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The Carara Biological Reserve occupies a unique position, straddling tropical moist forest and tropical wet forest in the Pacific lowlands. Though most of the vegetation in the reserve remains evergreen, there are a number of species that lose their leaves during the dry season, showing their affinity to the drier climate found north of the reserve.

Carara's main attraction for most visitors is its wildlife, and star billing goes to the Scarlet Macaw, about 150 of which feed and nest in the reserve. These large, raucous members of the parrot family add a bright splash of primary colours to the overall green of the rainforest, although at times it is amazing how difficult they can be to spot in a leafy tree.

In addition to this and other colourful tropical species, the forest is home to many somber-hued bird species that often travel together in mixed flocks that are a true delight (and challenge!) to birdwatchers. Of the many kinds of birds that can be found in such flocks, a few of the more common ones are the Black-hooded Antshrike, Dot-winged Antwren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Chestnut-backed Antbird, and Lesser Greenlet.

You can walk through the "Villa Lapas Sky Way", a union of natural trails and hanging bridges throughout the rain forest of centenary trees. It is located in a private reserve close to the Carara National Park. Depending on the hour at which you take this tour, you could see many species of birds and animals.

Some of our favourite places to go and things to do around San Jose
What to do around San Jose

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Observe a variety of beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds up close and marvel at spectacular waterfalls.

Rainforest Aerial Tram

Glide through the verdant rainforest canopy to savour the sights and sounds of the jungle.

Pacuare River Rafting

Take on some of the continent's finest rapids on an adrenaline-fuelled rafting adventure.

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