Costa Rica Shore Excursions Caldera


Costa Rica Shore Excursions Caldera is a division of Costa Rica Holiday Rentals leading company in hospitality services, transportation and excursions since 2007, providing our visitors with the best experiences and memories of Costa Rica, our company is based in Jaco Beach Puntarenas, counts with a full size tourism organization with Tour Operator, Excursions, Private Transportation and Luxury lodging. Our Port of Caldera division in focused to provide services from the ports of Puntarenas with competitive rates and the best quality. Our company is composed by a group of individuals sharing the same passion for our country and the beauty of it, we put our best in our every day, focused on service and hospitality with the mission to exceed your expectations and become your new friend in Costa Rica.

Contact Costa Rica Shore Excursions:

Visit our TripAdvisor to learn more about the experiences of our guest.


RESERVATIONS: +(506) 2643-6011 or +(506) 2643-1297

Jaco Beach, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Biodiversity in Costa Rica

Biodiversity in Costa RicaCosta Rica Shore Excursions

Biodiversity is a resource with enormous potential, both for intellectual and economic purposes and as an instrument for a country’s development.

The tropical zones of the American continent (Neotropic), where Costa Rica is located, contain a greater diversity of species and ecosystems, as well as a broader range of interactions, compared with other tropical regions of the world. Obviously, this diversity is also much greater than that of temperate and cold regions.

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The Meaning of Pura vida in Costa Rica with family

Discovering the Meaning of Pura Vida in Costa Rica with Family

Trekking through the Matapalo rainforest in search of the King Louis waterfall.

I stopped for a moment to wipe the sweat off my brow and catch my breath. I looked up to make sure my kids, lead by my husband and a tour guide, were still ok as we continued along our hike across the rainforest in search of a waterfall. I was apprehensive about this expedition at first, especially with two kids, ages 5 and 6 in tow, but they were proving to be quite the adventurers. Possibly more so than I had ever given them credit for.

Only 6 days earlier we would never have imagined how easily it would be for us to embrace the true meaning of Costa Rica’s Pura Vida. Literally translated it means Pure Life, but what that is would be something we had to experience and grow into during our 8 days there.

Walking on one of the suspended bridges in Monteverde’s Cloud Forest.

We started our journey on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, in a town called Sarapiquí. Completely unprepared, my husband and I were immediately shocked by the amount of mosquitos that feasted on us the second we unloaded off the van that had picked us up at San Jose. I think back at that first day in Costa Rica as a detox from my first world luxuries, such as air conditioning and Wifi.

What seems to be somewhat overlooked in admiring all the pristine natural resources of Costa Rica is that these remain so because of the country’s commitment to sustainable tourism, which means no use of toxic repellents and plenty of natural encounters, including waking up to the sounds of howl monkeys.

I give total credit to our kids for ushering us into it all with the excitement and curiosity of any child. We spent our days hiking in Sarapiquí, touring coffee plantations, and connecting with local farmers who served us our first casados.

Nature surrounds you everywhere you go.

We road a boat along the Arenal Lake and admired the views of the volcano by the same name. In Monteverde Cloud Forest, we zip-lined through the Cloud Forest and walked across the suspended bridges. We made friends with locals who guided us to the best food in town and my kids delighted in practicing Spanish words they knew.

We took a small plane to the Osa Peninsula on the country’s Pacific side, where we lounged on the beaches of Matapalo, and went on morning tours in search of birds and midnight tours in search of snakes and poisonous frogs.

The iguanas from Costa Rica were some of the largest we have ever seen!

By the time we set out on the hike through the Costa Rica rainforest, my family had changed. We woke up each day eager for two things: sweet fruit and a new adventure.

As I watched them holding on to their make-shift walking sticks, trekking through the stream and rocks, and then eventually jumping fearlessly into the misty waters of the King Louis waterfall, I knew that there was nothing they couldn’t do and no place they couldn’t take on.  It was the essence of Pura Vida, and we carry it with us still.

Article by Carol Cain, 2013

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Quetzal in Costa Rica

Quetzal in Costa Rica, Where the Quetzal lives

People travel to Costa Rica from all over the world to behold the resplendent quetzal, a rare bird that still thrives in the town of San Gerardo de Dota.

Quetzals primarily eat wild avocados, frogs and lizards. Photo Courtesy of Raúl Fernández

Raúl Fernández’s whistle resonates through the wild avocado trees just off the main road in San Gerardo de Dota, a small mountain village where birds far outnumber humans. There is one particular bird Fernández hopes his call will attract, a bird that has made the town famous: the resplendent quetzal. Known for its brilliantly colored plumage and long, magnificent tail, the rare quetzal is a sight that anyone, bird enthusiast or not, feels lucky to behold. Once common in the mountain jungles of Central America, the quetzal now appears on the endangered species list, making the task of finding one increasingly difficult for the hordes of avid bird watchers looking to check a quetzal off their list. These days, they’re passing up north-central Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest, once the prime destination for those in search of the elusive quetzal, because they see the tourist rush as detrimental to bird-watching. But San Gerardo is still pristine, still quiet.

In the avocado grove, Fernández continues whistling, pausing every so often to gaze through his binoculars. It’s early July, the middle of the Costa Rican rainy season, when the birds normally retreat deep into the forest to feast on the frogs and lizards newly spawned from the trees’ waterlogged bromeliads.


Birding tour guide Raúl Fernández takes a look through his binoculars trying to spot a resplendent Quetzal.             Lindsay Fendt

But the rains came late this year, Fernández assured us, and there is still a chance that a few quetzals have stuck around for the small, dense avocados that thrive lower in the valley.

He instructs us to watch the trees, keeping our eyes peeled for a glimpse of a red chest or a flash of iridescent green feathers reflecting the sunlight. There are so many trees, and the task seems impossible for an inexperienced bird watcher. If there is a quetzal to be found, it will be Fernández’s trained eye that spots it.

Even having grown up surrounded by quetzals, the birds still fascinate Fernández. Still scanning the trees he tells us about the animal’s history, the myths that started our longstanding infatuation with the quetzal.

The legend of the quetzal

Long ago, before the Spanish conquistadors imposed the value of gold onto Mesoamerican societies, the Mayans and the Aztecs used quetzal feathers as currency. According to Fernández, the birds were thought of as gods due to their incredible beauty and their seemingly miraculous ability to foretell rainstorms with their nesting patterns.

“Quetzals nest right before the rains start because the frogs make great food for their young,” Fernández explained. “They’re a pretty accurate predictor.”

They were so accurate that the Aztecs dubbed the quetzal the god of corn, because of the rain they brought their crops. They looked up at the quetzals tail-waving flight patterns and saw not the mating ritual scientists do, but a sign from the gods that water was coming.

Although the beautiful bird was a popular pet, poachers soon discovered that the quetzal would sooner kill itself than be kept in captivity. The bird became a symbol of liberty, and in 1871, Guatemala adopted the quetzal as its national bird, even naming its currency after it.

Though indigenous societies sometimes hunted the birds for their feathers, their endangerment is a product of the modern world. As Europeans settled in Central America, they built cities, they cut down trees and they destroyed the quetzal habitat.


The Savegre River runs straight through the San Gerardo Valley.

Lindsay Fendt

Much like the Aztec and Mayan societies that worshipped them, today quetzals are nearly extinct in northern Central America, including Guatemala. By contrast, Costa Rica has preserved much of the bird’s territories in national parks and reserves, making it one of the best places on earth to catch a glimpse of a resplendent quetzal.

“I’ve had Guatemalans on my tours burst into tears when they saw a quetzal,” Fernández said. “Almost no one there has ever seen one.”

The birds thrive in San Gerardo

As the quetzals continue to disappear from Guatemala, San Gerardo de Dota, in Los Santos region of southern Costa Rica, has seen a resurgence in its populations due to the community’s decision to reforest a number of the area’s clear-cut former dairy pastures.

Just as in the pre-Columbian legends, the quetzals found in San Gerardo are considered divine. Hotels and restaurants feature the bird’s name and more than one of the area’s businesses have constructed church-like stained glass windows depicting the bird’s likeness.

“I would say more than 90 percent of the people who come here do so with the quetzal in mind,” Fernández said. But it wasn’t always that way. EfrainChacon

San Gerardo de Dota’s first resident, Efraín Chacón.

Lindsay Fendt

Fernández’s grandfather Efraín Chacón was San Gerardo de Dota’s very first resident, and when he and his brother moved out to the valley as part of Costa Rica’s homesteading program in the 1950s, they envisioned it as a dairy farm.

The family clear-cut 80 acres of the virgin woodlands and successfully marched entire herds of cows through the thick cloud forest to their new farm. Years later, the valley had slowly gained recognition among fly fishermen for its abundance of rainbow trout, but the Chacóns continued clear-cutting and expanding their farm.

In 1982, Leo Finkenbinder, a professor at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma, wound up in San Gerardo studying the river’s algae.

“We fell in love with the place,” Finkenbinder said. “The forest was practically untouched.”

Through cold nights by the fire, Finkenbinder and the Chacóns became friends. Finkenbinder began studying Spanish and he helped Efrain’s eldest son, Marino, with his English.

“The day before we were scheduled to leave, Marino showed us a map showing how they were going to triple the size of the dairy herd,” he said. “They were planning on turning one of the trails we had hiked into pasture. For us, it was devastating.”

Finkenbinder and his students began writing letters to the Chacóns about the forest, hoping there was a chance the family would reconsider. It took a year, but in 1984 Marino called to tell Finkenbinder they had decided not to cut any more trees.

Finkenbinder returned to Costa Rica, and he began bringing students down to study the birds. Eventually he helped found the Quetzal Education and Research Center on the Chacón’s property. The center’s foundation came with a contract stating that the Chacón family would sell their cows and reforest their land.

Soon other farmers followed suit and, trees began sprouting in the previously empty pastures. With the trees came the quetzals, and word traveled fast among birdwatchers, who began flocking to San Gerardo from all over the world in hopes of checking the quetzal off their “life-list” of birds.

“Sometimes these people go to extremes to check a bird off the list,” Finkenbinder said. “Amatuers and birding groups started finding out about it and word spreads very fast among the bird community.”

The younger Chacón generations are no longer dairy farmers, but tour guides and hotel managers.

A national park is born

QuetzalVerticalThe Costa Rican government also recognized the potential for tourism and set apart 5,021 hectares of land near the valley in 2006, creating Costa Rica’s newest national park, Los Quetzales, but, as every guide in San Gerardo knows, you don’t need to be in the park to spot a quetzal. The avocado grove is as good a spot as any.

The male resplendent quetzal is known for its long tail used to attract mates. Courtesy of Raúl Fernández

At least that’s what Fernández assures us as we power up the mountain roads in a Tracker on our search for the famous bird. Glancing at the thick knots of trees surrounding the road, it seems impossible for anyone to spot a small bird on the branches. We worried that even in the infamous San Gerardo Valley, we might not have the good fortune to spot a quetzal. As we climbed the last hill before our destination it became apparent that we were not alone. Three cars, a tour bus and a cluster of people all sat at the road’s edge. Everyone’s eyes were on a nearby avocado tree. Right there, just by the roadside, was a quetzal, the mythical creature that was a god to the Mayas and meant freedom to all of Guatemala. All of these people were here just to see this bird. Some had traveled for miles, from other continents and across an ocean just for this moment. My fears quickly dissapated and were replaced, instead, with bubbling excitement. Before we stepped out of the car and joined the eager crowd, Fernández shared his simplest trick for spotting quetzals, a trick that his family’s investment in eco-tourism made possible.

“When you want to find a quetzals,” he said, “always look for the crowds first.”

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013  – By Lindsay Fendt

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Monteverde Cloud Forest Excursions

 Monteverde Cloud Forest Excursions

Monteverde Cloud Forest is one of the most popular ecological paradise in Costa Rica, located about 3 hours drive from Caldera or Puntarenas Port. Visit this amazing natural sanctuary, truly a unique experience on the cloud forest and its incredible biodiversity of this rich area. Continue reading

Top Ten Reasons to visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country in Central America known for its lush jungles and awesome waves to surf. I recently visited Costa Rica and aside from an abundance of rain, I quickly fell in love with this country and its people. Here are my top ten reasons for you to visit Costa Rica.


Snorkeling in Costa Rica, photo by Cailin O.

If you are a thrill-seeker and someone that craves adventure, then Costa Rica is definitely the place for you. It’s home to the original canopy tour that lets you travel through the jungle like a monkey, and it’s known for its zip-lining tours, whitewater rafting on world class rapids, kayaking, scuba diving, cliff diving, sky diving and pretty much anything else extreme that you can come up with.


Sunset at the beach, photo by Cailin O.

Costa Rica is a great place for the unadventurous as well, or for those who just need a break in between adventures. With almost 1,000 miles of coastline, Costa Rica is home to some lovely beaches. Whether you choose to visit a public beach in Manuel Antonio National Park or maybe your hotel has its own private beach, you will definitely be delighted to feel the sand between your toes and warm sun on your face. If you are looking for lots of sun, maybe avoid the rainy season.

Costa Rica Surfing

Scott surfing, photo by Cailin O.

Costa Rica is famous for its waves and is one of the top three surfing destinations in the world. The water is warm year round and the waves are great any time of the year as well. The rainy season can often be the best time to go when it isn’t as crowded. The surf is also good on both sides of the country and there are a lot of great breaks to choose from. If you are new to surfing, there are also a lot of great surf schools that will teach you everything you need to know.


Baby sloth, photo by Cailin O.

The slowest mammals in the world, sloths are so ugly they’re cute and they can be found all around the country. Look up in the trees as you drive along the road or hike in the jungles and you might just see one or two. If you want to get closer, then you should visit the Sloth Sanctuary to learn more about them – you might fall in love with them just like I did. To learn some sloth facts, check out the video I made here.

Food in Costa Rica

Chips with guac and salsa, photo by Cailin O.

Like any country, Costa Rica has its own tastes, and its main staple tends to be rice and beans aka Gallo Pinto. A lot of its main dishes use a sauce that you will quickly come to love called Lizano Salsa. It’s kind of like a BBQ sauce, but kind of not. Hard to explain, for sure, but they put it on everything and people love it so much they even sell it at the airport.

Costa Rica is also a huge grower of coffee, bananas and chocolate. If you visit Quepos Manuel Antonio, be sure to take a tour at Villa Vanilla farms to see how they make chocolate as well as vanilla, pepper, cinnamon and more.

Happy People

Selfie in the jungle, photo by Cailin O.

Costa Rica is known as the happiest country on Earth. They are an extremely peaceful country and even did away with their army in 1949. A common saying among locals is “Pura Vida” which means “pure life.” Everywhere you go in Costa Rica you will be welcomed with a smile by the locals, and they will truly make you feel at home in their country.

Costa Rica Rainforest

The rainforest, photo by Cailin O.

About 25% of the country is made up of protected national parks and rainforests which hold 5% of the worlds biodiversity. Aside from taking canopy and zip-lining tours, there is also a tour that offers a aerial tram ride through the rainforest treetops guided by an expert naturalist. This is perfect for the less adventurous. Other parks, like Manuel Antonio National Park, offer walking tours with guides who point out different animals and species and help you find that elusive sloth.


Arenal volcano, photo by Attit P.

One of the main tourist attractions, Costa Rica currently has five listed active volcanoes and 200+ volcanic formations. Because of them, the country has very rich and fertile soil which helps make it so lush and full of life. The volcanoes and surrounding areas are also popular areas for hiking, camping and mountain biking.

The wildlife

Wildlife, photo by Cailin O.

Aside from sloths, Costa Rica is full of cheeky monkeys who might steal your food if you aren’t watching, and if it’s not the monkeys, it’s the raccoons – they run around in the daylight with a similar outlook on life to the honey badger of South Africa. There are lizards, geckos and iguanas all over the place, and Costa Rica is also known as a great bird-watching country with over 812 recorded species found there.


Eco row boat tour, photo by Cailin O.

With plans of being the first carbon neutral country in the world by 2012, Costa Rica is also a destination popular for its eco-tourism – some might even say they were the first to start it. With many eco-friendly hotels and lodges across the country and tour operators attempting to be as low-impact as possible, they are well on their way to full sustainaibility. You can feel good about visiting and not leaving a big footprint.

About the author: Cailin O Neil

Top 5 Food to Try in Costa Rica

Food in Costa Rica

 Gallo PintoWhat do you think of when you think about Costa Rican cuisine? Just because it’s considered Latin America, doesn’t mean that Costa Rica is the land of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. Costa Rica’s food features many types of cuisines that you’ve probably never even heard of, let alone actually tried. While you may find variations of it in other Latin American countries or specialized restaurants, there is a uniqueness to Costa Rican cuisine. Below are five of the top foods to try while on your Costa Rica tour.
  1. Gallo pinto. In essence, rice and beans. Gallo pinto can be found at just about any restaurant or soda in Costa Rica and while it’s often served throughout the day, it’s considered a breakfast dish. Gallo pinto is a mixture of rice and black beans, sometimes served also with fried or scrambled eggs, plantain, and/or a meat.
  2. Casado. Also, rice and beans, but with a subtle difference. If gallo pinto is the typical breakfast dish of Costa Rica, then casado is the typical lunch dish of Costa Rica. However, the main difference between gallo pinto and casado is that while gallo pinto is a mixture of rice and beans, the rice and beans are separate with casado. There are many different variations of casado, which may include plantain, tortillas, cabbage, cheese, and/or a choice of meat. Many local restaurants will serve casado with several different options of meat and seafood to choose from.
  3. Plantains. Plantains have the same general look as bananas, but are typically cooked, rather than eaten by themselves. Plantains are often fried and served as a side dish in Costa Rica, such as alongside casado or gallo pinto. There are other variations of plantains that you may find in Costa Rica and other parts of Latin America called tostones, which are twice fried and have more the consistency of french fries or homemade potato chips than the fried plantain that is often served with gallo pinto and casado.
  4. Tres leches cake. Tres leches cake is for those who have a sweet tooth and want dessert to cap off their meal. Tres leches cake is actually a dessert that can be found throughout Central America, as it’s origin is unclear. Tres leches, or three-milk, cake is just that, doused with several different forms of milk, including evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream. This is one dish you’ll find in Costa Rica that you’ll also be able to find in other destinations and even possibly in your own hometown at a local bakery.
  5. Ceviche. Ceviche is another one of those Latin American dishes that you’ll find in multiple destinations and not just Costa Rica. Nonetheless, you’ll find it prepared in different ways depending on the destination. In Costa Rica it’s often prepared with tilapia, cilantro, lime juice, and finely diced vegetables. While many restaurants serve it, you’ll sometimes find roadside carts also freshly preparing and serving ceviche.

Article by Spencer Spellman

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List of National Parks of Costa Rica

List of National Parks of Costa Rica

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Manuel Antonio National Park

Poas Volcano Crater

There are currently 26 National Parks of Costa Rica, which are managed under the umbrella of SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion), a department of Costa Rica‘s Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE). All told, Costa Rica’s protected areas encompass more than 25% of the country’s total landmass.[1] Many of these protected areas are national parks. Costa Rica’s  progressive policies on environmental protection and sustainable ecotourism in the National Parks System have been lauded as a model for other countries. The rainforests, tropical forests, marine areas and wetlands of Costa Rica are the subject of many university and scientific organization studies. The enrichment of the world’s knowledge of these important habitats is an invaluable contribution from the National Parks System of Costa Rica. The Cordillera de Talamanca is home to an impressive collection of national parks and other preserved areas, including the La Amistad International Park, which extends into Panamá. On the southern Osa Peninsula is the internationally renowned Corcovado National Park, which preserves a remnant of sizeable lowland tropical rainforest that is unique in the world. Manuel Antonio National Park was listed by Forbes in 2011 among the world’s 12 most beautiful national parks



Horseback Riding Tours

Horseback Riding Tours

Horseback Riding Tours, We will pick you up at the port for a 60 minute drive to the beautiful Herradura and Jaco beach area, Our Horseback ride tour starts in Herradura, at your arrival we will get prepared to depart on this fun and relaxing  journey  to the forest and waterfalls where you will be able to swim, on a lucky day along the way you will have the opportunity to see incredible  wild life such as: Toucans, Scarlet Macaws, White Face Monkeys. Continue reading

Rainforest Aerial Tram Excursions

 Rainforest Aerial Tram Excursions

Rainforest Aerial Tram excursions is one of the favorites  of our visitors, the tour does not require physical efforts, we will pick you up at the port and onto the beautiful area of Jaco Beach, once in Jaco our Tramway is a type of aerial lift in where the cabin is suspended from a cable and is pulled by another cable.  Our Rainforest Aerial Tram tour begins with a Documented Multi-Media and very instructive explanation of the Bio diversity of the area you are about to explore. Continue reading

Crocodile Jungle Safari

Jungle Crocodile Safari

The  Crocodile Jungle Safari Tour takes place on the Tarcoles River in the province of Puntarenas, you will be picked up at your port Caldera or Puntarenas and after a 40 minutes drive we will reach Tarcoles River, which is the largest in the country  and one of the four rivers that flow into the Nicoya Peninsula also home to one of the world’s largest populations of crocodiles in Central America, last counting was made by National Geographic 3000 crocodiles in that same river. Continue reading