Carara National Park
Carara National Park
4.5
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Carara National Park is south of the Rio Tarcoles and 15 km north of Jaco Dentral. It boasts of a large population of breeding scarlet macaws, capuchin monkeys, anteaters, parrots, aracaris, kingfishers old growth forest and is a transistional forest supporting both Amazonian and Mesoamerican habitats.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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Admission tickets
from C$44.58
All you need to step foot in the door.
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Top ways to experience Carara National Park
See what travellers are saying
  • Melissa M
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous tour with Jeison Hernandez
    Carara National Park is an awesome place to visit because of its location in a transition zone. The AirBnB host arranged a tour with Jeison Hernandez, Birding and Nature Tours, and he was fabulous. He was very knowledgeable about the park and history, its inhabitants and the trees, plants, fungi, etc. In addition to hearing a streak-chested antpitta bird and a couple of toucans, we saw them, too! We saw a fer-de-lance pit viper snake, a ghost bat, a variety of mushrooms, a number of strangler figs, and much more during the three hour tour. Definitely recommend a tour with Jeison.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written September 3, 2023
  • davidhATX
    Austin, Texas278 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Easy hikes through green rainforest trails on way from San Jose to Puntarenas Province near Dominical
    We enjoyed a couple hours hiking in this CR national park on our way to our primary destination in the Puntarenas Province near Dominical. We stopped as it was on the way from San Jose and were eager to start seeing huge rainforest trees and wildlife. You purchase your tickets online and they are inexpensive, around $10 USD each. The trails were easy walks with some of it paved or at least well marked. There were several platforms for viewing, rotting away and in disrepair, and some muddy trails, but it is a rainforest after all. We saw several poison dart frogs, lizards, iguanas, leaf cutter ants, centipedes and most of the wildlife at the river where we saw several white faced capuchin monkeys and an agouti (looks like a giant gerbil).
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written September 20, 2023
  • Diana d
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience!
    Our guide Jeison has given us an unforgetteble day! We got a lot of information about the animals, trees and history of the parc. We walked through the firest for 3 hours and he showed us beautiful and even pretty rare animals
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written October 19, 2023
  • Ginny R
    Hong Kong, China82 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An uncrowded park brought to life by amazing guide Maurice
    We had an awesome tour with guide Maurice who was recommended by many others on Trip Advisor. We contacted him by whats app a few days in advance and he was very responsive. He met us at the entrance to the park and guided us around. He found so many birds, reptiles and insects that we would never have seen on our own. His binoculars are amazing and he got fantastic photos of everything we saw. He was determined to find a toucan for us and he did. I highly recommend Maurice.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written January 11, 2024
  • Chuck G
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Happy Wife, Pura Diva!
    Maurice gave us an especially awesome tour. He loves what he does and it shows through with his enthusiasm in spotting all types of wildlife, from the tiniest frog, centipedes, geckos and leaf cutter ants to hummingbirds, various other birds, and this guy knows his birds. He proves it by referencing page numbers in the Birds of Costa Rica book with memorized page numbers to provide proof of his knowledge. We would have missed so much without Maurice's keen eye. Maurice also has a fabulous sense of humor to keep us amused along the way.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written January 19, 2024
  • Spence44
    Tucson, Arizona93 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing wildlife
    Much less crowded than Manuel Antonio National Park, this place is known for birds, but that’s not all. We were fortunate to hire Mauricio as we entered, a well-informed guide with real enthusiasm for the Park and its wild denizens. We would not have seen much aside from greenery without him. He showed us poison dart frogs, a kingfisher, a tarantula taking a nap in a hiding place, a heron, macaws, and many other birds and butterflies, not to mention pointing out various trees and plants as we strolled along. Memorable and fascinating!
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written March 8, 2024
  • Bill
    St. Petersburg, Florida16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best guide made a world of difference
    My wife and I saw a good reviews on guide Mauricio +506-8889-6061 . We connected with him and he quickly responded and we set up a meeting the next morning. The park is lush and beautiful and we found Mauricio was well worth the cost. As we walked, he had his binoculars out, searching the branches for small birds and other creatures. When he found one of interest, it would plant this tripod with the telescopic lens and allow us to view the creature up close in addition, I would give them my cell phone and it would take a photo of it which came out. Surprisingly it cleared and vivid. There’s no way we would’ve seen these creatures without his experienced eye. It was an enjoyable three hours, we learned a lot, and got some cool photographs of wildlife .
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written June 3, 2024
  • ArlettaC
    Fairfield, California1,121 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tropical Forest Beauty
    Lush, beautiful tropical forest with some of the most interesting fungi I’ve ever seen. Nice graded trail. My only disappointment was the lack of bird life, but I was with a small group, and perhaps we scared them all off. Lovely butterflies, and gorgeous vegetation.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written July 6, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles850 reviews
Excellent
536
Very good
217
Average
68
Poor
22
Terrible
7

LillaKacska
Budapest, Hungary37 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
The trails were not maintaind for a long time. It's not easy to navigate with some old and shabby map. It could be a great place with some improvement.
Written July 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ArlettaC
Fairfield, CA1,121 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Lush, beautiful tropical forest with some of the most interesting fungi I’ve ever seen. Nice graded trail. My only disappointment was the lack of bird life, but I was with a small group, and perhaps we scared them all off. Lovely butterflies, and gorgeous vegetation.
Written July 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jj4227
United Kingdom3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
If you are staying in the Jaco area or planning to go to Carara National Park, do yourself a favour and book Maurice as your guide. I went off his excellent reviews on tripadvisor and he lived up to the expectations! Maurice is a very knowledgeable guide, who knows the park and his animals extremely well! He can spot animals that we would never have been able to see ourselves. We seen tons of animals and he made sure we seen scarlet macaws, as thats what we really wanted to see! He is a really attentive guide and an all round great guy! Next time I come to Costa Rica, I will be contacting Maurice! 10/10! He is extremely withy and made the whole day thoroughly enjoyable for me and my sister. Thank you Maurice! You can reach him on whatsapp at +506 8889 6061.
Written July 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bill
St. Petersburg, FL16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
My wife and I saw a good reviews on guide Mauricio +506-8889-6061 . We connected with him and he quickly responded and we set up a meeting the next morning. The park is lush and beautiful and we found Mauricio was well worth the cost. As we walked, he had his binoculars out, searching the branches for small birds and other creatures. When he found one of interest, it would plant this tripod with the telescopic lens and allow us to view the creature up close in addition, I would give them my cell phone and it would take a photo of it which came out. Surprisingly it cleared and vivid. There’s no way we would’ve seen these creatures without his experienced eye. It was an enjoyable three hours, we learned a lot, and got some cool photographs of wildlife .
Written June 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jaybird777
Washington, MO67 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Well worth a visit. Nice trail that is marked well. VERY limited facilities at this park. We were met at the entrance by a man who tried to convince us to hire him as a guide. There are guides at parks here who can point out things that you might otherwise miss. HOWEVER, don't overpay. Their prices are usually negotiable, and shouldn't be more than about $15 -$20 per person. We opted to see the park for ourselves and at our own pace since it was VERY HOT, and we are seniors and didn't want to commit to hours when we didn't know how long we would be able to stand the heat. I think this was a good decision for us. But if you don't want to miss seeing humingbird nests, and small things like this that you might otherwise miss, then you should hire a guide. We saw plenty of wonder without hiring a guide.

There is a metal bridge on the main trail, and it is a little sketchy. I'm a full figured guy, and I was careful to stay in the middle of this bridge where there was a metal beam. Most people will probably not have any concern, but fat guys tend to exercise a bit of caution on small bridges, and they can be a little scary for us sometimes.

Bring PLENTY of water, hat, and anything else you need to combat the extreme heat. We had very little problem with bugs, and never needed insect repellent even in the rainforest.
Written April 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Spence44
Tucson, AZ93 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Much less crowded than Manuel Antonio National Park, this place is known for birds, but that’s not all. We were fortunate to hire Mauricio as we entered, a well-informed guide with real enthusiasm for the Park and its wild denizens. We would not have seen much aside from greenery without him. He showed us poison dart frogs, a kingfisher, a tarantula taking a nap in a hiding place, a heron, macaws, and many other birds and butterflies, not to mention pointing out various trees and plants as we strolled along. Memorable and fascinating!
Written March 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nature Group Costa Rica
Tarcoles, Costa Rica1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Business
If you are into photography join Nature Group for amazing results! No other company understands photographer as us! Make sure you get Randall Ortega as your guide! 84179015
Written March 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wilhelm H
Weinheim, Germany43 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Our third National Park. Unfortunately not good at all. They ask for more than 100$ for entsende and guide. But they are unable to deliver for that Money. We saw just 1 single frog 😝
And we saw two plattforms which were blocked because they were not maintained for years, see pic. I would expect that for all the money they ask for, at least the maintenace should have been done!
Finally: you must order the Tickets at the general Parks homepage. No problem. But why you must give yr passport ID?
Summary: Carara was not worth the money. Sorry.
Written February 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chiara A
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Our guide, Antonio, was the best! He helped us to spot some great wildlife, was very knowledgeable and kind and took extra time with us. We felt very lucky to go discover the park with him!
Written February 23, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

robkay123
Burton upon Trent, UK220 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Even with a guide there really isn’t much to see, which I guess is not their fault, but there was lots of people and super loud groups of kids that are unchecked scaring the animals away.

The lady on the front desk was rude as anything, she asked us to write down our “numbers” on a pad, showing us all the previous entrants’ details, so I wrote a phone number (not mine) and the same for my spouse and son, she then said “passport numbers”, which I tried pointing out that no one else had provided and she just kept saying “Silencio”, and demanding a passport number for no reason whatsoever without explanation.

Book your tickets in advance, the signal there is terrible to do it on site.
Written February 17, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Carara National Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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