Buffon's macaws, red-eyed tree frogs, and skylarks are all part of this full-day guided tour to Cinco Ceibas Tropical Reserve and Adventure Park from San Jose. Walk along a raised platform that winds through a forest teeming with wildlife, and try to hug one of the giant capoquier trees. Then choose to leisurely kayak down the Rio Cuarto, ride a gentle steed through the pastures with views of the volcanoes, or opt for an ox cart ride and learn about the reserve's reforestation and culture. Plant. Includes an excellent lunch and round-trip hotel transport.
After an early morning minivan pickup from your San Jose hotel, head north for the 2,5-hour drive to Cinco Ceibas Rainforest Reserve and Adventure Park. Located along the Costa Rican Bird Route, the park is part of Finca Pangola, a multipurpose arable land that includes protected natural habitats for flora and fauna and a sustainable forest management project.
In the park, follow a naturalist guide for a tour along a raised platform that cuts through the primary forest of the floodplain areas. From this height, enjoy an excellent vantage point from which to admire a large number of tropical plants, fauna and flora, without getting too close.
During the course, the approximately 1,2 km platform (the longest in Central America) crosses the five majestic capoquiers, centuries-old trees, which gave their name to the park. Watch for the sounds of skylarks, toucans, bats and numerous red-eyed tree frogs, and parades of leafcutter ants carrying flowers. Look out for hummingbirds and endangered Buffon's macaws atop the trees.
At midday, enjoy a hearty lunch of the best Costa Rican dishes and fusion cuisine at the park's restaurant overlooking the Rio Pangola, the perfect place to unwind. During your day at the park, you will also be offered a snack (sandwich and drink).
Then, enjoy one of the following activities: kayaking, horseback riding or ox-cart riding. Colorful buses pick you up at the Visitor Center and take you to your chosen activity. Lockers and changing rooms are available throughout the day.
After a safety briefing, board a single or double kayak for a ride on the Rio Cuarto, which meanders quietly through the middle of the forest. Let yourself be carried along by the currents of the river for gentle sensations under the canopy formed by the trees. As you paddle, watch monkeys cling from branch to branch, and keep an eye out for sloths, kingfishers and suntails.
In the stables, attend a safety briefing before this ride accessible to all. Follow your guide into pastures, where the Chaperron Mountains and distant volcanoes will appear, then trek through the jungle along the Rio Cuarto.
Ox cart ride
Don't feel like getting wet or riding a horse? Ride in a covered wagon pulled by two oxen. As you travel the land, a guide explains the history of Finca Pangola and how heliconia and fruits like bananas and papaya are produced on site. Stop at the nursery and learn about local reforestation, orchids and other native plants.
Upon leaving Cinco Ceibas, re-board your minivan for the evening drive back to San Jose.