The Reserva Biologica Carara in Costa Rica, which lies between Orotina and San Jose, is nestled in the River Grande de Tarcoles river basin. The 4,700 hectare (11,600 acre or 18 square mile) reserve is located in both Costa Rica’s Pacific Rainforest and the neutral zone where the tropical dry forests begin. With terrain ranging from volcanic and sedimentary hills that reach as high as 634 meters above sea level, to rolling lowlands, the reserve offers scenic views and varied habitats perfect for enjoying the flora and fauna.
The reserve boast two hiking trails with scenic routes branching off to the Laguna and marshes, while running along side the Rio Grande de Tarcoles. The varied environments allow visitors a chance to view a diverse group of animals in one area. Animals such as the Howler Monkey, White Faced Capuchin Monkey, Red Brocket Deer, White Tailed Deer, Pacas, Rattlesnakes, Raccoons, Lizards, Poison Dart Frogs, Two-Toed Sloth, Armadillo, Margay Cat, Opossum, Great Anteater, and Crocodiles make the reserve their home.
The reserve is perfect for bird watchers who have the opportunity to catch sight of Blue-Winged Teals, Roseate Spoonbills, Boat-Billed Herons, Mexican Tiger-Bitterns, Anhinga, and 100 pairs of Scarlet Macaws.
The weather at the reserve is always hot and humid due to the tropical climate. During August to October, which is the regions wet season, the humidity is high. The additional rain experienced during this season can often cause trails near the river to become flooded and impassable. December through April is considered the dry season. Despite the reduced amount of rain, the tropical environment keeps the humidity near saturation levels.
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Hours of Operation
The reserve is open 365 days of the year
Visitors are welcome between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Cost of Admission
You and spend the day enjoying the beauty of the reserve for just $7.00 per person
Buses are available to take you from San Jose to the park, however pick ups are rare after dark, so plan ahead and know your bus schedules.
Camping is prohibited in the reserve, accomodations are available in San Jose