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The Ara Project

#1 of 2 things to do in Punta Islita Features Animals
Punta Islita 50906, Costa Rica
+506 8505 3336
Review Highlights
So glad we went!

We found this tour to be informative and a wonderful way to observe wild macaws at a close yet... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Silver Spring, Maryland
via mobile
Amazing experience

The Ara Project is an absolutely must visit if you are interested in conservation for the wild... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Amber P
Read all 143 reviews
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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 at our Punta Islita centre where they have the opportunity to view released Scarlet macaws in the wild. They will hear about the work The Ara Project does and why it is so important. 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.
  • Excellent89%
  • Very good6%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“ara project” (51 reviews)
“costa rica” (25 reviews)
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Hours Today: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
Punta Islita 50906, Costa Rica
+506 8505 3336
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Reviews (143)
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1 - 10 of 129 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We found this tour to be informative and a wonderful way to observe wild macaws at a close yet respectful distance. I admire this project's work and the way they treat the birds to reintroduce them into the wild. If you want to see macaws...More

Thank sponau
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Ara Project is an absolutely must visit if you are interested in conservation for the wild macaws. The work that they do is critical for protecting Costa Rica's most valuable species of macaws, the Great Green and Scarlet. By visiting the project, you are...More

Thank Amber P
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

You go at feeding time and the birds all flock around. Lots of yelling and squawking with some birds pushing others off the feeding station. Good information from the staff.

Thank Cryptoref
Reviewed July 5, 2017

OK at best we saw more at our hotel was interesting for an hour no more and we love wildlife they feed the birds from a distance you watch for 5-10 minutes then leaveMore

Thank David11803
TheAraProjectIslita, Manager at The Ara Project, responded to this reviewResponded July 10, 2017

Hi David11803, I am sorry you thought is was Okay at best. I want to be clear the tour is an hr long, not 5-10 mins, just so people don't get the impression they are paying $20 for 10 mins. Our aim is to provide...More

Reviewed June 7, 2017 via mobile

Great video followed by watching wild macaws eat. Guide was very kind and very knowledgeable. Great trip for bird enthusiasts.

Thank kmhz1234
Reviewed May 20, 2017

We found the trip to this Ara Project very informative! These are beautiful birds and it is great to see committed people working to increase their numbers.

Thank divermt
Reviewed May 16, 2017 via mobile

Support the Ara project by sending them a check but don't waste your time on the tour. We were crowded into a small area to watch a slide show/video. It was informative but we could have learned the information on the internet. The guide was...More

Thank OmmaP
TheAraProjectIslita, Manager at The Ara Project, responded to this reviewResponded May 18, 2017

Dear OmmaP, I'm very sorry to read that you were disappointed by our tour. We strive to offer our guests something that they cannot get anywhere else, watching free flying Scarlet macaws whilst learning from dedicated conservation volunteers and professionals about a working conservation organisation....More

Reviewed May 12, 2017

I highly recommend going there . They clearly love what they are doing and deserve donations to restore the Macaws population.

Thank Sean L
Reviewed April 17, 2017

Reservations are needed to visit and can be made online at their website. It is about 40 minute drive from Samara and well worth the visit. There is a video presentation of the work being done breeding and releasing the macaws. ARA is also working...More

Thank CrosCrek
Reviewed April 6, 2017

We decided spontanously to apply for a tour and where admitted at 3 p.m., which is now the feeding time for this majestic birds. On a 40 ha ground we could see lots of macaws feeding, flying, communicating with each other and even listening to...More

Thank Anonymous10779
TheAraProjectIslita, Manager at The Ara Project, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2017

Dear Anonymous10779, Thank you so much for the great review, we are glad you enjoyed your experience - Manzanillo truly is a unique place to see Great green macaws. Unfortunately you have written your review on the wrong page, we have different pages for our...More

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Questions & Answers
Ann R
November 23, 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Mcwarn00 | Reviewed this property |
it's about 25 minutes from Samara. there's a beautiful beach to explore, but that's about it. there is one restaurant in town that is okay. there is also the hotel restaurant which is pretty good but a bit expensive. the... More
February 12, 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Jon S | Reviewed this property |
There's no location in San Jose that I'm aware of - you're right that if you want to pay them a visit, it has to be on one coast or the other. For contact numbers and details of visiting times (which need to be pre-booked... More
December 3, 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Safarigreg | Reviewed this property |
Hello Daan, It didn't seem that the snorkeling was good there due to the rough water and tides. Better for body surfing really, or walking the beach.