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“Beautiful, but don't expect any help from staff”

Palo Verde National Park
Book In Advance
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$69.00*
and up
Jungle River Cruise at Palo Verde National Park
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$132.00*
and up
Palo Verde National Park and Coffee Tour
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$119.00*
and up
Palo Verde Wildlife Tour from Tamarindo
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The water system in this park sustains the largest population of waterfowl and wading birds in Central America.
Reviewed January 18, 2013

Palo Verde is a beautiful national park and should be visited, with a few cautions: first, access is difficult. Secondary roads in Costa Rica are not good to begin with, but the 20 km trek from the PanAmerican highway was in very rough repair and was a little scary at times. Once in the park, there appear to be lots of things to do, but it is difficult to figure out where to go and what to do. The woman at the entry gate was wonderful, but once at the parking lot we were made to feel like interlopers who were wasting the guide's time. The pamphlet they provide with the hikes and sites was so minimalist that we could not figure out what to do or where to go. the pamphlet showed hiking routes but did not provide enough information to know whay we should choose one route over another. In the end, we explored and found things ourselves, but let's say we just got lucky. The park itself is very beautiful, which is the only reason I give this an average rating.

1  Thank Paul d d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 - 256 of 352 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2013

We started the tour with our driver stopping for us to take pictures of the howler monkeys that were in the trees.

We took a boat tour down the amazing Tempisque River! There were so many crocs, not as many howler and white faced monkeys as I would like, but enough to get some pics., lots of lizards/iguanas being that it was mating season, bats, numerous birds of every tropical variety.

We ate a delicious lunch at the Hacienda el Viejo. After lunch we were shown how they extracted the sugar from sugar cane in the "Old Day". I was pleasantly surprised at how not sweet the juice was.

AND..... We learned a very important lesson from our tour guide:

PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE MONKEYS OR ANY WILDLIFE FOR THAT MATTER! YOU DO NOT WANT THEM TO COME ONTO YOUR BOAT. THIS IS AGAINST COSTA RICA LAW AND NOT GOOD FOR THE ANIMALS. PLEASE RESPECT THEIR HABITAT.

If you go with a reputable tour guide, you will not have to worry about this.

We had a lot of fun on this tour and would definitely recommend.

1  Thank Lise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

This national park features some beautiful wetlands which are an ideal location for bird watching. Large groups of ducks are present in the area, together with many other waterbirds. In addition there is a nice dry forest connected to it, habitat of other species. We had 3 species of monkeys here, and other animals are easily spotted (e.g. pick nick place). You can ask at the OTS station for a boat tour to the bird-island, definitely worth to see, and we also had one Jaribu under the way…
As there is no separate section for the OTS station, the only place to stay in the park, I will also review them here. If you are going to sleep here, do not forget it is NOT a hotel, but a research station which is meant for the stay of students and researchers, so it is NOT made for tourists. Rooms are very basic with bunk beds, not-so very clean bathrooms, not-so very clean (but necessary) mosquito nets. Lunch, dinner and breakfast is included, and it is catered for a large group (there usually stay large groups of students), at set times (which may not be so convenient for early-morning bird watchers). A guided tour is included, and we had Rafael. A great guide, who had biological and ecological knowledge for beyond what you expect from a normal guide. He was very friendly and helpful, but I can imagine that if you are not very interested into nature (like us), you would probably find it a little bit too much. The price (ca 180$ for a couple) is high, and is partially used to fund their research. I would certainly stay here again , but be aware that you should know beforehand that you only get this very basic accommodation for a high price.

Thank Geographtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

This was an amazing tour thanks to Javiar of LovingCostaRica.Our tour started early (6am!) so that we could get to the river while the wildlife was still active. Such a great idea since we were the only ones on the river! Javier made multiple stops along the way to show us local fauna, wildlife and artifacts. I learned so many interesting things about Costa Rica from hime! We got to see Howler monkeys, white faced monkeys, crocodiles, bats and a whole host of birds. It was very impressive. After the tour, we went to Coyote ranch, where lunch was prepared by women who ran the ranch. They were single mothers who went into business together to try and create a better life for themselves and their children. The food was authentic and the whole experience was lovely. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone.

Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We had a good experience at this national park. We stayed overnight inside the park which was good because we saw insects we had never seen before. The rooms though, are not comfy. Need mosquito nets and there is just one small fan in the room which means my head had to hang out of the net if I needed some air. Plus we were warned about checking for scorpions inside the room so even though we didnt find any, my wife was freaked out the whole time. Plus the cafeteria has a fair amount of bugs, could be cleaner for being the most expensive stay for us in Costa Rica ($180 for a couple !) !
Accomodation/Meals apart, the national park trip was memorable for many reasons - Rafael was a great guide, explained the wetland ecosystem very well, we saw animals we had never seen before (Tarantula, huge iguanas, various insects, crocodiles, Woodstock, Heron, Wild Ducks, Caoute, Agueti and many others). This is a great national park, but the drive inside the park is rocky and the accomodation needs an upgrade.

Thank RushHour707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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