The Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge is designates as a mixed category refuge. This is because it is partly privately owned land and partly state owned land. The land that is state owned is the 200 meter wide swath along the beach. Normally this area is administered by the local government which regulates its use according to a zoning and regulatory plan and collects the yearly concession fee.
In the case of a mixed wildlife refuge like Hacienda Barú this strip of beach frontage is administered by the Ministry of the Environment MINAE.) It is regulated by a management plan which emphasizes conservation rather than development and the people making the decisions are technicians and professionals rather than politicians. The regulation for wildlife refuges is quite strict with regard to the environmental impact of the facilities that are constructed on it. The emphasis is on the protection of natural resources and terrestrial and marine biodiversity.