above the jungle floor. Walking to your room can be a wonderful experience as numerous butterflies, tanagers, hummingbirds, honeycreepers, toucans, and other strange and interesting creatures fly, hop and crawl amidst the surrounding vegetation. Our private property and the huge reserve which surround it is home to jaguars, tapirs, ocelots, three species of monkeys, the Great Green Macaw, dart frogs of bright and unusual colors and much more. The majestic monkey-eating Harpy Eagle still inhibits the area. Your nature and fishing guides are native Rama Indians who are deeply familiar with the reserve in which they live.
When fishing near the lodge for snook, Silver King tarpon, "guapote"or rainbow bass, mojara and machaca, you might be privileged to see a manatee. You almost certainly will see crocodile and perhaps it's smaller cousin, the caiman. The many tours at Rio Indio Lodge can be personalized to suit your interests. Choose from among activities such as birding, walks, natural history hikes, kayaking, horseback riding, sport fishing, river and beach exploration and more. Of course, you're always welcome to grab a book and just relax - but with so much going on we doubt you'll want to read for long!
THE WILDLIFE REFUGE
Special characteristics of this Caribbean rain forest area are its enormous flora and fauna resources made up of an infinite number of rare species, some on the road to extinction. The refuge offers a living paradise for naturalists and constitutes the most valuable legacy for future generations to grow old on a healthy planet, free of impurities and pollution, and to live in respectful communion and love with Mother Nature!
FLORA AND FAUNA
The terrestrial fauna includes tapirs, jaguars and ocelots, monkeys (spider, howlers, white face, etc), sloths, raccoons, armadillos, peccaries, otters, kinkajous, anteaters; the unusual Fishing Bulldog Bat is common near lagoons, as well as the tame and enormous manatee. Predominant species in fresh and salt waters are the Royal Tarpon and the Bull Shark -known as the fresh water shark- both come from the sea into rivers and lagoons reaching up to the large lakes and tributary rivers in the interior of the country where some of them acclimatize. It is also possible to find caimans or crocodiles, snook, native species such "guapote" (a native rainbow bass especie) as the Sawfish, or the strange Garfish -a prehistoric living fossil- among other varieties that populate these waters.
This magnificent wildlife zone is rich in amphibians; examples of the frogs found are red-eyed, flying, spotted-green, reticulated glass and granulose-red. Some of these frogs are very poisonous. Among the birds in the area, there are toucans, macaws, parrots, owls, eagles, hawks; very rare species such as the "Royal Fly Catcher", a beautiful specimen symbol of the Río Indio Adventure Lodge. Here reptiles are luxuriously represented, from the enormous Green Turtle of the Atlantic to the multitude of iguanas, serpents, small lizards and many other genuses. The splendid variety of butterflies (diurnal and nocturnal) and the hummingbirds, are the radiant jewels that in a myriad of colors tinge the woods with their magical palette.
This monumental reserve is a botanists Eden! From gigantic trees up to 40 meters in height to miniscule, barely perceptible orchids are all part of the vast variety in vegetation. An immense diversity of heliconias, bromeliads, mushrooms, passionflowers, ferns, palms, fruit species, etc; live in harmony with an extravagant world of insects.
GREAT RIO INDIO-CORN RESERVE
The Wildlife Refuge "Río San Juan" is located here and among many other functions cares for rescued animals and supervises their reintroduction into their natural habitat, thus returning to nature what was once taken away. Because of its location in the Caribbean Rain Forest, conditions permit the proliferation of a vast number of terrestrial and aquatic species. There is an infinite range of plants, flowers and trees of enormous interest to naturalists, scientist and simply all those who wish to admire all the beauty remaining for us on this Earth.
The Rain Goddess accommodates from six to 12 guests. Five-day and seven-day packages are offered or we will tailor group trips to suit any schedule or fishing preference. Packages include the night of arrival at a first-class San Jose hotel, ground transfers, round-trip flight into the area, gourmet meals, permits, licenses and an open bar. Despite the additional luxury and flexibility offered by the Rain Goddess, cost is competitive with any of the fine fixed-base fishing lodges in Costa Rica! There is a cellular telephone with international and local service, television with VHS. Four staterooms on the upper deck complete with queen size bed and two on the main deck with a double bed. Each stateroom on the second is equipped with a sink and vanity, and of course there is hot water in each of three bathrooms, with showers.
Our Call Center is Open
7 Days per Week! 1-888-246-1431