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“Don't Miss this National Park Gem in Costa Rica”

Carara National Park
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Private Tour: Carara National Park Bird Watching Tour
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Carara
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Carara National Park is south of the Rio Tarcoles and 15 km north of Jaco Dentral. It boasts of a large population of breeding scarlet macaws, capuchin monkeys, anteaters, parrots, aracaris, kingfishers old growth forest and is a transistional forest supporting both Amazonian and Mesoamerican habitats.
Hudson, NH
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Don't Miss this National Park Gem in Costa Rica”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2013

Visited Carara National Park in Sept. 2013 and thru recommendations hired Freddy Villarreal as our tour guide. You can look him up online, he has a Facebook page.

What an awesome experience this park & Freddy was. This park is more wild and less maintained than Manuel Antonio and more remote, which makes for great wildlife viewing and an overall great experience. If you want a fantastic 3-4 hour tour, hire the best....Freddy delivered more than we could have hoped for and a trip thru the park we will never forget. His 20 years experience gives him a tremendous wealth of knowledge of the flora & fauna of the area....you will want to take notes!!

We saw monkeys, coatimundis, lizards, agouti, iguanas, poison dart frogs, bats and of course the scarlet macaws. Remember to put your insect repellant on before hitting the trails....you will get devoured if you don't. This park is definitely one you will need a guide for...

Also...don't forget to view the crocodiles just North of this park at the Rio Tarcoles bridge...a must see!

Visited September 2013
3 Thank welshcorgi2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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425 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Erie, CO
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful park”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

Great tour today with Maurice Vasquez as our guide. Contact him at 8889 6061 or mauriciovp@hotmail.com. He can provide boots if the trail is muddy like today if you let him know in advance. He's very knowledgeable about all the plants and birds.

Visited September 2013
3 Thank PuertoDi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
“Visitng Carara National Park in the Fall”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

Does anyone know how to contact Maurice Vasquez, before going to Costa Rica, to make a reservation for him to be our tour guide?

Visited November 2012
Thank Kellrobbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leidschendam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great tour with Maurice Vazquez”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2013

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience skip Manuel Antonio N.P. and go here. Carara National Park doesn't offer any beach but you have great opportunities to spot wild life as not a lot of people seem to visit this park. It is THE place to spot the scarlet macaw and make sure to hire Maurice as your guide!
He is very knowledgable, speaks good English and will be super excited to welcome you to his office a.k.a. the park.
We saw white and regular bats, agouti, road hawk, capuchin monkeys, macaw's and many other beautiful birds.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank HvZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germantown, Maryland
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“Great Park - Hire Maurice (You can thank me later!)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

For those unfamiliar, Carara is MUCH smaller than Manuel Antonio. We walked most of the park and barely saw another person (understanding we are near the end of the season - but Manuel Antonio is still crowded this time of year!) $10 for adults and my kids are 8 and 12 and were $1 each. We came for the Macaws but my hiring 'Mo' we got to see SO MUCH MORE. One example, Mo took us off the main path searching for a better view of some white faced monkeys we were tracking. In doing so, he stumbled upon a Night Hawk in absolutely perfect camoflauge on the ground. The bird was so well hidden I still couldn't see it when Mo shined his flashlight on it! We saw so many birds that we otherwise would have missed. For us, the big attraction here was the Macaws - they are just simply gorgeous to see in the wild. BTW - we hired Mo for a 1.5-2 hr tour... 3.5 hours later we finished up! After we left Mo we went on the hunt for black and green poison dart frogs. We were able to catch a very brief glimpse of two of them on the main trail but they darted so quickly when we got too close we never managed to get a picture of one. This is a perfect stop if you are driving from Arenal to Manuel Antonio or vice versa!

Visited August 2013
3 Thank HokieInGermantown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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