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Situated in a transition zone between two habitats, Carara has flora and fauna from each, although it is most well known for its scarlet macaws.

The macaws move between the dense forest canopy and the mangrove system near the mouth of the Tarcoles, where they perch, and which plays a vital role for the survival of many species. Toucans, parrots, aracaris, kingfishers and herons all flourish in the mangroves.

Other animals found here on several kilometres of trails include white-face capuchin monkeys, peccaries and anteaters, and poison-arrow frogs on the moist forest floor.

The park’s name refers to the crocodiles that inhabit the Rio Tarcoles, the park’s northern boundary. Carara is situated just north of Jaco and around an hour’s drive from San Jose, which guarantees lots of visitors. However, if you can avoid the crowds it has sufficient wildlife to impress the most avid enthusiast.

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: collared peccary, green and black poison arrow frog, scarlet macaw, white-faced capuchin, boat-billed heron
  • Where: Central Pacific Region , Costa Rica

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Natural Highlights

An exceptional trip to discover Costa Rica’s abundant birds and wildlife amid its forests, lagoons and beaches. Highlights include the canals of Tortuguero, Arenal’s volcanic landscapes and howler monkeys, spectacular birdwatching in Monteverde’s cloud forests, canopy walkways and idyllic beaches.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Cloud Forests & Mountains

Enjoy the beauty and spectacle of Costa Rica's flora and fauna on this fantastic trip encompassing the best of the country. Exploring rainforests and coastlines, the itinerary is designed to introduce you to the incredible variety of birds, wildlife and plant species to be found in Costa Rica.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,445 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Costa Rica Family Adventure

This family trip has plenty of interesting activities to introduce you to tropical wildlife, yet there is also ample time to relax (all hotels have a pool) if you wish. The distances are not great, so you won’t waste time travelling, but have maximum opportunity to enjoy Costa Rica to the full.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,395 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea