Once you arrive, there are numerous tours and activities, magnificent wildlife and breathtaking scenery for your enjoyment and entertainment. There are guided horseback tours to the waterfalls, hot springs, volcano mud pots and miles of trails to enjoy. Reservations are required as they can take a maximum of 8 people at a time on the treetop platforms. All meals are included and the food is excellent.
About 45 minutes from the lodge are sulfur hot springs (42′ C) with medicinal properties. They haven proven helpful to those suffering from arthritis, cardiovascular problems, obesity and muscular problems.
BARRA HONDA NATIONAL PARK
Barra Honda National Park is located on the Nicoya Peninsula in the province of Guanacaste. The park is home to amazing limestone caves and caverns, as well as world-class stalagmites and stalactites. These limestone monuments date back over 70 million years. Barra Honda is home to 42 caverns and has yielded evidence of life dating back to 300 BC.
This is a high adventure tour to Barra Honda National Park, renowned for its vast cave system of pitted limestone in pristine condition. Explore the caves with special equipment and guided by park rangers. The caves are inhabited by, blind fish, salamanders and bats. After this exiting exploration hike to Barra Honda Peak, created out of ancient coral reef over 60 million years ago.
BRAULIO CARILLO NATIONAL PARK
Safely visit the majestic Braulio Carillo National Park via a private farm which borders the park. 30 minutes from San Jose you are in the midst of 80,000 acres of untouched tropical forest providing refuge for unnumbered plant species, mammals, insects, reptiles, butterflies and more than 500 species of birds. After driving into the park and viewing the Caribbean lowlands we return to Santo Domingo de Heredia and go up a secondary road to Finca Cerro Zurqui which borders the Park. An extensive trail system allows you to explore this lush tropical rain forest with your naturalist guide. Epiphytic orchids, ferns and bromeliads create a truly enchanting atmosphere. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the farm house overlooking the Central Valley and lrazu Volcano. Mid-afternoon return to San Jose.
MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
Famous for its natural beauty and great biodiversity, and is the area’s main some background on the park and its attraction inhabitants. Though it is Costa Rica’s smallest national park of (684 hectares) it represents the last patch of original lowland forest in the central pacific coast. Its main attraction lies in its two pristine beaches which are graced with white sand, gentle waves, a long slope into transparent blue water and a tall evergreen forest that grows right down to the high-tide mark. The varied environment includes primary forest, secondary forest, mangrove swamp, lagoons and beach vegetation. To date, 346 species have been discovered here, including 109 species of mammals and 184 birds. It is also possible to see two and sloths (Bradypus variegatus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), coaties (Nasua narica), howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), and white-faced monkeys (Cebus capucinus). Researchers working in conjunction with Jardín Gaia have produced a complete catalog of the animals in Manuel Antonio. The most remarkable species is the beautiful squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedi citrinellus), the only endemic sub species of primate of the country and in great danger of extinction.
The marine animals and plants are very diverse. In the six main sea habitats 10 sponge species, 19 coral, 24 crustaceans, 17 seaweed and 78 fish species have been identified. The best snorkeling is during max high or low tides. The park offers three interesting geomorphology features: the sand bar at Cathedral Point, the blow hole at Puerto Escondido and the sea caves along Serrucho Point. Twelve islands lie off the coast; almost all without plant cover, and constitute an excellent refuge for sea birds and an important nesting site for the Brown Booby (Sula leuchogaster) and Brown Pelican (Pelicanus occidentalis). Humpback whales can be spotted along the islands mainly from December through May during their migration to breeding areas off the California coast.
PALO VERDE NATIONAL PARK & TEMPISQUE RIVER TOUR
(Add Guaitil Pottery Plus+$50 PP)
Along the Pan American highway in the province of Guanacaste, there is a national park that is a must-see during a trip to Costa Rica: Palo Verde National Park. Reservations for this adventure are recommended to be made in advance of your vacation. This is a wonderful addition to any trip The Palo Verde National Park is a 33,000 acre well protected national park. The park is the main collector of water for eleven percent of the territory. Water for the park flows down from the Guanacaste mountain ranges and the Nicoya peninsula to the Tempisque and Bebedero river basins Once you arrive in the town of Bebedero you will be met by a guide at the Catatour Lodge on the bank of the Tenorio river. Refreshments await you and you then board one of several charming river boats and then head towards the Bebedero River that winds its way south to the Gulf of Nicoya. There are at least twelve habitats within the park which range from the slopes of the limestone mountains to the banks of the rivers During this two hour boat ride, you should have your camera ready to photograph, monkey and some of the many birds and crocodiles that call this area home.
Your guide will be happy to help you spot and identify the abundant variety of wildlife. The marshy lagoons provide feeding, nesting and resting sites for many species of waterfowl and wading birds. There can be up to 20,000 black-bellied tree ducks, 25,000 blue-winged teals, 4,000 wood storks and up to 1,000 or more roseate spoonbills in the park(especially during the dry season: December through May). The mangrove swamp is home to the eastern king bird, bronzed cowbird, the howler monkey and the anteater. After you are finished with this wonderful 30 mile trip you will arrive back at the lodge and enjoy a wonderful lunch and refreshments. The hospitality of this family run lodge is unsurpassed and you will always be welcomed with outstretched arms. Palo Verde is a day trip and a wonderful addition to your vacation in Costa Rica.
PALO VERDE NATIONAL PARK & VILLAGE OF GUATIL
This full day tour takes you to Palo Verde National Park. The park is part of the basin of the Tempisque River, has the largest concentration of waterfowl and wading birds in all of Central America! This a true birdwatchers’ paradise is also a perfect spot to see lots of big crocodiles, and hand feed white faced monkeys. On our return, we will pass by the famous artisan village of Guaitil.
RINCON DE LA VIEJA NATIONAL PARK
This is an all day adventure tour to the active volcano, Rincon de la Vieja. The day is filled with exiting activities, from horseback riding to bathing in hot springs to enjoying a cleansing volcanic mud bath and even an exhilarating canopy tour over the treetops of the jungle. All this in a splendorous rain forest.
SANTA ROSA NATIONAL PARK – LOS INOCENTES
Santa Rosa National Park is famous not only as a place of beauty, but also as one of great historical significance. Costa Rica has been invaded three times by foreign armies, and every time, the would-be invaders were defeated within Santa Rosa National Park’s current boundaries.
The best known of these victories was The Battle of Santa Rosa on March 20th, 1856. On that date, 9,000 Costa Ricans met the notorious and detested "Filibusters," an army of foreign pirates and adventurers led by William Walker. A small Costa Rican army won the final fight against the Fillibusters at La Casona, a ranch house located in
Santa Rosa. Today, a rebuilt La Casona is preserved as a national monument, dedicated to the memory of the men who risked and lost their lives fighting for Costa Rican freedom. The building also functions as a modest museum, displaying photographs and artifacts belonging to peasant farmers who once worked these lands. The most recent battle at Santa Rosa is detailed on bronze plates displayed in the park. These tell how, in 1955, Costa Ricans drove out an invading Nicaraguan army led by dictator Anastasio Somoza. Somoza's tank, burned and battered, sits on the site where the invading Nicaraguans abandoned it: in a ditch beside the road, just beyond the entrance to the park.
Santa Rosa is one of Costa Rica’s first National Parks. This has effectively preserved some of its raw authenticity and character. The park covers approximately 500 square kilometers of the northern half of Guanacaste. The Santa Rosa National Park was originally founded as a way of conserving a site with historical significance for the Costa Rican people, the Battle of Santa Rosa, which is still commemorated in the Hacienda Santa Rosa at the beach trail entrance. Now it also serves as a conservation area for the tropical dry forest and a wide array of fauna.
Additionally, it is home to two nesting beaches receiving the Olive Ridley Turtles. Respect, nature and history define this stunning park that will help you experience a unique side of Costa Rica. Next to the appeal of the natural surroundings, Santa Rosa has a great reputation as a surfer paradise. Playa Naranjo is a top class surf destination that can challenge even the most seasoned surfer! It is categorized as a dry forest just like the bordering Guanacaste National Park and the further off Diria National Park, Palo Verde and Barra Honda National Park. The flora and
fauna is stunning and varied and can be explored through various hiking trails. The forest as well as the playa is a great destination for the off-road and camping enthusiasts. When to visit: Visit during rainy season for surfing: If you are an advanced surfer, you will love the Witch’s Rock between the months of May and November. This time of year produces the highest waves and best tube riding. Visit during the dry season for hiking: I you just want to visit the museum and hike, visiting between December and May is a much better idea. See the turtles during rainy season: For the nature lovers wanting to see the turtles nesting, you will stand a better chance between July and November.
Arrange for a tour or camping trip: Santa Rosa National Park is a pretty remote area. To make it easier on yourself and get the most out of your trip, arrange for a tour covering all the sites you wish to visit.
This is a full day tour and recommended for those who like real adventure. The tour takes you to Santa Rosa National Park, one of the last large remaining ecosystems of ‘The Tropical Dry Forest’. Over 115 species of mammals, 253 species of birds and 100 species of amphibians and reptiles make their home in the park. The tour includes a visit to Los Inocentes Hacienda.