Central Pacific Conservation Area

Costa Rica National Parks

Carara National Park

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Trail Map Carara National Park

  12,950 acres

  Puntarenas Province

Date of Creation
  1 June 1978

Carara National Park Rainforest

Carara National Park Scarlet Macaw

Birdwatchers are interested in the Carara National Park area because it presents two life zones and a variety of birds, including one of the largest remaining wild populations of Scarlet Macaw in Costa Rica.

Driving Directions

From San José, Costa Rica, take Avenida 10 to Parque La Sabana,  where it becomes Highway 27. Follow this highway west for 34 miles to the town of Orotina.

Three miles after Orotina, turn left onto the coastal highway. Then drive about 11 miles to the bridge over the Tárcoles River and the park boundary. The Quebrada Bonita Ranger Station and park headquarters is another 2 miles after the bridge.

Park Facilities and Hours

The Quebrada Bonita Ranger Station is open for visitor attention from 8am to 4pm, and has potable water and restrooms. Telephone (506) 383-9953

There are two hiking trails in Carara National Park. One-half mile south of the Rio Grande de Tarcoles bridge, as you head towards the rangers station, there is a parking area on the left. The 2.7 mile Araceas Nature Trail that begins here parallels the Río Grande de Tárcoles and has short branches to the Laguna Meandrica and marshes.

Carara National Park

At the Quebrada Bonita Ranger Station you will find a 1/2 mile loop trail. See the trail map above.

Park Attractions

Carara National Park Rainforest

The Carara National Park protects the river basin of the Rio Grande de Tarcoles, near Orotina, Puntarenas, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Primary and secondary rainforest, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Pre-columbian archaeological sites are scattered throughout the area.

Carara National Park Costa Rica

© 2005-2023 CCSA all rights reserved - Costa Rica National Parks data and maps adapted from SINAC and MINAE