The Sarapiqui region is the best kept secret for a true rain forest adventure. This area is easily accessible from Arenal, Tortuguero, Poas, or San Jose.
This area could be considered the Gateway to Tortuguero, as you have to pass by on your way. However, that would sell the area short. While Sarapiqui does share the same ecosystem as Tortuguero, the inland location opens the door to some different plant and animal species. There are also numerous adventure and nature tours that can be taken right from your hotel.
This is your closest option in the country for world class whitewater rafting tours. Ziplines and great hiking are close by. A ride on the Sarapiqui river is a relaxing and efficient way to see any of a large variety of animals and birds.
You are also close to La Selva Biological Biological Station. This private reserve is owned by a non-profit Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). Celebrating more than 50 years, OTS is a consortium of about 50 universities, colleges, and research institutions from seven countries on four continents. OTS’ mission is to provide leadership in education, research, and responsible use of natural resources in the tropics. They offer naturalist guided tours on a walk up and reservation basis.
If you are a birder, this area is second to none. Dozens of unique species. This region is also one of the last holdouts for the endangered Green Macaws. When you are close, they aren’t usually that hard to find. They think they are songbirds, and can raise quite a racket! Especially at dawn, when the rest of the world is trying to sleep. Ask me how I know this.
If you are coming from San Jose, you can expect about a two hour drive. If you are coming from, or going to Arenal, there is a new highway, that will get you to Arenal in less than 90 minutes. But if you don’t mind taking a little extra time, the old route goes through some beautiful countryside.
You are also only an hour away from the Poas region. Sarapiqui is now more accessible than ever, and adds a unique dimension to any itinerary.
Selva Verde Lodge