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Puntarenas Province

National Parks

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Our most recommended Puntarenas Province National Parks

Manuel Antonio or Quepos: Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

1. Manuel Antonio or Quepos: Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Discover Manuel Antonio National Park, a small biological island established in 1972 by the Costa Rican government to preserve its precious wildlife. Though Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest park in the country, it’s also the most visited due to its charming combination of rain forests, beaches, coral reefs, and wildlife. After being picked up from your hotel by your excerpt driver-guide, get ready to explore a diverse range of fauna spanning 109 species of mammals and 184 birds. As you explore, look out for raccoons, coatis, agoutis, sloths, white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, and the famous Titi monkey, an endangered subspecies unique to the park. Be led by your guide on a breathtaking walking tour through the jungle and experience the secrets and wonders of this amazing ecosystem. See kingfishers, the yellow crowned night heron and many more bird species. Benefit from assistance taking high-quality nature photos using your own digital camera combined with professional telescopes provided on the tour.

From Manuel Antonio: Mangrove Boat Tour

2. From Manuel Antonio: Mangrove Boat Tour

The mangrove forest is one of the most vital and astounding ecosystems in the world. Damas Island, located just 10 minutes from Manuel Antonio is currently one of the most important remaining mangroves in Costa Rica. Covering thousands of acres of protected forest, this amazing biodiversity is home to a large number of birds, reptiles, mammals, and insects. Our experienced guides will take you on an unforgettable boat tour through the channels of the mangrove forest, far away from civilization. You can discover an abundance of species native to the area such as white-faced monkeys, anteaters, boas, iguanas, birds and thousands of colorful crabs. Our boats have the capacity to hold 12 passengers and are fully equipped for your comfort and security.

From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

3. From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

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 optional 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 white 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.

Manuel Antonio Quepos Zip Lining Tour

4. Manuel Antonio Quepos Zip Lining Tour

During your 2-hour journey, you will be perched on one of 20 platforms high above the jungle floor with dramatic views of the valley. A series of 10 zip line cables reaching up to 450 meters (1,475 ft) take guests throughout the unspoiled rainforest canopy on an exclusive tour. Breathtaking mountain and valley views can be captured while resting at a vista high upon the hill. At the end of the tour, you will be given the choice to finish on the last cable or to do the Rappel platform and Tarzan Swing at no additional charge. Upon conclusion of your canopy tour, guests gather for a full Costa Rican meal, fruit and drinks. While resting and refueling your bodies, guides will share photos of your exhilarating zip line adventure on the large screen TV.

From Jaco: Costa Pacific 5-in-1 Adrenaline Extreme

5. From Jaco: Costa Pacific 5-in-1 Adrenaline Extreme

Enjoy a day of adventure in Pacific Park. Challenge yourself to climb a waterfall, overcome your fears with a hanging bridge, explore the lesser-known part of the forest canopy with a gondola flight and prepare for fun and adrenaline at the safest and most exciting canopy in Costa Rica. The Adrenaline Junkie Tour includes nature trails trekking and a visit to a medicinal plants garden, an aerial tram, canopy zip line, and waterfall climb – all with the help of a guide. The Aerial Tram features 18 gondolas that give rides to a maximum of 9 passengers each including one bilingual (English/Spanish) naturalist guide for a tour above the top of the trees to learn about the rich ecosystem of Costa Rican tropical forests.  The Pacific Canopy zip line tour sends you gliding over treetops for a compelling and exciting way to have a clearer view of the rainforest. Five of the zip lines are over 200 meters long. Splash and battle against a strong current as you climb a waterfall. With just the help of a safety harness and a rope, use your hands and feet to reach the top.

Río Celeste National Park Hike

6. Río Celeste National Park Hike

Once we arrive to the Río Celeste National Park, you may use the facilities to get ready and look at the information booth provided by the Río Celeste National Park. We will then begin a hike through the dense, lush, tropical rainforest that surrounds the Río Celeste National Park. The hike is approximately 3-miles long and considered intermediate. You and your naturalist guide go at your own pace and you'll learn interesting things about the rainforest along the way. We then arrive to "Los Teñíderos" where two rivers come together to form the celestial, turquoise blue water color that gives the waterfall its name "Celeste." We'll return, walking back through the Rio Celeste National Park to the "Ollas" -- or mud baths -- and take a moment to relax in the natural hot springs. For the grand finale, we then walk-on further to see the spectacular Río Celeste waterfall - the perfect place to take photos. We finish off with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant and then head back to La Fortuna. Please note: the Río Celeste waterfall may lose its blue color during rainstorms. Our policy is to advise clients the day of the tour if it is raining in the area and offer the tour for the following day, should clients want to postpone or change to a different tour. No refunds for inclement weather.

San Jose Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

7. San Jose Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Journey to Manuel Antonio National Park and access highly coveted beaches that are some of the best that Costa Rica has to offer. Marvel at the natural surroundings and see some native creatures. Travel along the coastline enjoying scenic views of African palm plantations small villages as you drive towards the park. Hike to the preserve, crossing a charming creek. Enjoy a nice lunch with views of nature. Relax and enjoy the beach, sunbathe, or do some more hiking once you reach the water. Take time to observe Manuel Antonio’s abundant flora and fauna. Be on the look out for monkeys, iguanas, birds and possibly even the three-toed sloth.

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

8. Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

The park alone offers 3 unique hiking trails that differ in level from smooth and flat to quite sharp and steep. On this tour you will have the best nature guides with you who will help you understand the environment. The track you’ll take is actually smooth and charming and is around 2 miles long. During the walk your guide will describe the species you’ll see, and you’ll be able to take beautiful pictures or simply enjoy the scene. Among the best parts of this excursion is that the Manuel Antonio National Park hosts 3 of the 4 current monkey species of Costa Rica. Half way through the hike you’ll enjoy a relaxing break at the 3rd Beach situated on the southern part of the national park. You’ll have around twenty minutes to relax on the beach or in the calm waters of the bahía. During the hike it is very possible to see birds, reptiles, and sloths, as well as plants and insects such as orchids and butterflies. Your guides use Pentax and Swarovski telescopes that you can use to view wildlife and take photos under an alternative point of view. Transportation back to your lodging will be provided after you concluded the tour.

Jaco Beach: Extreme Waterfall Canyoning with Lunch

9. Jaco Beach: Extreme Waterfall Canyoning with Lunch

Your adventure kicks off with a 15-minute tractor ride for the extreme canyoning portion of your adventure. Discover the Central Pacific transitional rainforest and admire its flora and fauna along the way. Upon arrival to the first platform, receive all the necessary safety instructions and start with the 250 feet auto guided rappel descent. The second descent is a rappel down the face of a 70 feet waterfall, shortly after you will descend the biggest waterfall, an amazing 150 feet rappel. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try the 15 feet cannonball jump into a natural pool. Alternatively, you can take a guided zip line to the bottom. From there you can descent natural slides and waterfall avalanches. Finally, savor a delicious buffet lunch in the afternoon.

From Jaco: Full-Day Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

10. From Jaco: Full-Day Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

This park is the most famous in the country due to its wide variety of flora and fauna specimens, and also because Forbes ranked it in the top 10 most beautiful parks in the world. The park alone offers 3 unique hiking trails that differ in level from smooth and flat to quite sharp and steep. On this tour, the best nature guides will be with you, and will help you understand the environment. The track you’ll take is actually smooth and charming and circles in the park making your walk around 2 miles long. Through the walk, your guide will describe the several species you’ll see, and you’ll be able to take beautiful pictures or simply enjoy the scene. Among the best parts of this excursion is that the Manuel Antonio National Park hosts 3 of the 4 current monkey species of Costa Rica. On this hike, enjoy a relaxing break at the 3rd beach situated on the southern part of the national park. You’ll have around twenty minutes to relax on the beach or in the calm waters of the bahía. During the hike, it is possible to see birds, reptiles and sloths, as well as plants and insects such as orchids and butterflies. Your guides will use Pentax and Swarovski telescopes that you can use to view wildlife and take photos under an alternative point of view. After concluding the tour, transportation back to your lodging will be provided.

Frequently asked questions about Puntarenas Province National Parks

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What people are saying about Puntarenas Province

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 17 reviews

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

We had an amazing experience in the Manuel Antonio National Park! Our guide & naturalist, Naza, has a vast knowledge of the local ecosystem and its inhabitants. She helped us spot sloths, lizards, monkeys, spiders, butterflies, grasshoppers, snakes, bats, and hummingbirds as well as a variety of plants. Her spotting scope was very helpful for getting up close without disturbing the wildlife. Parking was easy right at the entrance and Jade Tours was easy to work with.

Absolutely loved this excursion!! It was so much fun and the guys were so friendly and entertaining!!

We enjoyed this tour. Our guide Jason was very knowledgeable and passionate.

Cesar was a great driver and Mauricio was an excellent tour guide!