506-8417-9015 CR
US AND CANADA 1-281-506-0538
 
Carara National Park Specialists

Carara General Info

Hours open: The park opens from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday-Sunday.
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.

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 Dove.
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.
         
    Tour: Full-Day Tour of Carara National Park | Bird Tours in Costa Rica | Bird Trips in Costa Rica
Duration: 11.5 hours
Overview:A full day of bird watching that starts at the Meandrical trail, a one way path with five different micro-ecosystems ranging from 25-year-old pasture fields to secondary growth forests aging more than 200 years.
Rate: 4-6 pax $135 person, 2-3 pax $200 person
 
         
    Tour: Half Day Tours of Carara National Park | Bird Tours in Costa Rica | Bird Trips in Costa Rica
Duration: 6 hours
Overview: Tour will explore several trail systems at Carara, depending on birding interest. Even a half day at Carara opens the door to view many species.
Rate: $60 per person (minimum 4 people, max 6.)*Email for rate if you are less than 4 people.
 
         
   

Tour: 3 Day Tour of Carara National Park | Bird Tours in Costa Rica | Bird Trips in Costa Rica
Duration:10 hours per day(includes resting breaks)
Overview:: A variety locations and bird species; including Carara National Park, open pasture fields, riverside edges, and a mangrove boat tour.
Rate: $220 per person (minimum 4 people, max 6.)*Email for rate if you are less than 4 people.

 
    Tour: 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.
Includes:
 
    Tour: Customized Tours and Packages
Duration: 1 day to 3 weeks
Overview: Plan your own birding adventure anywhere in the country. Email us at birdguide@costarricense.cr or call today at 506-643-3311 x500 (dial 011 first if calling from the United States) with your ideas and interests.
 

For more information, email info@costaricabirdingjourneys.org or call today at 506-8417-9015 (CR; dial 011 first if calling from US).

 
Variable Seed Eater
Keel Billed Toucan
White Ibis
Anhinga
Variable Seed Eater
Keel Billed Toucan
White Ibis
Anhinga
Variable Seed Eater
Keel Billed Toucan
White Ibis
Anhinga
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl
 
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*Photography by Randall Ortega ©2007.