After meeting your driver and guide at the Puntarenas port, travel just down the coast to the entrance of Carara National Park. Many guides have more than 10 years of experience and may specialize in botany, birdlife, or archaeology for a unique perspective. When you arrive at the park entrance, follow a moderate, somewhat hilly loop trail that winds through a forested section and along a walkable road beside the River Tárcoles.
With a dual climate ranging from hot and dry in the winter (November to April) to hot and humid during the rainy season, the park’s mangrove forests and tidal flats offer a welcoming seasonal habitat to an incredible array of wildlife, especially birds. It's one of the best spots in the country to see brilliant scarlet macaws, plus other winged species like parrots, motmots, hummingbirds, and herons. Keep an eye out for members of the crocodile community that often sun along the river banks, as well as mammals that make their home in the forest like agouti, capuchin monkeys, and deer.
Reward your hiking efforts with a typical Costa Rican lunch on the return drive to the Puntarenas port, where the 5-hour tour concludes with drop-off back at your ship.