When your cruise ship docks at Puntarenas, meet your waiting driver at the port and travel inland across Costa Rica’s Central Valley to the launch point on the Tárcoles River. This serene waterway forms the northern border of Carara National Park, an important biological reserve and popular habitat for migratory birds.
Climb aboard a river boat with a naturalist guide, who will introduce you to the river’s distinctive ecosystems and wild residents. Explore the verdant basin at the mouth of the river, and then venture further up to a mature mangrove forest, characterized by a complex root system that grows straight out of the water.
Along the way, catch sight of native Costa Rican wildlife including Jesus Christ lizards and a famous community of American crocodiles that are often seen along the river banks. The area is also home to the country's largest population of scarlet macaws and more than 120 species of other birds. Upstream, you’ll also visit the transitional habitat of a native botanic garden to learn about the park’s exceptional diversity of plant life.
After returning to solid ground, relax on the return drive to the port, where the 5-hour tour concludes back at your waiting cruise ship.