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“Lots of Crocs”

Palo Verde National Park
Experience for Yourself
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Palo Verde National Park Boat Tour with Lunch
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The water system in this park sustains the largest population of waterfowl and wading birds in Central America.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Level Contributor
286 reviews
92 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Lots of Crocs”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

My husband & I did the half day tour to Palo Verde National Park. Our tour guide was great, very informative and funny. When the driver would see monkeys, he would always pull over to the side of the road, let us get out of the van to take pictures. Before we went on the river cruise, we stopped at a place for fresh fruit and drinks-beautiful view. The river cruise was nice; we saw many crocodiles, howler and white faced monkeys and different types of birds and iguanas. The tour guide had a unique way to get close up pictures. He used his binoculars to look closely at the monkeys, then took the picture through the binocular lens-great close-up shots! There was an all day tour option for river cruises, but we felt half day was "just right". if you want to see the "crocs" up close; this is definitely the tour to take.

Visited January 2013
Thank Jackie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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344 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Go with Javier. Period.”
Reviewed January 21, 2013

I recently visited Palo Verde for the second time with my brother, sister-in-law and seven-month old niece (the first time was with my mother two years ago). It was their first time visiting Costa Rica, and I knew a day out with Javier from Costa Rica EZ Travel Adventures was a must to have them experience the natural wonders of the amazing Guanacaste region. Javier is educated, connected and absolutely lovely! He plans his experiences to a T -- pick up time, boat driver -- everything is thought out ahead of time. We were the first to arrive and the first (and only) boat out on the water. We saw incredible birds, scores of iguanas, white faced monkeys and two huge crocs!!! Javier is so knowledgeable about the trees, animals and birds, knows where they like to hang out and works with Luis, an experienced boat driver, to give guests the best and safest experience. Afterward, Javier took us to a very special place in the small town of Ortega. Rancho Los Dos Coyotes is a co-op run by single mothers in the town. It is a beautiful setting with lovely people (Inez and my niece were best friends in no time!). Lunch was delicious (and my brother and sister-in-law loved the coffee!!) and just hanging out there was magical. It is those unique touches that only someone who knows and loves Costa Rica can provide. We had an amazing day with Javier, and he is the only person I will ever call when booking tours in Costa Rica.

Visited January 2013
Thank axylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The guided tour in Guanacaste [Thanks to Javier of lovingcostarica.com]”
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Javier Vargas of lovingcostaric.com provided us with the best experience of our stay in Costa Rica. Javi picked us up at our accommodations early in the am for Palo Verde National Park on a private guided tour. Here we took a motorboat cruise along the Tempisque river. We saw a great variety of wildlife and especially birds, including a sighting of a very rare, nearly extinct bird [I can't recall the name of it]. My favorite animals were the capuchin monkeys who came right up on our boat and ate bananas from my hand. Such a wonderful experience and great pics as well. Javier took pics of both my husband and me whenever a good opportunity arose. We also saw a lot of crocodiles up close and personal!! [My husband got close...me...not so much!]

In the afternoon, after a lovely typical tico meal in Liberia, we drove to Miravalles volcano and hot springs\mud bath and took a hike into the rainforest. Javier provided a very personalized service as well as answering any and all questions we had about the area.
Javiere speaks excellent English and is extremely knowledgeable about the flora, fauna and geography of his region, the Guanacaste.

One of the things that impressed us before we even booked with him was the fact that Javier came to meet us and choose what we wanted with no commitment from us till we chose our excursions. We have never experienced this type of service before. As a matter of fact we have often been put off by the rather sketchy, pushy types that we have had to deal with on other trips. With Javi, you feel like you are talking to a friend very soon after meeting him. He came extremely well recommended from other travelers and now we know why. I wouldn't hesitate to use him again.

You might expect to pay an exorbitant amount for this kind of service but we were very pleased with his prices, especially when we consider what we got in return for only a bit more than a big bus tour. We got to stop whenever we wanted and take as much time as needed to enjoy the day.

Jeannine M. Riverview NB Canada

Visited January 2013
1 Thank MindiaRiverview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but don't expect any help from staff”
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.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Paul d d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“What a tour...”
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:


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.

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

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