Carara National Park

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Carara National Park


Approximately 10 miles north of Jaco is Carara National Park, a world renowned nesting ground for scarlet macaws. The Carara National Park protects the river basin of the Rio Grande de Tarcoles, which is in close proximity to Orotina, Puntarenas, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Although small, Carara National Park is an area of mountain ranges, marshes, forests, swamps, rivers and ravines, waterfalls, of crocodiles and macaws, as well as pre-Columbian archaeological sites that are also found scattered throughout the region.

As mentioned, Carara National Park is known for housing one of the largest remaining wild populations of Scarlet Macaws in the country. The macaws migrate daily, spending their days in the park and their nights among the coastal mangroves. It's best to observe them in the early morning when they arrive, or around sunset when they head back to the coast for the evening. Besides macaws, the park is home to very diverse wildlife, providing shelter for howler and White-Faced Capuchin monkeys, deer, collared peccaries, pacas, rattlesnakes and one of the most poisonous snakes on the planet, the Fer-de-Lance. Other birds found in the area are the black guan, great egret, turkey vulture and laughing falcon to name a few. The swamps of Carara shelter the cayenne wood-rails, raccoons, lizards and many species of snakes and frogs. The crocodiles can be found lounging on the shore and also on the little beaches along the River Grande.


The Quebrada Bonita Ranger Station is open from 8am to 4pm and has drinking water and restrooms available.

Getting to Carara National Park

• it is easy to get to Carara National Park as it lies on the road between Orotina-Jaco-Quepos-Manuel Antonio

• it is 66 kms from San Jose and 22 kms from Orotina