We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
$25 Amazon.com Gift Card Get yours when you book a hotel on TripAdvisor and review your stay!

The Ara Project

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Punta Islita 50906, Costa Rica
Phone Number: 50685053336
Website
Today
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Description:

In remote, jungle covered hills on the Pacific coast, The Ara Project, a...

In remote, jungle covered hills on the Pacific coast, The Ara Project, a conservation NGO dedicated to the survival of Costa Rica's two macaw species is working to breed and release young birds into areas where they once flew free. Guests can book tours of the Punta Islita breeding and release centre where they have the opportunity to view released Scarlet macaws in the wild and up close and meet some of the Great Green macaws kept for breeding. Tours run for an hour and aim to inform guests of the project's work, the plight of these birds in the wild and what we can all do to help them. Tours are by RESERVATION ONLY at 4pm, please book by email at least 24 hours in advance.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 106 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 89
    Excellent
  • 4
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Tom loves his job with these amazing birds.

I told everyone at Punta Islita that visiting Ara Project was one of our best experiences in all of our trips to Costa Rica

5 of 5 starsReviewed 5 days ago
Susan W
,
Naples, FL
Add Photo Write a Review

106 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 97: English reviews
Naples, FL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I told everyone at Punta Islita that visiting Ara Project was one of our best experiences in all of our trips to Costa Rica

Helpful?
Thank Susan W
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Very cool place - this is a little gem - what a surprise to see this art work - our kids took a key chain class and the hotel drove them here and it is not one of those "string a few colored beads together" class - it is a real artisan that does it and it was great -

Helpful?
Thank Mark P
Level Contributor
28 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2016 via mobile

I will be brief since this is the last of many reviews tonight. I will confirm with all the other reviews. Simply amazing tour and birds. They are so beautiful, especially with in arms reach. Please take the time and visit this beautiful and education tour.

Helpful?
Thank Kurtisa001
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2016 via mobile

Awesome experience all around. We learned a lot and saw tons of Macaws, both in the exhibits and in the wild. Our tour guide, a young British fellow was very knowledgeable, patient, and kind hearted. This is a great activity for all ages! As a bonus, we also saw many humming birds and butterflies.

Helpful?
Thank Mcwarn00
Oakville, Ontario
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2016

The folks here are friendly and very knowledgeable. Our family , including grandchildren ,learned a lot about ththe two endangered species. The birds are beautiful and there is opportunity to see the up close and in flight. Only downside was finding the place and travelling the rough road to get there. One suggestion would be to improve the mapage and... More 

Helpful?
Thank garkar
Curridabat, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2016 via mobile

The work of the Ara Project is amazing! Is a one of a kind experience to be so close to macaws. This would never ever happen in the wild. The macaws you see are rescued birds, used to humans. They are key to the ongoing breeding project and they are very well taken care by the staff. The tour lasts... More 

Helpful?
Thank Carlos U
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2016

Located next to, and supported by, Hotel Punta Islita, the ARA Project was a wonder way to enjoy the area. Literally DOZENS of Macaws flew the area, including around the hotel, and no doubt this was the result of ARA. Hotel shuttle can drive you down and very well worth the trip while staying anywhere around Islita - even worth... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brad B
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2016

A great afternoon spent hanging out with the macaws at the Ara Project! Macaws are naturally bond-seeking so they were super excited to have guests. :) Would recommend it for an enlightening excursion.

Helpful?
Thank Amanda G
Littleton, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2016

Well worth the drive!! The Macaws are vibrant, majestic creatures who enjoy human interaction. It was amazing how close they got to us without worry. Truly a must see. We had a very knowledgable tour guide Tom. He was extremely personable and passionate about his work. Our tour went longer than planned but he never rushed us. He answered all... More 

Helpful?
Thank Debbie P
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2016

It's incredibly cool to see an organization successfully bringing back wildlife to the wild. You get an idea of the real challenges and success on the tour; it's mind-blowing. Then you get a whole lot of popping bird color....

Helpful?
Thank zaness2015
TheAraProjectIslita, Manager at The Ara Project, responded to this review

Wow thanks for the great review! Our tours are an opportunity for us to spread the word about the plight of these two macaw species in Central America, to reveal a bit about how we go about conserving them in the wild and to share our love for these magnificent, charismatic birds. We're so glad you enjoyed your visit. The... More 

Travelers who viewed The Ara Project also viewed

Nosara, Province of Guanacaste
 
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
 

Been to The Ara Project? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Ara Project and other visitors
5 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (5)

Questions? Get answers from The Ara Project staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?