National parks and Biological reserve
CARARA NATIONAL PARK
Carara National Park is located within Turrubares and Garabito cantons from San Jose and Puntarenas Provinces, 90 kilometers from San José – Costanera South Road. The main entrance is located 2 kilometers south of Rio Grande de Tárcoles Bridge River.
The Carara National Park, which in indigenous Huetar language means “River of lizards”, has the only transition forest in Central Pacific, resulting in diversity of flora and fauna, here converge typical species of dry and humid forests.
This National Park is a worldwide known birding destination as it has very diverse birdlife, where stands out the Scarlet Macaw (Lapa Roja – Ara macao), a species that is in danger of extinction, being the second largest species of Psittacidae of Costa Rica.
It is certainly one of the major sites in the country for birdwatching.
Due to its location and ease of access on Route 34, this park is also ideal for one-day visit, visitors can easily move from the capital city, using their own car, rented or by public transport.
It is the first national park having a universal access trail, where the visitor can experience being in the forest, known endemic species like the Cafecillo (erythrochiton gymnanthus), large trees, and see the relationship between some of the species.
MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
Walking trails surrounded by wildlife and resting on paradisiacal beaches are options that promise to captivate your senses.
The magic of the beach and the greenery of the forest come together in one place, and the result is a natural paradise. Not in vain the Manuel Antonio National Park is the Protected Wild Area that receives the largest number of national and international tourists.
In addition to beaches, the Park offers a very humid tropical forest where species of flora and fauna in danger of extinction coexist, a mangrove, marine environments, islands and a lagoon of 14 hectares.
In a short trip you can cross several paths that will take you through a primary forest. You will also have stunning views of the sea and you can enjoy the wildlife that is possible to find at any time.
Manuel Antonio National Park (PNMA) is located in Quepos canton, Puntarenas province.
As one of the smallest national parks of Costa Rica, the flora and fauna is rich and focussed in the tiny 16 sq km of the area. Expect to see a plethora of wildlife, including giant iguana, howler monkeys, spot sloths, tiny squirrel monkeys, and white headed capuchin. There are easy level trails that would take you from one beach to another.
There is plenty to do here, right from horseback riding to ocean kayaking. All information and rates for the tours is available at the entrance with maps. The trails are frequented, well-marked with danger signs of fruits and tree barks that are poisonous. Manuel Antonio National Park is also a photographer’s haven with arresting sunsets, people, activities flora and fauna, so keep your camera batteries charged.