Sarapiquí: Costa Rica's Northern Lowlands
The Sarapiqui region of Costa Rica is known for its lush rainforests, winding rivers, and diverse wildlife. The area is located in the northeastern part of the country, and is a popular destination for eco-tourism and adventure activities.
Visitors can enjoy hiking, river rafting, and kayaking in the area, as well as exploring the many national parks and reserves that are located nearby. Braulio Carrillo National Park, the La Selva Biological Station, and the La Tirimbina Rain Forest Center are all located in this region.
Sarapiquí's Flora, Fauna, and Geography
This region is very flat and characterized by several different rivers, both slow-moving and full of rapids. Birdwatchers love this area for the many birds that live and migrate here, including the White-Tipped Sicklebill, the Great Potoo, the Crested Owl, and both Scarlet Macaws and Great Green Macaws. The Selva Biological Station boasts over 2,077 species of plants; 125 species of mammals, including 72 species of bats; 470 species of birds; 48 amphibian species; 87 species of reptiles; and 45 species of freshwater fish..
The average elevation of this region is 121 feet (37 meters).
Explore More About Sarapiquí
What to Do in the Sarapiquí Area
- Wildlife sighting
- Safari floats
- Nature walks
Types of Travelers Who’ll Enjoy Sarapiquí
Visit Sarapiquí if you’re a nature-lover looking for ecotourism, in addition to adventures such as rafting and tropical rainforest exploration.
The History and Culture of Sarapiquí
This region has been historically important as a port and commercial connection between Costa Rica and Europe, especially in colonial times. The economy of the Sarapqui area was based on cocoa, banana, and cardamom cultivation. However, ecological and educational tourism, as well as pineapple cultivation now strongly impacts its economy.
Where is Sarapiquí Located?
2.1 hours from Juan Santamaria Airport (62 miles/ 100 km)
4 hours from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia (138 miles/ 222 km))
*Times are approximate and dependent on the time of day and other factors.
Sarapiqui's main attractions revolve around nature. Here are three features of the area you can't miss:
Braulio Carrillo National Park: This national park is one of Costa Rica’s largest and most biologically important protected areas, where more than half of the plant species in Costa Rica are found. You can find a large number of birds and wild animals here. It is a vital conservation zone for the central mountain range and the country’s central valley.
Sarapiquí River: This river is a destination for many nature and adventure activities, such as searching for wildlife on a peaceful kayak tour or adrenaline-filled class II and III rafting.
Selva Biological Station: This site is a tropical research center, known globally for its significance. In addition to biological research, visitors can find hiking trails and walking paths, perfect for rainforest exploration, surrounded by nature.