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Named for the Huetar word for crocodile, this national park is home to several ecosystems, including marshes, lagoons, and gallery forests. Created in 1998, Carara is a favorite destination for bird watchers because of its immense primary rainforest. It’s also home to one of the largest populations of scarlet macaws in Costa Rica. Carara lies directly in the transition zone between the dry tropical forest and tropical rainforest. The intersection of the two habitats makes it unique: flora and fauna from both live in one area. The high humidity and primary forests mean the area draws many bird species who feast on the abundant insect population. The park protects the Tárcoles River basin, where during the green season, you can catch sight of the famous Tárcoles crocodiles at one of the stations.

Tour length: Half-day tour

What to bring: Camera, towels, swimsuits, bug spray, sunscreen

What to wear: Sunscreen, sneakers, comfortable clothes, hat

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