Adventure

From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

Activity provider: Oropopo Experience

From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

Activity provider: Oropopo Experience

From US$ 140 per person

Discover the wildlife, waterways, and luscious jungle of the Tárcoles River, and the Carara National Park on a small-group or private full-day guided walking and boat journey.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible — book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 11 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Spanish, English
Pickup included
Depending on your hotel's location, please be in your hotel lobby 15 minutes before the activity start time.
Wheelchair accessible
Private or small groups available

Experience

Highlights
  • Be amazed by the large American crocodiles living in the Tárcoles River
  • Admire and learn about the Carara National Park's rainforest's biodiversity
  • Experience the best birdwatching destination just 1.5 hours from San José
  • Enjoy a relaxing boat ride through the mangrove forest
  • Enjoy the soothing sound of waves and dip your feet in the Pacific
Full description
Begin your journey by being picked up from your hotel, and going on a scenic 1.5-hour drive along Route 27, making your way to your first stop at Carara National Park. Head straight out onto some flat walking trails suitable for all fitness levels and wheelchair users, and admire the biological reserve's abundant jungle life in person. Look up to the 40-meter high canopy, and keep an eye out for bright scarlet macaws, agouti rodents, stunning poison dart frogs, spider monkeys, dozens of birds, fantastic fungi, and huge wild cashew trees. Next, enjoy lunch like a local and eat at a traditional soda diner, where you have the option of eating fresh fish or seafood. Re-energized, lower your gears and enjoy a relaxing boat ride for some birdwatching on the Tárcoles River. Admire the river's mangroves, which are some of the most unique and scarce ecosystems of the world, and considered to be biodiversity hotspots. Keep a lookout for the 6-meter-long American crocodiles — the largest of the continent. Finally, dig your toes into the sand of a peaceful beach at your last stop, where you will relax with the sound of the waves before heading back to your accommodation.
Includes
  • Small-group or private tour
  • Biologist or naturalist certified guide
  • Optical equipment (binoculars or telescope)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Transportation to the destination
  • Entrance fee to the Carara National Park (about $12 per adult)
  • Lunch (around $8 - $13 per person)
  • Boat ride ($28)

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Important information

What to bring

  • Credit card
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Insect repellent
  • Cash
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Know before you go

  • The tour takes place rain or shine
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 /5

based on 11 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    5/5
  • Transportation
    5/5
  • Value for money
    5/5

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Star rating:

Cello, our amazing guide From Oropopo Experience Tour Co. promptly picked us up at the hotel in a very comfy van. There were only three people on the tour which was great because it made us feel like we were on a private tour. Previously, we had tours from a different company where they jammed 16-18 people on a small bus. Cello was very patient, knowledgeable, and passionate about his job. During our tour of the Carara National Park, Cello pinpointed monkeys, toucans, and various species of insects. Next, he took us to Tarcoles River for a boat tour. In this relaxing cruise on the river, we encountered multiple crocodiles, a wide variety of bird species including hundreds of pelicans on tree tops. After the boat ride, Cello took us to a small family-owned restaurant by the beach for an excellent lunch. After lunch, he drove us to a secluded beach taking a short trail to the beach enjoying beautiful scenery, huge rock formations, and surrounding mountain greenery. Amazing day!

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January 1, 2023

Excellent day tour from San jose, the tour starts with the crocodile boat ride, it is an experience that will stay with you for years. You get to see many crocodiles in the Tarcoles river along with a very knowledgeable guide that thoroughly explains the different habitats, crocodiles and birds that live in and near the river. Rigo then takes you to Carara National park and slowly guides you through the park pointing out various insects, lizards, toads and monkeys that you will encounter overall this was one of the best tours from San Jose that I took during my time in Costa Rica

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August 28, 2022

I went on the Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour, from San José. The experience exceeded expectations by miles, Oropopo were streaks ahead of any other tour operator that I used here. I was picked up by Rigo, from my hotel, in a Land Cruiser rather than cramped minibus. The group was very small, making us more nimble. Rigo is a fantastic guide. It was a privilege to be experiencing nature and being advised by such a qualified biologist. His English is perfect, and he was good fun. The Carara National Park was lovely and quiet, in contrast to the absolutely packed Manuel Antonio National Park. There may be less of the big mammals here, but there's fascinating stuff to see. We were lucky to see a pair of fantastic scarlet macaws. The river tour was an incredible experience. It is an extensive tour, going up and down the river and then into mangroves. You'll see lots of huge crocodiles, very close up. The bird life is also spectacular. The guide on the boat was entertaining

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July 30, 2022

Product ID: 344696