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Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera) River Cruise & Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary Excursion Reviews

Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera) River Cruise & Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary cruise excursion
Overall Rating
If you want your breath to be taken away by amazingly rare wildlife, you must put the River Cruise and Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary excursion in Puntarenas on your to-do list!
Member Image casofilia
4 reviews
Mar 2016
Another we really enjoyed after the drive out there. The time on the river was excellent and the guide very knowledgeable. Lots of animals and birds seen. Very nice buffet at the end.
Read casofilia's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image FEH-HCG
1 review
Mar 2016
Interesting, but not a lot of wildlife.
Read FEH-HCG's full Seabourn Odyssey cruise review
Provider: Seabourn Cruise Line
Member Image CPrim
1 review
Feb 2016
Over an hour drive each way to for a 1-2 hour river cruise; saw many birds from a far and a few crocodiles up close. The tour guide was very informative but the sights were not worth the money and time
Read CPrim's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image nzdoc
1 review
Apr 2015
I saw just a few crocodiles. And very briefly. The boat was fine and guide seemed knowledgeable. I have seen better crocodiles elsewhere. Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary was not in our itenary
Read nzdoc's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Billssister
1 review
Feb 2015
I enjoyed seeing the city, taking the train ride and the boat on the river--I am an amateur birder, and we saw close to 40 birds I had never seen before.
Read Billssister's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image SeaMystique
2 reviews
Feb 2015

Horrible snafu involving demonstration at port forced us to cancel our prearranged tour and go with the cab driver. Turned out fine. Went on the "Crocodile Man" tour and enjoyed the half-corny, half-frightening spectacle of crocs being fed. Beautiful peaceful river. Saw one macaw, which was fine because I didn't think we'd see any at all.

Read SeaMystique's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Juan Carlos (taxi driver)
Member Image akittynamedsassy
4 reviews
Dec 2013

Actually the bus, boat and river excursion. The river part of it was definitely the best. Got close to crocodiles and a lot of birds. We saw 7 crocodiles in one glance.

Read akittynamedsassy's full Norwegian Star cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image FarEast33
2 reviews
Sep 2013

We visited the Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary El Manantial as part of a cruise tour. Located fairly near to Puntarenas, the journey, which required an early start, was a mixture of good roads followed by what one would call county lanes back in the UK. The coach stopped on route and we had the pleasure of seeing and hearing a wild howler monkey. On entering the sanctuary we received a warm welcome from the staff and a briefing of the 'don't dos' During the walk around the site in the pleasant, green gardens we encountered scores of free flying Scarlet Macaws, butterflies and other interesting bugs. Within the cages, most of which were fairly large, one could also view other macaws and parrots including the beautiful Hyacinths. However, you were forbidden from interacting with the birds although several were keen to 'catch your eye' and interact, perhaps because they had been rescued from human homes. Therefore if you enjoy that experience with birds, this will not be your ideal venue. The focus of the sanctuary is to release the Scarlet Macaws back into the wild in Costa Rica, but many of the released birds remained free flying at the sanctuary. As part of the tour we each received a complimentary bottle of water and some local fruit. There is a small shop where one can buy souvenirs but please note that these items are much more expensive than the beach market at Puntarenas. The second part of the tour was a boat trip on the swampy coastal rivers but on way the coach driver and tour guide managed to get us lost in the thick mangrove growth and we had to reverse most of the way out but as a consequence we did get to view a lot of Costa Rican countryside! We even drove on the Pan American Highway during this section of our travels. The actual boat ride was fun with an interesting commentary from the pilot. We saw plenty of birdlife including pelicans and egrets as well as a few crocodiles and some locals in their canoes. Following the tour we went back to the Coral Princess and then had a good look around the market and beach at Puntarenas, which was more interesting than we had found in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Read FarEast33's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image jdbirch
12 reviews
Feb 2013
Not too bad, but the guide was not very good at the birds. The Macaw Sanctuary was better, but the guide was too busy running the standard tour for the passengers to help me much.
Read jdbirch's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image gogogranny
2 reviews
Dec 2012
WE enjoyed the Macaw sanctuary despite the extreme heat and humidity....which is normal for there. The Mangrove river cruise was just so so. We have been on other river cruises in Costa Rica that were much better and saw a lot more wildlife than this one. Our guide was very proud of her country...very knowledgeable and spoke very good English. WAY too much $$$$$ for what was offered.
Read gogogranny's full Star Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image goosetines
2 reviews
Oct 2012

We decided to go ahead with an excursion this time - I wanted to MAKE SURE we saw crocs! (And we did!) We booked the mangrove river cruise and scarlet macaw sanctuary excursion through Princess at $99/pp. We did see crocs and rare birds in the wild. We heard monkeys, but didn't see them. Next we went to the Macaw Sanctuary, which was wonderful. It truly was amazing. Never seen so many macaws and toucans at once in my life. Had some local fruit and bottled water provided by them. We would do it again. Talked to a couple that did the train ride excursion, and they weren't pleased.

Read goosetines's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises

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