Travel to Costa Rica

Day 4 Puerto Viejo - Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - La Fortuna (303 Km.)

Costa Rica


 

After two days of rain, it dawns sunny and we seize to take some pictures along the Caribbean coast before enjoying a breakfast of fresh pineapple smoothies and go to the Arenal volcano.

Beach at Puerto Viejo
Beach at Puerto Viejo

(in 216 Km.) Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís: It is a place that combines peace and tranquility with learning in the tropical forest. It is two kilometers from the town of La Virgen, in a natural environment with forest landscapes with neotropical birds and plants. Located outside the Sarapiqui River, the center is a place to study pre-Columbian history, to explore the forest, biodiversity and ecology, where discover the complex network of tropical life.

Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - Pre-Columbian art
Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - Pre-Columbian art

One of the park´s attractions is the archaeological park called "Alma Ata", a pre-Columbian cemetery with 12 tombs (although there are many more to dig up) dating from 1400 and which was discovered in October 1999. You can also see petroglyphs and ceramics found at the site.

Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - Pre-Columbian tombs
Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - Pre-Columbian tombs

The center also has a museum with exhibits, videos and explanations about the rainforest, documenting the history of indigenous and hundreds of artifacts they used. Just opposite are Chester´s Field gardens, where you can see a collection of medicinal and ornamental plants (including hummingbird and butterflies that are flying everywhere).

Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - Canopy at Tirimbina Biological Reserve

But perhaps the biggest attraction of the center is the Tirimbina Rainforest Center. It is a biological reserve of 350 hectares, 150 of which were prepared to be easily viewed by the public by paved roads and suspension bridges that cross the jungle canopy. The longest bridge, crossing the Sarapiqui River, has a length of 262 meters and allows to see the forest from above. The trails are followed accompanied by a guard of the reserve, which will explain details about the flora and fauna of the primary and secondary forests that are visited.

Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - Tirimbina Biological Reserve

The visit through six kilometers of trails allow the observation of many animals, among which are poisonous snakes, toucans, squirrels, various species of birds, bats, monkeys, the famous red frog, ants, hummingbirds, etc. A spiral staircase lets down to an island in the middle of the Sarapiqui River, which allows bathing in its waters or find white bat which is hidden under the leaves of some plants.

Toucan
Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquís - Toucan at Tirimbina Biological Reserve

(in 87 Km.) La Fortuna: We came to this village that will be our base for excursions to the Arenal volcano. This village is very prepared for tourism with many hotels and restaurants with very different types of cuisine. Proof of this is that we went to an Italian, a Mexican and a Chinese.


 

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