5 star rating: Highly Recommended 14 Reviews

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  • Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Duration:  10 hours (approx.)
What could be better than a chocolate tour and wildlife encounter in a Costa Rican tropical rainforest! Meet the monkeys, parrots and other tropical birds that call La Selva Biological Reserve home. Hear about the reserves status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve from your guide before visiting Tirimbina Rainforest Center, where you'll learn more about cacao and enjoy a chocolate tasting.


  • Tropical rainforest walk and chocolate tasting from San Jose
  • Spot rare tropical birds at La Virgen del Socorro
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant
  • Take a guided hike through La Selva Biological Reserve, home to 400 species of birds
  • Learn about how La Selva and the Braulio Carrillo National Park are part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve at the La Selva Organization for Tropical Studies
  • Visit Tirimbina Rainforest Center and learn about cacao and enjoy a chocolate tasting
  • Get a closer look at the home of leafcutter ants

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

San Jose Tropical Rainforest Adventure including Chocolate Tasting

San Jose Tropical Rainforest and Chocolate Adventure

Join your tour in central San Jose, then relax on the drive to La Virgen del Socorro, a private reserve with wonderful birdlife, including rare hawks, kites and hummingbirds.

After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to the Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica’s Sarapiqui lowlands region. Stop to take a walk across the mighty Tirimbina Suspension Bridge over the Sarapiqui River, then join your expert naturalist guide on a walk through tropical rainforest in La Selva Biological Reserve, one of the country's best spots for wildlife and birdwatching.

There's the chance to spot 400 bird species on your guided highlands walk, which takes you to La Selva Organization for Tropical Studies. Learn about the reserve's status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, hear about the groundbreaking research, conservation and ecotourism being carried out here, and enjoy more birdwatching and photography at La Selva.

After your encounter with nature in the tropical rainforest, learn the secrets behind the history and art of chocolate-making on a visit to Tirimbna Rainforest Center. Learn how the cacao tree originated in Mesoamerica, see forest and wild species of the plant, and hear how chocolate is produced.

At the end of your visit, enjoy a tasting of organic chocolate and other cacao products made by the local Association of Women Amazilia del Caribe before visiting a leafcutter ant farm and learn all about these intriguing insects. Then, enjoy a relaxing drive back to San Jose.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Our initial guide/driver was Carlos who drove us to the Tirembina Rainforest Centre and later for an excellent lunch at a local restaurant. Our guide at the Centre was Willy Willie?. He was excellent, extremely knowledgeable. This was the best part of the day. Willy pointed out and clearly explained everything around us. He helped us to develop our observational skills in looking for wildlife. As this is rain forest and not a zoo, you wont see everything - its best to enjoy the ones you do. After lunch we returned for the Chocolate tour, which involved a short walk through the rain forest to a covered seated area. Here Mariella gave a history of chocolate and showed us how it was extracted/processed with help from Giovanni and participants. It was interesting and entertaining, but maybe not worth an afternoon.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

This was a fantastic tour! My friend and I were the only ones on the tour which made the overall experience very personable and enjoyable.

Both our driver (Carlos) and guide (Manuel) were professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Manuel was a great guide and taught us so much about the rainforest. It was raining quite heavily for half the tour so we may not have seen as much wildlife as we would have liked, but Manuel was very patient and pointed out many insects, plants, frogs, toucans, and a sloth when the rain finally subsided. (He was kind enough to provide us with an umbrella as we were not prepared and we also bought ponchos from the gift shop).

The chocolate tasting almost deserves another review on it's own- I loved it! They provided an in depth account of how chocolate is harvested and processed, and they gave out so many samples. It was honestly some the best chocolate I've ever tasted.

Before driving back to San Jose, we stopped at a small local restaurant and had a delicious and traditional Costa Rican meal. Not only was the meal fantastic, but Manuel and Carlos were great company, and it felt like we were having lunch with new friends rather than taking part in a tour.

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Tour code: 5207SJOCOCO


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