You will find another breathtakingly beautiful playground here within the boundaries of Costa Rica/Carara National Park. This park is located near (but not on) the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica near Tarcoles. It is made even more popular by its ideal location. Here it is easy for cruise ship passengers to dock at Puerto Caldera and take a bus to enjoy the park. The Tarcoles River is basically the northern boundary of the park and the bridge where the Costanera Sur highway crosses the river is a highlight spot for tourists to stop and see gigantic crocodiles sunbathing on the banks of the river below. Roughly 3 km south of the bridge you will find the ranger station and the entrance to the park.
Carara National Park covers over 11,600 acres of both tropical rainforest and tropical dry forest and is home to a seemingly endless list of plants and animals. Being located right in an area where the climate zone is changing gives the park the unique factor of offering shelter to many species of animals specific to both regions—which means that you get to see even more diversity in one place. The park features walking trails through both parts so you have easy access to both.
Because of the type of forest (being dryer and not only evergreen trees) the rainforest is not as dense here, making it easier to spot wildlife flitting through the branches. This park is highly popular with the birdwatching crowd for this reason—plus the incredible diversity found in such a relatively small area.
Hire a guide to see even more and hear interesting facts about the flora and fauna that you see. The park also has around 200 scarlet macaws in residence so get ready to mark that off your birding list as the chances are good you’ll see one or ten here.
This park is for all ages
Everyone will find something to enjoy here in this gorgeous piece of paradise. Pick a walking path and go for a relaxing stroll, chatting leisurely with your friends or family and challenging each other to spot the most different species of animals. The more athletically inclined can pick up the pace and enjoy a nice hike through nature—way better than that boring treadmill at the gym!
Keep in mind that while it is always hot and humid in the park the months of September and October are the ones most likely to see a lot of rain. As long as you don’t mind getting a little wet then it’s not a problem but something to watch out for is that some of the trails may be flooded during this season and your access may be a little more limited than normal.