Carara National Park – Costa Rica


Carara National Park is located near the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It was established on April 27, 1978, as a biological reserve, but after an increase in tourism in the 90s, the government changed its status to a national park in 1998. This national park is a visiting birder’s dream since it’s so close to popular beaches in Jaco and San Jose.

Carara National Park is in the northernmost Pacific coastal rain forest remaining in Costa Rica. With over 12,000 acres, the landscape includes forests and mountains. It contains the transition zone into the tropical dry forests. The Amazonian and Mesoamerican ecosystems meet and the climates of the Pacific dry north meet the humid south coast. This connection allows birds that typically don’t see each other, to meet. There are over 400 species of birds identified in the park. The Black-hooded Antshrike, Chestnut-backed Antbird, Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird, and White-shouldered Tanager are just a few that can be spotted in the trees. It also houses the largest population of Scarlet Macaws. Since these trees are dryer and evergreen, it makes it easier for birders to spot them. Birds are not the only wildlife that calls the park home. Capuchin Monkeys, crocodiles, and Howler Monkeys are also found on the grounds.

Birders don’t have to be avid hikers to see what the trails have to offer. The main trail is just under a mile and other breakout trails are a little over a mile.

Owen traveled to Carara National Park in December 2004 and December 2014.

Birds found here