Tárcoles Travel Guide

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  • Sunset
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Tárcoles Things to Do

  • Visit Carara NP

    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...

  • Stop at the Tarcoles bridge

    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...

  • Reserve

    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

  • Shore birds

    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.

  • The beach

    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.

  • Scarlet Macaw

    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.


Tárcoles Restaurants

  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    Steve & Lisa: Restauant with a view

    by Helga67 Updated Jul 20, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not too far from Carara NP in the direction of Jaco, there is a good place to eat. The restaurant has enough parking space in front of the building with supervision, (don't forget to tip the guy about 500 colones), and a nice view of the ocean at the back of the restaurant.

    They serve local and american-styled dishes for an average price. Take your time, though, because the service is rather slow.

    You can pay cash or by creditcard.

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    • Food and Dining

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Tárcoles Transportation

  • Book ahead

    The best way to get to Tarcol Lodge is by private car.You could rent a car in San Jose and drive there or you can book a tour with Rancho Naturalista and split the time between the two lodges.If you do the latter they will furnish the transportation and meet you at the airport or your hotel .

  • River tour

    You can take a boat tour on the river to see the mangroves and more crocodiles.The guide may get out of the boat and offer a croc a dead chicken.Don't try this yourself.

  • Tárcoles Hotels

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Tárcoles Warnings and Dangers

  • Parking your car

    Several robberies have occurred in the past. If you are planning to walk the Laguna Meandrica Trail (long trail near the Rio Grande), ask the park rangers at the visitors center about current conditions. Avoid parking at the trail when there is no supervision. Give the boy at the gate of this trail a tip (500 colones or 1 USD) and he will watch...

  • Hot, humid and a lot of mosquitoes

    Beware, it's always hot and humid in Carara NP, and there are a lot of mosquitoes, because the park is close to the Rio Grande de Tarcoles and the lake and marshlands.

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Tárcoles Favorites

  • American crocodiles

    Crocodiles haven't changed much since the last 200 miljoen years. They can get 3 to 6 m long and can become 60 to 100 years old.

  • Scarlet macaws

    The scarlet macaws are beautiful yellow-red-blue coloured big parrots and measure around 85 cm (33 inch). There are only about 500 left in Costa Rica of which about 100 can be found in Carara NP. We saw about 30 of those big parrots, all together gathered in some trees. If they are around, you can't miss them because they make a lot of noise. We...

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