Sarapiqui is at the heart of it all—the emerald core of a proudly green nation. Although unknown to most outsiders, Costa Ricans are passionate about this region's wild rivers, accessible biological reserves and unforgettable vistas. Centered around the town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, the Sarapiqui corridor forms a lush arc, curving southeast toward the Caribbean and northwest to Arenal.
Several roads reach Sarapiqui from San José, tracing the slopes of the Poas, Barva and Cacho Volcanoes. But our favorite route passes over the Cordillera Central and through the spectacular Braulio Carrillo National Park—a mountainous landscape of virgin forests, spontaneous waterfalls and breathtaking views. On this road, we can't help wondering if we've teleported to Hawaii.
Over 90% of Braulio Carrillo's territory is primary forest—vital habitat for the endangered Green Macaw and more than 500 other bird species. The park forms a biological corridor with two neighboring reserves: Rara Avis and La Selva. A pristine private reserve, Rara Avis is also one of the best birdwatching bases in Central America. Nearby, and only five minutes from Puerto Viejo, La Selva is the site of a world-class ecological research center. Here you can hike to thundering waterfalls, observe howler monkeys, and support the conservation efforts of the Organization for Tropical Studies.
Puerto Viejo was once Costa Rica's principal shipping port—an odd fact given that it lies more than 40 miles inland. Goods were transported down the Sarapiqui River to the Rio San Juan and on to ports around the Caribbean. The town is surrounded by fertile plantations, many of which offer tours and samples to visitors. Among these are farms producing organic pineapple, shade-grown coffee and cacao—the raw form of chocolate. At the area's banana plantations, freshly-cut bunches are transported on an ingenious aerial railway. (Someday we'll get a ride.)
If you're looking for outdoor adventure, you've found its natural habitat. The Sarapiqui region presents opportunities to zip-line, rappel, mountain bike, hike and ride horses. The Sarapiqui River is one of the country's best whitewater routes; here, you can choose from sections that are gentle (Class II), exciting (Class III), or downright jarring (Class IV).
Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Sarapiqui and throughout Costa Rica. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, domestic flights, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
"Man's heart away from nature becomes hard."