(9.154 ha). The Hitoy-Cerere Biological Reserve is situated in the foothills of the Cordillera de Talamanca, southwest of la Estrella Valley. It`s one of the least known reserve in the country. It was established in 1978. It gots its name from the Bri Bri Indian language. Hitoy means "shaggy", and it can have something to do with stones covered by mosses. The second word of its name Cerere stands for "clear water".
It encompasses the southern foothills of Cordillera Talamanca. This formation of muntains started by volcanic activity during the Eucene Period, some 40-60 million years ago, and was concluded about 3-5 million years ago. The reserve includes the upper reaches of the Ilitoy and Cerere Rivers. It`s entirely criss-crossed by countless rocky rivers with rapids and waterfalls, some reaching several tens of meters in height.
The refuge has the shape of "dolphin". Its southern-western part is designed along the valley of Telire river. Its southern-eastern part is limited by the hills of Kurkiribeta and Uruchica. Within its boundaries are the following peaks: Bobocara (798 m.a.s.l.), Jacron,
There rains almost permanently, especially in the monthes of July-August and November-December, when there are torrential downpours, storms, hurricanes. The rainfall subsidies in March, September and October, but it can`t be said that there is a dry season. Avarage annual rainfall is 3.500 - 4.000 mm, while the requirements of the forest barely exceed 1.700 mm. The climate is very hot and humid with temperatures between 25,5 C in the lowlands to 20,5 C in the mountains.
The high precipitation encourages the development of evergreen forests so most of the trees in upper elevation are more than 30 metres tall and the emergent trees top 50 meters. Commonly found species include the crabwood, wild tamarind, silk cotton, Santa María, bully tree, possum-wood and nargusta. All are laden with mosses and other epiphytes. The fauna is rich and varied, although most species either live in the treetops or are nocturnal and therefore are not usually seen.
Frequently seen animals are the three-toed sloth, silky anteater, four-eyed opossum, Neotropical river otter, tayra, jaguar, tiger cat, tapir, red brocket deer, collared peccary, and howler and white-faced monkey.
There are registered over 115 species of birds including Montezuma oropendola (which congregates to build large numbers of hanging nests in a single tree), turkey vulture, chizo parrot, slatey-tailed trogon, hummingbirds, keel-billed toucan, spectacled owl, green kingfisher and cayenne squirrel- cuckoo.
The hot and humid habitat is naturally also home to snakes, frogs (poison dart frog) and numerous butterflies, together with thousands of insects.
A good path through the Park is along the Espavel Trail, a 9 km track leading southward along the bottomlands to the ranger station. You'll see many creeks and waterfalls and some lovely views of the Talamanca Mountain System. (The name of the trail comes from the spanish name of cashew tree).
There is a road, partly paved and partly gravel, from Puerto Limón to the administration headquarters in the Estrella Valley. The distance between San Jose and Hitoy is 227 km.