Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui in the lush Caribbean lowlands is known for its natural environment filled with tropical flora, and for the broad Sarapiqui River that flows through it.
The region is covered with thick lowland rainforest, home to many species of birds, including tanagers, jacamars, motmots, parrots, toucans and the loud oropendola with its long golden tail. Just a 1.5 hour drive from San Jose, the area is humid and hot year-round and life revolves very much around the river, the entry and exit point for most goods and cargo. Aside from tourism, banana and pineapple plantations are the main source of income in the region and the town is an important hub for the surrounding plantations and their workers.
Verdantly green, brightly colored wildlife
The nearby Braulio Carrillo National Park offers a pristine expanse of virgin cloud forest and rainforest and is a very important primary forest, one of the few areas in Costa Rica where the jaguar still prowls. Verdantly green with brightly colored plants and butterflies creating a feast for the eyes, the region is also home to a very particular set of animal species, including monkeys, sloths, ocelots and snakes. It also has many opportunities for adventure, and visitors can try whitewater rafting, kayaking and ziplining among many other adrenaline pumping activities. The Sarapiqui River offers gentler whitewater rafting rapids than many of the wilder Costa Rican rivers, ideal for those new to the sport.
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WHAT NOT TO MISS IN
Tirimbina Reserve is a beautiful protected stretch of forest where you can spot all types of tropical birdlife and mammals, as well as rare orchids and other jungle flora. At the reserve they also offer workshops on how chocolate is made.
River cruising is a more tranquil option for experiencing the nature of a jungle river. Floating calmly downstream you’ll be able to see monkeys playing in the trees, colorful iguanas relaxing, tropical birds and bats flying overhead, as well as caiman and sloths along the river banks.
Ziplining & Rafting
Zip lining is a very popular way to experience the jungle around Sarapiqui and there are also opportunities for rappelling down jungle clad canyons and through cascading waterfalls.
Rafting down the whitewater rapids of a jungle river is an unforgettable and exhilarating experience. In the calmer stretches you’ll see monkeys swinging through the overhanging branches, kingfishers darting from bank to bank and basilisk lizards running across the surface of the water.
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|Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa Rica||In the Manuel Antonio National Park you’ll find sloths, iguanas and the rare squirrel monkey among many other species. In the pristine waters around the perfect bays there is a flurry of marine life from dolphins and turtles to whales and colorful tropical fish.Read more…|
Arenal & La Fortuna
|Volcán Arenal, Provincia de Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa Rica||The presence of the impressive Arenal Volcano is everywhere. Whether strolling around La Fortuna village, canopy rappelling in the forest, boating along Lake Arenal, horseback riding or hiking the countryside…adventure lies around every corner.Read more…|
|Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, Costa Rica||Home to Costa Rica’s most stunning and pristine Cloud Forest where you can find birds, monkeys and people (zip-lining of course) flying through the trees! There are plenty of adventures from the Sky Walk to horseback riding and hiking.Read more…|
|Tortuguero, Limón, Costa Rica||On Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean Coast,, Tortuguero is a water world made up of canals, lagoons, streams and dense rainforest. Known as the ‘Land of Turtles’, Tortuguero is one of the world’s most important turtle nesting sites!|
|Limón, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica||The laid-back pace of this Caribbean beach town is bound to win you over. Here you’ll get a taste of Costa Rica’s Creole culture and enjoy the adventures of the nearby Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve as well as relaxing in its calm Caribbean waters. Read more…|
|Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa Rica||This once small, unassuming fishing village on the Pacific Coast has become the center of Costa Rica’s high-end beach scene. Tamarindo offers designer shopping, incredible restaurants and plenty of nightlife for those seeking a not so quiet beach setting.|
|Península de Nicoya, Costa Rica||Jutting out out into the Pacific, this tropical peninsula is a mountainous and sparsely populated area with an abundance of wildlife. The stunning coastline is dramatic and unspoiled with long stretches of sandy beaches backed by jungle.Read more…|
Rincon de la Vieja
|Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica||There are many ways to experience the area ranging from hiking, rappelling, rock-climbing and canopying to relaxing horseback rides and soaking in the volcanic hot springs flowing from the mountain – one of the major draws of the region.Read more…|
|Cordillera Central, San José, Costa Rica||This region has some of the highest mountains in Costa Rica with cool, misty cloud forests and rushing rivers. It runs from Nicaragua to Panama and separates Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific Coasts, creating two very different climatic regions. Read more…|
|Peninsula de Osa, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica||The Osa Peninsula is an untouched natural wonderland with wildlife-filled rainforests and palm-backed Pacific beaches. Visit the Osa Peninsula’s Corcovado National Park where almost one-tenth of all the mammals found in the Americas live! Read more…|
|Heredia, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica||Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui in the lush Caribbean lowlands is known for its natural environment filled with tropical flora, and for the broad Sarapiqui River that flows through it. Read more…|
Depending on your client’s preferences, we can help you determine the best experiences tailored for your clients. From where to visit, when to go, what to do and how to get there safely, our travel experts will help you create an experience your clients will love.
Best times to visit Sarapiqui
Sarapiqui is located in the northern lowlands on the Caribbean side of the country and located in the rainforest. The weather here is in general wet year round with showers expected any time of year.
December until April is the drier half of the year. May until November is generally wetter, with the exception of July where there is a temporary lull and usually more sunshine. This is known as the veranito (little summer).
September and October are the wettest months.
HOW TO GET THERE
Sarapiquí can be reached by road from San Jose and San Carlos / Arenal (via Alajuela)
taking the road from san Jose you will travel through The Braulio Carrillo National Park, Route 32: With approximately 90 minutes of journey from San Jose. Those who travel along this route will have the opportunity to enjoy a landscape that ranges from majestic slopes covered in primary forest, in the mountainous area, to imposing river beds and attractive agricultural and cattle farms in the plains.
Route from San Carlos & Arenal: this is a longer route and you basically pass north of san Jose through Alajuela. his takes about 4 hours and is a great way to avoid San Jose if you are heading out that way.
You can easily find your way around town by walking or with your rental car. There is no public transportation, to visit the different places you can either go by car or book a tour.
WHERE TO STAY
Accommodation options in Sarapiqui are relatively limited. The most luxury accommodation there is, is a rustic 3 star lodge. Aside from these 2 lodges there are several smaller bed & breakfasts.
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