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History of the Refuge

La Marta is part of Kabar-Jérikä-Takí (Cabécar name of the great Talamanca mountain range), the only territory in the entire American continent where nature and ancestral peoples frustrated all attempts at the Spanish conquest.

According to information gathered, the productive agricultural and livestock activity in the place was carried out from 1870 to 1930, when a sort of permanent market for coffee, sugar, cocoa and bananas had been achieved.

The ruins of the Refuge are a set of structural remains of what was the infrastructure of Hacienda La Marta at the end of the 19th century. Today, these ruins represent an excellent historical-cultural heritage. We invite you to take the historical tour and learn about the coffee washing and drying area - “beneficio” - that was used for the pulping of coffee, the mill for the treatment of sugar cane, the sawmill, the dairy and hydroelectric plant, among other areas that, despite the years, are present and tell us their own story.

The topography, vegetation and climate of La Marta make it a true source of countless springs, waterholes and streams. The Gato and Marta rivers are the main attractions for the enjoyment of those who visit us; the springs come down from the mountains of the Talamanca mountain range, with a great socio-environmental value for these forests, as producers of an abundant and continuous flow of drinking water throughout the year.

“… It was once Cabecar territory full of ancestral wisdom that was later invaded and defiled by human greed, then abandoned due to the forces of nature and finally adopted by a University to dedicate it to conservation, research and education. "

Manuel Víquez Carazo, Director of the Refuge