Carara National Park is one of the smaller and not so touristic parks. It's an excellent place to observe the scarlet macaws. There are about 100 of these beautiful birds who have there home here.
There are two paths, a short one (800 m) near the entrance and a long one (4 km) 500 m from the Tarcoles bridge. The longer one has a broad path going along a small lake with a lot of water birds.
The park is open from 8 am to 16 pm. Entrance fee: 8 USD. You can take a guide for 15 USD.
On your way to Jaco/Quepos don't forget to have a stop just before or after the bridge at Tarcoles. Go onto the bridge to the centre and look down in the river. Here you can find american crocodiles sunbathing.
Be aware, though, don't leave valuables in the car and make sure it is closed. I've read some stories that it is a favourite place for thieves.
You can walk down a dirt road from the lodge and it will take you to the beach and Playa Azul.
Chances are you will have the beach all to yourself but you may not be impressed.
It is full of litter and is not very pretty.
Every evening about dusk you could hear and see pairs of Scarlet Macaw returning to roost in the Mangrove trees.
This area is one of the few places left in Costa Rica where you can see the birds in the wild.
It was a wonderful experience, they are so pretty.
Carara Biological Reserve, is only a few miles away. There you will walk and walk .
It is hot, humid, and has many mosquitoes but you will see birds, and monkeys
You can sit on the patio of the lodge and watch the shore birds, at low tide.
They fly into the bushes when the tide comes in.
The Anhinga in the picture has caught its dinner.