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“Excellent for bird lovers and wildlife fans” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Reserva Biologica Carara

Reserva Biologica Carara
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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Ranked #5 of 19 things to do in Puntarenas
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Attraction details
Owner description: A coastal rain forest park.
Toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Excellent for bird lovers and wildlife fans”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

Good tour of the park with a guide who was extremely knowledgeable about the fauna, knew where to look for interesting things and was patient with us as we tried to track birds we had spotted. While it seems a bit pricey at $30 per person for a 2-hour tour ($10 admission and $20 for the guide), it was well worth it. We got good views of monkeys and sloths through the guide's telescope, as well as numerous species of birds - a pair of toucans and the orange-collared manakin with its snapping wings were highlights. Outside the park on the bridge over the Rio Tarcoles, we got two good looks at mackaws flying across - gorgeous birds with brilliant red and blue. Under the bridge is the local crocodile hangout...we counted at least 29 and a couple of them were not small characters.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Oklahoma
Top Contributor
246 reviews 246 reviews
139 attraction reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
“Rain Forest Trails improved w/Enrique Cambronero as Guide”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

Pretty much sounds like, unless you know your nature and are a Biology student or guide yourself, this national park experience is enriched by hiring a guide. If our family of five had hiked the trail without a guide, we would have seen a few birds from a distance (Scarlet Macaw included, though we also saw them fly overhead while lounging at our condo pool in Jaco), and walked a muddy nature trail.
We were NOT able to see a sloth, as we had hoped. Enrique said they seem to see them every three days or so. Can't remember if we saw the toucan here or at another park, but it flew away before I could get a picture. He also pointed out a mother bat and baby, baby bird in nest, bull frog, howler monkeys, kingfisher bird, spiders and plants.
All in all, this was enjoyable. Bring bug spray, binoculars, zoom camera, and maybe rain jacket. Also, shoes WILL get messy muddy, maybe to your ankles.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herradura, Costa Rica
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great fresh walk - be sure to hire a guide!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2012

Carara Forest Reserve is a fabulous place. No large crowds and a nice, peaceful hike. I followed the advice of other reviewers and after paying the $10/pp entry fee, hired one of the guides at the ranger station for $25.00 - great recommendation and I would highly encourage you to do this if you do go there. We actually drove down the road about a mile to enter the trailhead there. Our guide was phenomenal and knew everything there was to know about the reserve. He was able to point out things that we would never have seen otherwise. We were hoping to see the white-faced monkeys but it was high noon by the time we got there and pretty much all of the animals were taking their siesta. We did see a beautiful macaw and heard some monkeys but that was as close as we got. By the river, we saw many birds, a crocodile and loads of iguanas (there're everywhere!). I would do this again but go earlier next time (guide said monkey's are most active around 10:00am).
There are poisonous snakes so be careful - especially if you go off trail and around small streams. Wear loose, light clothing and hiking shoes.

Visited February 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Carara tours w/ David Brenes as a Guide was Awesome!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

What can I say - my wife and I visited about 6 national parks in Costa Rica in two weeks to go bird watching, and David's tour was the best of all of them. First and foremost, he suggested us NOT going into the park first - because our best chance to see toucans and scarlet mcaws was outside the park - so he took us to feeding grounds and an isolated dirt road and a private lodge for the first two hours. We saw LOTS of both and got great pictures (bring a tri-pod and a 500 lens, they often stay still long enough to line up shots). We then went into the park for two hours, and to be honest, did not see much other than the green and black leopard frog and bats - so Im glad we saw what we were looking for prior to entering the park. He is very flexable and has a great price, not to mention a real love for birds and nature (he is studying ecology at college). Thanks David! www.cararatours.com

Visited August 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Loves it - worth a stop... ask for Victor.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2009

We stopped here on the way to Manuel Antonio hoping to see the Scarlet Macaw (this is the only place to see this bird in Costa Rica). We enlisted the help of local guide Victor, he was amazing - we saw way more wildlife with his help. He tracked down the Macaw, monkeys, Jesus lizard and sloths.

This park is way more secluded and "Natural" than Manuel Antonio - Manuel Antonio was over crowded and had a Disney Park feel. Carara is the real deal for true nature lovers.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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