Carpeted with fruit plantations, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui bears more resemblance to the steamy and tropical Caribbean lowlands than the plains of the north. Despite significant deforestation, it still houses some of the best preserved primary rainforest in the country.
This is an excellent area for the wildlife and nature enthusiast with La Selva Biological Station, Braulio Carrillo National Park and Rara Avis private rainforest reserves all located nearby.
South of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, the area around the small town of Las Horquetas is home to the biggest heart-of-palm plantations in the world. This and banana cultivation make up the bulk of the local economy, alongside more recent ecotourism initiatives.
The river Sarapiqui is the focal point for the local inhabitants, and most cargo is still carried by river to the Nicaraguan border in the north and to the Tortuguero canals in the east. It is also a good river for white water rafting.
Holidays In Sarapiqui
Tirimbina Biological Reserve
The 330 hectare Tirimbina Biological Reserve is one of the last remaining zones of mid-elevation premontane rainforest in northeastern Costa Rica. It has been the site of numerous biological research projects and serves as a laboratory for study. An island with lush tropical vegetation lies in the middle of the great Sarapiqui River which forms part of the reserve.
The island trails offer an easily navigated introduction to a tropical forest ecosystem. The reserve is connected to the Centro Neotropico Sarapiquis lodge by a 260 m suspension bridge. Please note that admission to Tirimbina is at an extra cost. The night Bat Tour is very popular.