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One of Costa Rica’s most popular National Parks due to it’s proximity to San Jose, Carara Biological Reserve is the last noteworthy portion of primary rainforest in the Central Pacific region.

A haven for rare species of birds, and a crucial sanctuary for other Costa Rican wildlife, visitors to the park have the opportunity to see flocks of scarlet macaws, toucans, white faced, howler and spider monkeys, and over 400 other species of birds and animals. Sloths, peccaries, poison arrow frogs, anteaters, basilisk lizards and boa constrictors also dwell in the park.

The park is a perfect way to discover Costa Rica and has several miles of hiking trails available for visitors. Bring mosquito repellant and water as you’ll require both!

Consider Carara National Park in the morning, and a cruise of the Tarcoles river (home to thousands of American Crocodiles) in the afternoon.

Getting There

Carara National Park is around a an hour and a half drive from San Jose. If driving from San Jose, take Route 27 towards Orotina (35 miles). Three miles past Orotina, turn right on Route 34 and head towards Jaco. Drive a further 11 miles over the Tarcoles River bridge. The entrance to Carara National Park is half a mile further south, on your left.

For those not driving, Arenas Travel run fantastic guided tours which can include transportation to and from the park. Ask for Charlie!

We are currently traveling on behalf of Doubletree by Hilton DTour; a whole new way to plan – and share – your travels. We are staying at Doubletree by Hilton Resort Central Pacific. 

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.


  1. Great blog Megan! Loved your video, you couldn’t be more right about how quick the wildlife moves, if you don’t have your camera ready the moment is gone! Happy travels!

    • Thanks Liz! Glad you enjoyed the video – we loved being out there with the wildlife; and trying to catch everything on film was a fun challenge :D! All the best!

  2. Looks like a great park! I always love getting close to animals in nature, and this looks like a wonderful spot. I will have to add it to our list!

    • It’s an amazing spot – truly underrated! Definitely don’t miss when you head to Costa Rica.

  3. Awesome video Meg. Looks like you’re having a blast! We’ve just booked a visit to beautiful Costa Rica later this year and I can’t wait to follow in your footsteps!

    • Safe travels – make sure you hit up Carara!

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