Carara National Park Specialists
Carara General Info
Hours open: The park opens from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm,
Trails: There are four trail systems founds at Carara
National Park. The trails are very mild in difficulty
level for hiking; mostly flat and enjoyable for all ages &
abilities of hikers. Meadrica’s Trail: One way
in and out. Several ages and stages of the forest are covered,
with a lagoon in the middle that holds a good population of
crocodiles, birds, iguanas, and more. Sendero universal:
This trail was designed to serve access to people with
disabilities or people in wheelchairs, it is a loop trail and
the forest represented here is old secondary forest with large
trees with ages well over 300 years. A good trail to find
Scarlet Macaws, monkeys, agouties, coaties and rainforest frogs.
Although the remaining two trails (Quebrada Bonita and
Areceas) are accessed by Sendero Universal, they offer
a different perspective of flora and fauna, and in some parts of
these trails the canopy strata can easily reach 140 feet and
many of the trees found here are 400 years old or more. The
forest is dense and sometimes hard to spot wildlife but it is a
must for those seeking rare birds or endemics. Such as:
Aracaries, Bairds Trogon, Orange Collared Manakin,
Riverside Wren and some of the best ground dwellers like
Tinamous, Antpittas, Anthrushes and the elusive Violaceous Quail
Location from San Jose: Drive towards Atenas through
Orotina, and then on towards Jaco, just after the Tarcoles River
(Crocodile Bridge) you will find Carara. Driving time is
about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Location from Puntarenas: Take the road from Puntarenas
towards Caldera-Orotina; once you reach the Port of Caldera
which is under an hour, start looking for the signs to
Orotina-Jaco-Manuel Antonio follow the information until the
Tarcoles River ; Carara is not farther than 3 km.
Location from Jaco: Drive north towards San Jose/Orotina
for about 25 minutes, Carara will be located to the right just 2
km after Nativa resort.
Services: Public restrooms, picnic tables, and a
staffed information desk.
Entrance fee: $10 usd for foreign visitors.
Precautions: Please remember to respect the services hours
of the park, no one should be found before then on the trails
for your own safety and that of your cherished belongings.
Guided Tours: Costa Rica Birding
Journeys offers daily birding tours at Carara National
Park. Please refer to the tour options/links belowfor
pricing and more details. If you choose not to book a tour with our company, a group of local tour
guides are available at the park and are for hire every day for
guided tours. The experience of these guides is very different
from one guide to the other. Our recommendations: 1) Ask
some pre-qualifying questions to your guide before you hire
his/her services. 2) Most of the guides at the park are not
specialists in bird watching, but rather in general nature
observation. 3) Be specific regarding how long you wish the tour
to last and request a fair price for the service. $25 per person
should get you a quality 3 hour hike through the park.
Mangrove birding tour –Rio Tarcoles
Duration: 3 hours
Overview: : A birding boat tour on the Tarcoles river
Rate: $65 per person (minimum 4 people, max 6.)*Email for rate if you are less than 4 people.
Includes: Transportation from
local hotels, boat tour and professional bird guide.
||Tour: Mangrove Boat Birding Tour & Carara Ntl. Park Combo
Duration: 10 hours (including breaks)
Overview: A birding boat tour on the Tarcoles river in the mangroves, continued with a birding hike at Carara Ntl. Park.
Rate: $130 per person (minimum 4 people, max 6.)*Email for rate if you are less than 4 people.
Tours and Packages
Duration: 1 day to 3 weeks
Overview: Plan your own birding
adventure anywhere in the country. Email us at
email@example.com or call today at 506-643-3311
x500 (dial 011 first if calling from the United States) with
your ideas and interests.