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country Costa Rica
duration 3 nights
attribute All meals
attribute Lodge

Pure nature in Barra Pacuare

Barra Pacuare is a real off-the-beaten-track destination. This is a great alternative to explore Tortuguero National Park and to see the famous sea turtles of Costa Rica.

From San José, you will travel by bus and boat to your destination near the Rio Pacuare. This trip is already an adventure in itself. To actually get to the lodge, you need to get on a boat and accompanied by a guide, you drive down the Madre de Dios (mother of God) river to the lodge. Along the way there’s already a chance you’ll spot birds, monkeys and other animals.

The lodge where you will stay for the next few days is located in the middle of the jungle near a beautiful lagoon, far away from civilization and other travel destinations. There’s no wifi nor a pool, but there’s plenty to do here and you for sure will not get bored.

  • Transport by bus and boat
  • 8 meals
  • 2 tours with guide
  • Off the beaten track

Local turtle project

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Local turtle project

Upon your arrival, your guide will take you to Barra de Pacuare, a typical Caribbean village. Here you’ll visit the local school and a small-scale turtle project. During your stay at the lodge, you will also go on a tour to the nearby wetlands, where you can spot countless birds, amphibians and reptiles such as caimans and river turtles.

You’ll spend the night in the middle of the jungle and when nature awakes in the early morning, it is the best time to spot wild animals. The weather is not too hot yet and everybody is busy scoring breakfast. Your guide will take you to the Pacuare reserve, where you will walk around primary tropical rainforest to spot monkeys, snakes and various birds such as the toucan. With a bit of luck, you also see sloths!

Discover the Pacuare channels

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Discover the Pacuare channels

In the afternoon you will travel through the Pacuare canals (part of the Tortuguero canals) where caimans, crocodiles, river turtles, sloths, snakes, birds and monkeys live. Afterwards, if you have enough energy left, you can always borrow a kayak to explore the waters yourself or book an extra tour.

If you want to experience the nature of Tortuguero in its purest, natural form, far away from other tourists, then this is your chance!

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Remco and Louise

Our stay here was really enjoyable. The lodge was only accessible by boat and all in all some 15 guests were staying at the hotel. On the way to the lodge, our guide already showed us various wild animals (sloth, poison frogs, monkeys). Do keep in mind the lodge offers basic accommodation. There is not always hot water or electricity and don’t panic when you encounter a spider in your room. We both liked everything a lot, but we understand that this accommodation is not suitable for every traveller. Also, we enjoyed the guided tours. We visited the local turtle project and could help guide baby turtles to the ocean, a very unique experience!

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Van der Wal - Lely family

We reallly enjoyed our stay here and Herman, our guide was great! We nicknamed him Freek Vonk sr. after the famous Dutch biologist, and had great fun with him.

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Raeymaekers family

Our stay in Barra Pacuare was an absolute highlight! The transfer by boat through the laguna and later on an improvised night tour were really great.  We asked if we could visit the ranger station at night to see how the turtles are taken care of. In a few hours our guide not only got everything arranged, but the skipper who was taking us suggested to go and search for crocodiles together. The kitchen staff asked if they could join as well and we all had a great time together. Fantastic!!!

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Oldewarris family

Beautiful location, nice tours. Very friendly staff and super nice guides. It was the intention to visit a school here, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. That was a pity, but 5 stars!

Tip from Marlou:

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Tip from Marlou:

During your stay here you truly are ‘disconnected’ from the digital world. At the lodge, there’s no mobile network and no WiFi. So no emails and now Whatsapp. In this way you’ll have plenty time to connect with nature and explore your surroundings.

What can you see in Barra Pacuare?

The following destinations are close to this travel package:

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Discover volcano Arenal from La Fortuna
The Arenal volcano is one of the seven active volcanoes in Costa Rica. The little town of La Fortuna at its foot has developed into an important travel destination and offers a wide variety of restaurant, shops and bars, but also great tours.
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Explore underwater wildlife in Cahuita
Cahuita is a charming Carribean town. From your hotel you walk to the beach in some 20 minutes. If you're a water sports fan, there's great swimming, snorkeling and diving here. Expore the coast either by car or by bike and to get to know the indigenous locals is a truly unique experience as well.
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Stay at a real ‘finca’ in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Finca Sura is a typical Costa Rican family run farm. Don Rodolfo, his wife Doña Rosa and their 8 adult children will warmly welcome you at the finca and will happily share their lives with you for a couple of days. You will stay in basic, but comfortable bungalows and the culinary skills of Doña Rosa will pamper your tastebuds and make these few days unforgettable. Experience the true Pura Vida of Costa Rica here at Finca Sura!
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The best chocolate in authentic Sarapiqui
Sarapiqui was originally a small town on the banks of the Sarapiqui River. In the region you find many cacao, coffee, pineapple and banana plantations. Join Jean-Pierre, the Belgian owner of the lodge you're staying, on his tour and learn more about the history of cacao and chocolate!
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Relax and unwind on the beach of Manzanillo
Manzanillo is the southernmost village at the Caribbean coast, near Panama. The public road ends here and around the village, you find beautiful, pristine beaches. The coastal atmosphere is above all relaxed: enjoy the good food, music and the beach of course! Your home in Manzanillo is a beautifully designed, hand-made jungle house with fully equipped kitchen. It offers you the full jungle experience at a stone's throw from the beach!
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Stay with the native Bribri Indians
A trip to the Bri Bri indigenous community is an unforgettable adventure! You travel by boat to a tiny village near the border with Panama where the indigenous community will warmly welcome you and show you what their daily life looks like. You'll stay at a local family home and learn more about (among others) the art of making chocolate, the use of medicinal plants and how to build your own thatched roof! Enjoy this unique insight into the traditional culture in Costa Rica.
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Surfing on the Caribbean coast in relaxed Playa Cocles
Playa Cocles is a small beach town and popular destination for surfers and backpackers alike. From here, exploring the Caribbean coast is easy. Puerto Viejo, with its bars, restaurants and nightlife is nearby and you can also follow the road down to Manzanillo and enjoy the beautiful, quiet beaches.
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Start your trip in the center of San José
San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and here you usually arrive and start your holiday. Even though the city might be the least interesting destination of your trip, it is definitely worthwhile to explore. There are a few great (free) city tours and the neighbourhoods of Barrio Escalante, Dent and Amon are really up and coming and provide a great local offer of nice bars, restaurants and boutiques.

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