Carara National Park & back to San Jose

Published: March 4th 2012
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The last day of the tour, we had a long drive from the Guanacaste coast back to San Jose. On the way we stopped at the Carara National Park, which has a brackish series of canals that are home to crocodiles as well as an amazing assortment of birds. Luckily, they hand out a brochure with pictures and names of the various birds so that we can identify our pictures after we have left and have forgotten the names we were told. It allows you to just appreciate the moment without worrying about trying to remember everything. It really is sensory overload out here.

The guides take pieces of chicken along to feed the crocodiles, bringing them to the boat and out of the water so the tourists can take pictures. We weren’t disappointed, as we came across several crocs, two of which were hungry enough to approach the guide to get their chicken. The guide got out of the boat and slapped the meat on the surface of the water at the bank to attract the crocs. The crocs would swim over to the bank, and we all held our breath waiting for that National Geographic moment when the croc lunges out of the water to grab the guide. Lucky for us – and the guide!! – the croc went after the chicken and not the guide. But wow, the crocs were just too close for comfort!

Besides the crocodiles, we saw lots of birds that we hadn’t seen before, but sadly, not the scarlet macaw which was what we were hoping to see. The tide was low and the river was too shallow for us to go far enough to see where they are usually spotted. But that is OK – we are not disappointed. There is so much to see and experience here. What a fantastic trip!

At last, we get to our hotel which is in the middle of the old section of downtown San Jose. There are a couple of examples of Spanish Colonial architecture here, such as the old National Theatre. But mostly, it is just very crowded and noisy.

We had a wonderful farewell dinner with out group, with exchange of hugs and emails all around, and then it was over. Now, we start the next section of our adventure.

Additional photos below
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