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The town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui lies two hours northeast of San José but it's the surrounding area that is of interest to the traveler — it is wonderful for the wildlife and nature enthusiast, less-visited than Tortuguero or Monteverde.


Fast becoming an important ecotourism destination, Sarapiqui lies near the base of the Cordillera Central range at the convergence of the Rio Sarapiqui and Rio Puerto Viejo, surrounded by agricultural plantations and lush forests. Right in the heart lies La Selva Biological Station which provides a superb scientific insight into the life of the rainforest.

Flora and fauna

It is home to some 400 species of birds, 450 species of trees and over 100 species of mammals and is situated in one of the last remaining areas of primary rainforest in Costa Rica.

Accommodation and activities

Sarapiquis Rainforest Lodge (Formerly Centro Neotropico)Lodges are simple but if you are looking for something a little off the beaten track it is well worth spending a couple of nights here.

The area is increasingly becoming a focus of adventure activity with zip-lines, canopy walkways, tubing, river-rafting and horse riding all on offer for your enjoyment.

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Suggested itineraries featuring Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

    Accommodation choices for Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, and which use the best local guides.

    • Cacao Plantation Tour
      Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

      Cacao Plantation Tour

      Cacao Plantation Tour

      Visit a working cacao plantation and enjoy a guided tour, learning about the whole process of turning Costa Rican cacao beans into one of mankind's favorite foods — chocolate.

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    • Sarapiqui River Rafting

      Sarapiqui River Rafting

      Sarapiqui River Rafting

      This trip takes in some of the best grade II and III rafting on the Sarapiqui River and offers a more gentle rafting experience than some of the other river trips in Costa Rica. Wildlife such as toucans, cormorants, kingfishers and howler monkeys can be spotted along the water's edge.

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    • Pozo Azul Horse Riding
      Horse-riding, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

      Pozo Azul Horse Riding

      Pozo Azul Horse Riding

      Many Costa Rican's will tell you that the horse is the ultimate "all terrain vehicle" and that the best, most comfortable way to experience the rainforest is on the back of a well trained horse!

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    • La Selva Biological Station Birding Tour
      La Selva Biological Station, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

      La Selva Biological Station Birding Tour

      La Selva Biological Station Birding Tour

      The diversity of species here is spectacular, including more than 1,850 species of plants, 350 species of trees, 448 species of birds, and approximately 500 species of ants.

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