Kèköldi Indigenous Reserve
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The 3,547-hectare Kèköldi Indigenous Reserve, in the hills immediately west of Puerto Viejo, extends south to the borders of the Gandoca-Manzanillo refuge. It is home to some 200 Bribrís and Cabecar people. Reforestation and other conservation projects are ongoing. Gloria Mayorga, coauthor of Taking Care of Sibo’s Gift, educates tourists on indigenous history and ways.
You can visit the Iguana Farm ($1.50) where green iguanas are raised; the turnoff is 400 meters south of Hone Creek, beside Abastacedor El Cruce, then 200 meters along the dirt road.
The Talamanca Association for Ecotourism and Conservation (ATEC, tel. 506/2750-0398, www.ateccr.org, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun.) arranges tours (from $20 half day, $35 full day). The Costa Rican Association of Community-Based Rural Tourism (tel. 506/2248-9470, www.actuarcostarica.com) also offers tours.
You can spend a day at Aiko-Logi-Tours (tel. 506/2750-2084, www.aiko-logi-tours.com, $60 including transfers), a 135-hectare sustainable farm and rainforest four kilometers west of Hone Creek. It’s a perfect locale for hiking, swimming in crisp mountain pools, and engaging with nature. Volunteers are welcome to work on various eco-oriented projects. You can sleep here in tents on overnight tours ($99 pp including transfers).
The Kèköldi Scientific Center (tel. 506/2756-8136, www.kekoldi.org) works to safeguard the local environment through research projects. It welcomes volunteers and offers dorm accommodation ($20 per night including meals). You can also donate to The Bridge (tel. 506/2750-0524, www.elpuente-thebridge.org), a community-assistance organization that works to help indigenous communities help themselves.
La Red Talamanca de Ecoturismo Comunitario (www.sitiviajes.com/red_talamana.html), comprised of 12 community organizations, offers a variety of tours in local indigenous projects.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition