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Carara National Park

Exploring a rainforest in Costa Rica

Carara National Park is a popular and easy to access rainforest near San Jose. The hiking trails are easy and well marked, and will guide you through several different types eco-systems which are home to many different species of animals including white-faced monkeys, sloths, anteaters, alligators, herons, scarlet macaws, manakins and more. If you are not particularly adept at spotting wildlife, make sure to hire a guide. Ours was fabulous – you can contact Victor here: If you can’t book him, there are plenty of other guides that you can hire in Jaco or San Jose.

The rainforest is lush, but hot during March & April, the dry season.
Carara Rainforest

This little guy is a basilisk or Jesus Christ lizard (he can walk on water). I did look him directly in the eye, and suffered no ill effects, but be careful! 🙂
Jesus Christ or Basilisk Lizard in Carara
This black spiny tailed iguana was scavenging a sloth that had fallen to earth.
Black spiny tailed iguana
A baby alligator chilled on the river bank. No sign of mom…but I didn’t look hard.
Baby Alligator in Carara
Monkeys played in the trees above us.
Monkey at Carara National Park
This is a boat billed heron. Carara is one of the best bird watching spots on earth.
Boat billed heron, Carara National Park
These fearsome claws belong to a two-toed sloth. We spotted him through Victor’s field glass.
Two-Toed Sloth at Carara Rainforest
Did you know that bananas have flowers?
The rainforest is full of plants competing and cooperating for resources.
Carara Rainforest

Carara Rainforest
My travel companion was my lovely mother! We went to Costa Rica to celebrate her graduation from her 200 hour yoga teacher training.
Cat's Eye at Carara Rainforest

Kapok tree at Carara National Park

Tree at Carara National Park

Know before you go

Located 56 miles from San José, by the Orotina highway, along the Grandes de Tárcoles River. Entry fee is $10. Hire a guide to get the most out of this experience. Don’t forget sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, sunglasses, closed shoes and sunscreen.

Bottom line

Experience the jungle first hand!

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