Curú Wildlife Refuge ★★ (tel. 6209-3846; $15/person per day admission), 16km (10 miles) north of Tambor, is a private reserve of pretty, secluded beaches, as well as forests and mangrove swamps. This area is extremely rich in wildlife. Howler and white-faced monkeys are often spotted here, and quite a few species of birds, including scarlet macaws (the refuge is actively involved in a macaw protection and repopulation effort). Horses are available to rent for $15 per hour. Typically you’ll ride with a guide for about an hour to a lovely beach, hang out on the sand for another hour, and then ride back. You only get charged for the time you’re actually on horseback, so trips run about $20-$25. Some very rustic cabins are available with advance notice for $30 per person per day. Meals are $10. If you don’t have a car, you should arrange pickup with the staff who manage this refuge. Or you can contact Turismo Curú (tel. 2641-0004), which specializes in guided tours to the refuge, as well as kayaking trips and other adventures.

The waters off the Curú Wildlife Refuge are ripe with bioluminescent dinoflagellates, a plankton that emits light when moved or agitated. This creates an effect commonly known as bioluminescence. The phenomenon exists year-round here, although it varies in intensity. The best timing for a visit is around a new moon in the dry season. Strong moonlight and muddy waters from runoff both diminish the effect.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.