Caño Island Biological Reserve

Costa Rica

A more Authentic Costa Rica | Away from the Crowds | Closer to Nature

All of our Costa Rica Holidays can be tailored just for you, with dates, durations and itineraries adjusted to suit your needs. Speak to our team for a fully personalised quote.

Logo atol Bcorp logo 10 Year badge 2024 Full colour Whiteout Landscape

Carara National Park

This small national park of Pacific rainforest packs a large punch. Part of a wildlife corridor which effectively connects Central and South America, it's home to approximately 5% of Earth’s known bird species, along with monkeys and crocodiles aplenty...

Carara National Park
Carara is a rare Scarlet macaw stronghold

Carara’s location in the transition area between the tropical dry forests to the north in Guanacaste, and the wetter rainforests in the southwest of the country means that you’ll find trees and flowers typical of both the north and south. The swamps, lagoons and gallery forests complete the picture of diversity and the ideal habitat for some 300+ species of birds.

These include toucans, tinamous and jacanas, but most famously the scarlet macaws, of which Carara is one of their last refuges in Costa Rica. At dawn and dusk you have the best opportunities to spot the macaws, as they fly to and from the Tarcoles mangroves, where they roost overnight. On the mammal side, you might find monkeys, peccaries, possums and the wonderful two-toed sloth.

The common arrival of cruise ship visitors in the middle of the day mean that the park is best visited either early or late. In any case, these are the times you’re likely to see the most wildlife and gives you the balance of the day to visit your lodge’s cacao plantation and walk round it’s wonderful garden, rich with exotic flora.

Costa rica pacific carara national park big forest
The sweeping forests of Carara National Park
Costa rica carara tarcoles bridge crocodile
American crocodile on the banks of the Tarcoles Bridge

How to visit Carara National Park with Pura Aventura
Tucked away high above the forested hills of the Carara National Park, Macaw Lodge immediately feels special. Owner Pablo Gordienko has a passion for native plant species and crops so bought this great slice of forest in order to experiment with the reintroduction of plants.

Costa rica carara macaw lodge drying cacao beans
Your lodge here grows and makes its own chocolate

As he worked the land he noticed the sheer volume of birds surrounding him. From his imagination and ambition sprung a lodge built entirely from reclaimed and recycled materials.

It runs completely off grid so nothing is fancy. What you do get is an incredible sense of connection to nature, home-cooked meals with many ingredients sourced from the organic garden and some incredible chocolate.

The lodge grows its own cacao which it makes into chocolate in what is very, very much a cottage industry. Or shipping container industry, in this case. The beans are roasted in the wood-fired oven and ground by hand - even the bars of chocolate are hand- wrapped.

Pablo’s place fits snugly into any itinerary that weaves up the Pacific from the rainforests of the Osa Peninsula in the far south up to the quiet beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula.

Exceptional Holidays

Best in class holidays, service, characterful hotels, lovely locals, food and beautiful walks - that's what our clients tell us they love about our holidays, as noted in the highest possible 5* Feefo Platinum Award.

ATOL and ABTOT protected.

Certified B Corp

We are one of the first UK travel companies to be certified B Corp – regarded by The Independent as the premier sustainability certification, and described by Which? as "meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance".

Meeting a shepherd, Picos de Europa

Award-winning Travel Positive

We are proud to have been recipients of awards from both Wanderlust and LUXLife for our sustainable Travel Positive initiative, that includes balancing carbon by 160%, and providing 1% of our revenue to the planet.