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Discovering Sarapiquí: A Journey Through Costa Rica's Rainforest

Exploring the Route to Sarapiquí

To get to Sarapiquí, we took a grand circle tour that led us through the towns on Route 126, which cuts between the Poás and Barva volcanoes. We stopped at the Cinchona Café Colibrí, where we saw hummingbirds and fruit feeders. We then continued our journey to the plains of Sarapiquí, where we saw the Sarapiquí River and Braulio Carrillo National Park.

Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking

Our first stop in Sarapiquí was the La Virgen section, where we found the region's first big attraction: rafting and kayaking. Sarapiquí rafting offers moderate Class III rapids, making it ideal for novices and families. We saw plenty of wildlife on the calm stretches between thrilling rapids.

Dave and Dave's Nature Park

We continued our journey to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, where we visited Dave and Dave's Nature Park. The father and son U.S. expats who own this small reserve have worked it for years, restoring the forests and promoting second-growth forests. We had a unique tour where we sat, talked, walked the trails, drank coffee, and photographed Sarapiquí wildlife that we wouldn't have seen in other places.

Discovering the Rainforest

Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí is known for its rafting, but there are other reasons to go there. The huge expanse of Caribbean rainforests provides the major attraction in this part of the country: the jungle and all its plants, insects, birds, and mammals.

Boat Tour on the Sarapiquí River

One way to experience the Caribbean rainforest is by boat on the smooth and calm Sarapiquí River. Our two-hour tour provided ample views of aquatic birds, crocodiles, peccaries, monkeys, and other wildlife.

La Selva Biological Station

Another way to see this amazingly biodiverse area is to go to the largest and oldest attraction in the region: La Selva Biological Station. La Selva is a large, functioning research center run by the Organization for Tropical Studies. It is one of the most important and well-known research centers in the world on tropical biology. You must call in advance and get reservations if you want to actually stay there alongside the scientists, or take a day or half-day trip to see the butterflies, insects, frogs, birds, and plant life.

Final Thoughts

Sarapiquí is a must-visit destination for nature lovers who want to explore Costa Rica's rainforest. From whitewater rafting and kayaking to birdwatching and exploring the jungle, there is something for everyone in Sarapiquí.

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