Carara National Park and Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica

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scarlet macaws

scarlet macaws

Map showing the location of natural area in Costa RicaOn a beautiful bright sunny early morning in February, we travel  Costa Rica with Iguana Tours to visit Carara National Park in Costa Rica’s central Pacific region.  This park is known for the scarlet macaws  and we are hoping to spot a pair, male and female.   We are here at 8 a.m. when the park opens, pay our $7 entrance free,  and set off on our hike throught the dense lowland tropical rain forest with well marked trails  to find the scarlets.   We are told by our naturalist guide that over 100 scarlet macaws nest and feed here.  Coastal mangroves along the nearby Tarcoles River provide roosting areas for the birds which can be seen at dust flying west towards the Rio Tarcoles.

We headed for the shortest hiking trail, accompanied by our naturalist guide ,  Eduardo whose English is almost perfect.   He spotted first a very large grey owl sitting on a tree limb which I  could almost reach up and touch.   I’ve never seen an owl with such big eyes.

The trees all around us are so thick, we cannot see the sky,  only the sunlight flickering through the tree tops.  Eduardo  finds a trail of leaf cutter ants doing their job of cleaning the forest floor. The line  seems to go forever and each one has a leaf on it’s back.

Finally we were giving up when we spotted high in the canopy two beautiful  scarlet macaws sitting side by side  in the tree branch.  So glad we brought along our best binoculars.  Their feathers, deep blue and fire red, glistened in the morning sunlight.   How lucky could we get!   Then, quickly they flew,  together westward toward the Tarcoles River bed.  My day was complete now, I had seen the macaws!

Someone asked me.  What is the best time of year to visit Carara National Park? I said the dry season is the best which is December through mid April.  Worst time is August through October which is very heavy rainy season.  And all year the weather is hot and humid. Good tennis shoes with traction or light weight hiking boots are must.  And a light waterproof jacket in the rainy season.  We asked Eduardo why so many tourist in the park today.  He replied that  several Cruise ships were docked in the nearby port of Caldera adjacent to  the seaside town of Puntarenas.

Eduardo said that cars parked in the parking lot of Carara National Park should not have belongings left inside that are visible.  Seems petty thieves are on look out for  such an opportunity.

Back at our hotel in Manuel Antonio resting in our air conditioned room,  we talked about the park and our experience there.  Another great day fun and learning!

Ann welcomes your questions and comments.  At end of the post you will see comment or may say no comment.  click here.  Thanks for reading

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