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The Ara Project

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: Punta Islita 50906, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
+506 8505 3336
16:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 16:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

In remote, jungle covered hills on the Pacific coast, The Ara Project, a...

In remote, jungle covered hills on the Pacific coast, The Ara Project, a conservation NGO dedicated to the survival of Costa Rica's two macaw species is working to breed and release young birds into areas where they once flew free.

Guests can book tours at our Punta Islita centre where they have the opportunity to view released Scarlet macaws in the wild. They will hear about the work The Ara Project does and why it is so important. Tours run for an hour and aim to inform guests of the project's work, the plight of these birds in the wild and what we can all do to help them.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 137 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 111
  • 7
    Very good
  • 4
  • 1
  • 1

Seeing these beautiful birds up close was amazing! I was shocked to learn how fast the population has declined over the last 10 years. So glad this project exists to insure this... read more

Reviewed 13 December 2016
Belton, Texas
via mobile
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137 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 124: English reviews
Belton, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2016 via mobile

Seeing these beautiful birds up close was amazing! I was shocked to learn how fast the population has declined over the last 10 years. So glad this project exists to insure this species lives on for the next generation to see.

Thank susanskjones118
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2016

this was worth the trip; don’t miss it! The effort is bring back endangered species and they have been very successful.

Thank fitzandmarge
The Woodlands, Texas
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2016 via mobile

Wonderful program and very knowledgeable staff. Very well run and meaningful work to save the Macaws. The birds in the wild have fallen to numbers in the thousands. Very tragic. This program is working to release birds back to the wild.

2 Thank ChrisMPowell
Level Contributor
152 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2016

Even if I hadn't seen a single animal I would think this a great visit. Expect to learn loads and it feels good spending money on a good cause. The two girls presenting to us were both very interesting people and knew everything there is to know about the birds. When we arrived the area was surrounded by howler monkies,... More 

1 Thank ReviewBarracuda
Divide, Colorado
Level Contributor
99 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2016

We love this project. We took all our guest there while we owned our B&B in the area. The people are friendly and very informative. Everyone is excited about reestablishing the Macaw to our area of Costa Rica.

1 Thank Gwen R
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2016

What a wonderful way to view Great Green Mcaws up close and personal! And then to learn about them - great experience! Buffy, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all of our questions, and then some. If you love birds, you really need to visit the ARA Project, you won't be disappointed!

3 Thank stephanie t
TheAraProjectIslita, Manager at The Ara Project, responded to this review

Hi Stephanie, Thanks very much for the review, it is an amazing location at Manzanillo. I just wanted to make people reading this review aware that it is talking about The Ara Project's Manzanillo Great-green macaw release site on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, not our breeding centre and release site at Punta Islita on the Pacific coast. Many... More 

Atenas, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
124 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2016

Great tour and explanation of how the project works by Duaro, the Bribri young man! But my favorite part was the hour or more opportunity to photograph the Great Green Macaw and even some visiting toucans! :-)

1 Thank Charlie D
Naples, FL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2016

I told everyone at Punta Islita that visiting Ara Project was one of our best experiences in all of our trips to Costa Rica

Thank Susan W
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2016 via mobile

Very cool place - this is a little gem - what a surprise to see this art work - our kids took a key chain class and the hotel drove them here and it is not one of those "string a few colored beads together" class - it is a real artisan that does it and it was great -

Thank Mark P
Level Contributor
32 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2016 via mobile

I will be brief since this is the last of many reviews tonight. I will confirm with all the other reviews. Simply amazing tour and birds. They are so beautiful, especially with in arms reach. Please take the time and visit this beautiful and education tour.

Thank Kurtisa001

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?