SIERPE, The Three-headed Snake

Preserving magic in the wetlands of Sierpe. A hypnotic attraction drawn by a weird first encounter left me wanting more. My curiosity about this ghost-like town was aroused.

Sierpe, "the pearl of the south" is the gateway to the marvelous Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. While the main attraction in Osa is the Corcovado National Park, known for its virgin green beauty, there are many other villages and towns that are worth visiting for their charismatic inhabitants, which mostly keep their original roots intact to the classical Costa Rican culture and traditions.

Like many small towns around the World, the town of Sierpe has a dark past, one which has built a mysterious air, breathable since you enter its main road, filled with labyrinths of palm trees on both sides of the now renewed thruway. Getting to Sierpe takes a few long hours of driving, but believe me, it's a road trip filled with spectacular landscapes and small "sodas" (small typical restaurants) that serve many lost Costa Rican culinary recipes and ingredients. One of my favourites: cashew juice, a forgotten sandy taste I long remember from when I was a kid.

My first encounter with Sierpe was a weird one. Like many visitors, I was just passing by and using it as a hub to another destination, so I wasn't really aware of its secret beauty. I got there late at night and I found a small hotel by the Sierpe River where I´d spend the night and continue my trip the next morning.

I woke up early, packed my stuff inside my car which was parked outside the hotel, drove a couple of streets, and took a "lanchón" (a very small ferry) to cross the river to a road that would take me to the very south of the Peninsula; though I wasn't aware that I needed a four-wheel drive to get through that dirt road, so I had to go back to Sierpe. It was already past mid-day so I decided to grab some lunch and as soon as I got out of the car a "Güachiman" (Guys who watch your car on the street for some spare change) told me:

"Oh man, you're under a love spell!"

I didn't get what he was saying, so I asked him what it was and he replied;

"Yeah man, you are under a love spell, look at your car's exhaust pipe, it's filled with hair! That means someone has you under a love spell"

I thought he was making fun of me, but I checked and it was filled with synthetic blonde hair! I tried to pull it out just to find out, it was meters and meters long. I asked for a garbage bag at the restaurant and I actually filled two large garbage bags with the hair I pulled out. I couldn't believe it. I was feeling a bit nervous about staying any longer in Sierpe, so I had lunch and continued my trip through another way out of town.

Years later, my curiosity about Sierpe was aroused and I decided to take another trip to finally learn what had happened that day with the "hairy love spell".

The history of Sierpe is visually explained through its only road, which holds architectural treasures from early Costa Rica. Small colourful houses around football fields take you back in time to the occupation by the banana companies. The houses aren't painted colourful because of their cheerful look; instead, they each had different colours to label the families living inside and these colours dictated their job hierarchy inside the banana plantations.

The same night sky enlightened by millions of stars when there was no electricity, was shared with indigenous communities a long time before the banana companies pushed them out of the lands they had protected for so many years; leaving behind sacred looted indigenous cemeteries and giant stone spheres, which are believed are part of a huge land astronomical map of the cosmos; most of them were relocated into private homes for decoration.

Sierpe feels like an inhabited ghost town, you never really see people on the few streets of the small town, but if you stop by really early in the morning or in the evening, you'll get a busy sight of tourists from all over the world waiting for Boat-Taxis at the main dock, from where they will be transported to different other small towns around the south Pacific coast. After they're gone, the various myths and speculations of how Sierpe was founded continue to roam the empty streets.

On my arrival, I decided to book some tours and get a closer look at what Sierpe had to offer. There's a lot to do and many tours to choose from, but the problem I noticed was that most of them are out of Sierpe, meaning that many tourists never stay more than one night and because of this, there is no "need" for improving the infrastructure or having more entertainment for visitors besides the one bar and two restaurants the town has. For me, this is perfect! The development will kill the authenticity of the village, transforming it into a "theme park" experience that is not real.

I set sail from the river dock, gliding smoothly at full throttle through the meandering Three-Headed Snake; this is how some locals call "Sierpe River" and that's the name the indigenous communities had for it. "Three-headed", because it has three main river mouths and that's where I was heading to, open waters.

The majestic, different shades of green on the wetlands and the tall mangrove trees along the river create a hypnotic attraction where at points the horizon is lost by the sky's reflection on the river. Colourful birds from different species aid engineer this huge ecosystem, but sadly there is an invasion going on; our own human ecosystem is slowly killing this natural environment. Rice, banana, and palm plantations are a huge problem, as they are fumigated by air, poisoning not only the air Sierpe breathes but also when there are floods, all the chemicals end up in the river, killing many of the species, mainly fish. Pineapple is one of the worst and most polluting, luckily the town managed to rise up against this industry and, for now, they are safe from having this "pest". But one of the most silent aggressors is another of their strong pillars on their economy, boats, and tourism. The constant waves the boats create are sweeping away the banks of the river, pushing them away, each time further and further from each other. The Captain of the boat told me he remembered when he was a kid, sailing without an engine and he clearly recalls that the width of the river was so small that some of the treetops touched each other from bank to bank.

As sad and ironic as it may sound, their only income is killing the land from where they profit, but isn't that the same problem all over the world?

There should always be hope! It's surprisingly amazing how clever nature is and how it tries to protect itself from all these harms. All along the river, there are some plants called "Jacintas" an aquatic species that "cleans" the water from chemicals and unwanted nutrients; beneath them, a small food buffet is born for smaller fish and shrimps that bring back to life part of the damage.

The Jacintas die as they become closer to the salty waters where the mouth of the River meets the ocean, but a whole new ecosystem is out there. After crossing the heavy swell of the Ocean and long minutes of dizziness the Captain stops...

Look!! Over there...

I slowly stood up trying to focus on my eyes at the bright exterior. A Humpback female whale and its newborn; swimming, teaching its calf how to breathe over the surface, what a sight! Especially after being taught that the mothers come all the way from the south of Argentina to give birth in our warm waters and feed their babies until they become fat enough to endure the cold waters of their original habitat.

We continued our quest further into open waters until we arrived at "Caño Island". This beautiful secluded land is surrounded by white sand beaches and strange rocky formations that used to protect an ancient burial ground for high-ranked indigenous shamans. The hill that goes up this cemetery is off-limits and guarded by Park Rangers, as years ago it was ravaged by "Huaqueros" who plundered the graveyard looking for gold and other archaeological valuable artifacts. I tried to sneak in, but on my way up, hiking a rocky hill that leads to the place, I found myself enclosed by a couple of snakes on different occasions. The ranger saw me and kindly warned me that I shouldn’t walk alone on the Island, as there might be some dangers up the hill, especially snakes; even though they are not poisonous, they can do some serious harm. So I decided to stay safe and walked around the soft sand beach where the natural architecture seemed still untouched by man. I found some hidden spots with an array of textures and colours that left me astonished by its impossible structures, all created by different organisms living here. The heat was wearing me out, so I decided to lie down and enjoy the cold sand beneath some palm trees.

About an hour later, the captain came back with the boat and we met a seafarer that was taking a break at the park ranger's cabin and was telling eerie stories in between jokes about an Island called "Violines". This island is part of the Sierpe meandering river that mouthes to one of the snake's head. The captain told me we could grab lunch there, where a recluse solitary man called "Don Manuel" lives in a cabin. While sharing some sandwiches and rice with vegetables, he told me how he has walked all over the Island, and again, stories about indigenous tribes came into the conversation. He recalls hearing about tribal ceremonial processions from all over Costa Rica going down to the Island until gold looters found a 2.5 kg rock of gold - or at least that was the amount they reported - when taken to the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in San José. "Violines" became a paradise for gold panners, until they luckily were stopped by the Government when the area became a national park to protect its natural environment, part of Sierpe's wetland biodiversity.

The trip was an uninterrupted, panoramic natural delight, filled with unimaginable tales of the history confining Sierpe, but still, I didn’t get any clues to where my so-called "love spell" came from.

Later that night, I met a friendly ex-pat, who calls Sierpe "A sunny place for shady people".... I found the name very amusing, but especially intriguing; though I soon forgot about it after sharing some laughs and great conversations. He introduced me to many locals at different places and I soon noticed that Sierpe, though small, had a wide variety of characters, all known by funny and sometimes scary nicknames. Some of their stories were sad and others even tragic, but they seemed to get along through life with a big smile and strong friendly handshakes that made me feel welcomed with respect. I was already feeling almost like a local; the Serpent had embraced me and now It was calling out my name to go and meet its deepest bowels. I was ready for it!

I woke up early in the morning by a distinctive mist that rumbled through the humid jungle next to the river canal where I was staying. The harsh sun rays trying to penetrate the hazy scenery gave a gloomy, dreamy effect that made my cabin felt cosy and homely. The mood and atmosphere were set for one last glance at the "Snake" before I went home.

I arrived at the river docks and tried to find a captain that would take me to an experience he hadn't yet taken anyone before. I found Captain Steven and convinced him to take me out looking for "piangüas".

"Piangüar" was a term I heard from some fishermen earlier on the trip and it's another of Sierpe's economic pillars that consists of going out looking for some type of mollusk that lives deep underground in the mud, clamped to the mangrove tree roots. Captain Steven said,

"Are you sure?!" This is not an easy task. You will get lacerated by mangrove thorns and get bitten by thousands of midges in a muddy environment that will cover you from toes to hips."

Without giving it any thought, we sailed 35 minutes on low tide through the mangroves. We spotted a small boat at one of the small canals that go deeper into the mangroves; "probably he is also looking for piangüas, let's see if we can meet him." We secured the boat to the shore, tied up to a mangrove tree. As I descended to the muddy bank I was swallowed to the knees inside the swamp, at first I got a bit nervous and almost regretting my decision, but Steven was already deep in and I somehow felt safer, so I struggled to keep up my pace, avoiding the millions of towering roots around and above me, looking at hundreds of "tiger crabs" peeking my disturbance around their tiny holes in the mud.

I was doing it! Walking down in my hips through the sludge, sticking my hand deeper, caressing the underground roots, and trying to find piangüas. Not an easy job, all I was thinking was that the Piangüeros receive less than $0.1 per mollusk and they catch maybe between 100 or even 300 in a good day, by the end of our run we caught 15, the right amount for one piangüa ceviche serving.

Captain Steven at some points did some "monkey howls" to see if someone will reply back and finally we came across a "Piangüero", covered in gasoline and coconut oil to repel the midge mosquitoes, that all of the sudden I realized they were swarming and biting into my arms. The Piangüero couldn't lose any time talking to us, as he only has 3 hours a day to pick up as many mollusks as he can; so he briefly explained to me about the gasoline/coconut oil brew and that they get compensated by an association when there are red-tides that poisons many shellfish, including the piangüas.

All of a sudden he was meters away from us, shouting;

"Be aware of the crocodiles! I saw one near you a while ago..."

I’m not sure if he was joking to make me, an outsider, feel scared, but we started to move out towards the boat, this time we went climbing; walking on top of the roots, a much easier way to get through, but it's kind of tricky, as some of the roots are old and might break, others are crazy slippery, but most of them bend, bearing lots of weight and pressure.

We finally got out and rode back to the mainland. The sun was about to set down and the banks were cleared of water; we saw at least five crocodiles sunbathing on our way, maybe the Pinagüero wasn't joking?

I still enjoyed the experience, an eye-opening occurrence that in between my excitement, I finally had a revelation:

The love spell I've had had on my first trip wasn't a love spell for a person, it was a spell to fall in love with this town, and even though I couldn't find out about the "hair", I sure fell in love with Sierpe and its wonderful people and secrets. Some mysteries are meant to be kept alone, that's how magic is kept alive and that's what Sierpe is, magical land of puzzled beautiful rarities.

Story & Photos by Juancho Otalvaro

Nearby Hotels



  • Dominik

    • "Guten Tag Jennifer
      Wie wir bereirs Simone mitgeteilt haben, ist der Aufenthalt im Lapa Rios extrem bereichernd, dank der gut geplanten Bepflanzung und der unberührten Umgebung sehen wir sehr viele Tiere. Entgegen den Plänen vor dem Aufenthalt möchten wir zum Schluss nicht mehr Tiere in Gefangenschaft besuchen. Wir werden die paar Stunden vor dem Abflug noch einen Blick in die Stadt werfen.
      Dir und deinem Team danken wir ganz herzlich für die hervorragende Beratung und die permanente Unterstützung! Wir können Ara Tours nur weiter empfehlen.
      Beste Grüsse."
    • "Good day Jennifer
      As we have already told Simone, the stay at Lapa Rios is extremely enriching, thanks to the well planned planting and the untouched environment we see a lot of animals. Contrary to the plans before the stay, we do not want to visit more animals in captivity at the end. We will have a look at the few hours before we leave.
      We thank you and your team very much for the excellent advice and the permanent support! We can only recommend Ara Tours.
      Best regards."
    • "Buenos días Jennifer
      Como ya le hemos dicho a Simone, la estancia en Lapa Rios fue extremadamente enriquecedora, gracias a la gira bien planificad, y al entorno virgen, vimos muchos animales. Contrariamente a los planes antes de la estancia, no queremos visitar más animales en cautividad al final. Veremos más animales durante las pocas horas que nos quedan antes de irnos.
      Le agradecemos mucho a usted y a su equipo por los excelentes consejos y el apoyo permanente. Sólo podemos recomendar Ara Tours.
      Saludos cordiales."
  • LG Daniel, Jana und Theo

    • "Ein großes Dankeschön, Ihr habt unseren Urlaub gerettet!
      Wo fange ich/ wir an? Bereits in Deutschland hat die Kommunikation sehr gut funktioniert. Die Hilfe von Euch insbesondere durch Aline ist hier zu erwähnen. Diese war von der ersten WhatsApp Nachricht bis zur letzten fantastisch. Wir kennen Costa Rica bereits, daher wussten wir was wir wollen und was nicht. Trotzdem war AraTours für uns ein wichtiger Ansprechpartner. Gerade weil unser eigentlicher Reiseanbieter 36 Stunden vor Abflug unsere Reise gecancelt hatte, sind wir Aline sehr dankbar. Sie hat sofort alles für uns organisiert. Ob Hotel im schönen Punta Leona, ob die Touren in die Nationalparks, selbst der Shuttleservice mit dem großartigen Fahrer Guillerno Ortega muss hier erwähnt werden. Wir sind Dir, liebe Aline, aber auch dem gesamten AraTours Team sehr dankbar. Auch Ihr habt unsere knapp 3-wöchige Reise nach Costa Rica wieder unvergesslich werden lassen. Wir kommen gerne wieder und werden dann natürlich wieder über AraTours buchen."
    • "A big thank to you, you saved our vacation!
      Communication already worked very well in Germany. The help from you, especially through Aline, should be mentioned here. This was fantastic from the first WhatsApp message to the last. We already know Costa Rica, so we knew what we wanted and what not. Ara Tours was an important point of contact for us. We are very grateful to Aline precisely because our actual travel agent cancelled our trip 36 hours before departure. She immediately organized everything for us. Whether the hotel in beautiful Punta Leona, the tours to the national parks, even the shuttle service with the great driver Guillerno Ortega has to be mentioned here. We are very grateful to you, dear Aline, but also to the entire Ara Tours team. You too made our almost 3-week trip to Costa Rica unforgettable again. We would love to come back and of course we will book through Ara Tours again."
    • "Un gran agradecimiento, ¡nos han salvado las vacaciones!
      ¿Por dónde empiezo/empezamos? Ya desde Alemania la comunicación funcionó muy bien. Debo mencionar la gran ayuda de ustedes, especialmente a través de Aline. Esto fue fantástico desde el primer mensaje de WhatsApp hasta el último. Ya conocíamos Costa Rica, así que sabíamos lo que queríamos y lo que no. Sin embargo, ARA Tours fue un contacto importante para nosotros. Especialmente porque nuestro actual proveedor de viajes había cancelado nuestro viaje 36 horas antes de la salida, por eso estamos muy agradecidos con Aline porque inmediatamente organizó todo para nosotros. Desde el hotel en la hermosa Punta Leona, en las excursiones en los parques nacionales, incluso el servicio de transporte con el gran conductor Guillerno Ortega debe ser mencionado también. Te estamos muy agradecidos, querida Aline, pero también a todo el equipo de ARA Tours. También han hecho que nuestro viaje de 3 semanas a Costa Rica fuera inolvidable. Estaremos encantados de volver y, por supuesto, reservaremos de nuevo a través de ARA Tours."
  • Wolf Family

    • "Danke, es hat wirklich alles prima geklappt. Super Organisation und zu jeder Zeit schnelle Infos/Hilfe/Unterstützung von Euch!
      Es hat uns sehr gefallen. Der Abschluss in Quepos war krönend. Der Strand im Nationalpark Manuel Antonio gefiel uns sehr. Wir wären gerne länger geblieben, nehmen jedoch zahlreiche wunderschöne, unvergessliche Eindrücke mit Nachhause. PURA VIDA!
      Vielen Dank an Dich Aline! Wir empfehlen Euch gerne weiter."
    • "Thank you, everything really worked out great. Super organization and at any time quick info / help / support from you!
      We liked it very much. The conclusion in Quepos was crowning. We liked the beach in the National Park Manuel Antonio very much. We would have liked to stay longer, but we take home many wonderful, unforgettable impressions. PURA VIDA!
      Many thanks to you Aline! We will gladly recommend you to others."
    • "Gracias, todo ha salido muy bien. ¡Super organización y en todo momento tuvimos su ayuda y apoyo de usted, la información siempre fue rápida!
      Nos ha gustado mucho. La conclusión en Quepos fue la "cereza en el pastel". Nos gustó mucho la playa del Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. Nos hubiera gustado quedarnos más tiempo, pero nos llevamos a casa muchas impresiones hermosas e inolvidables. ¡PURA VIDA!
      ¡Muchas gracias a ti Aline! Los recomendaremos con gusto a otros".
  • Neumann

    • - Die Route war super geplant, erst am Strand Zeit zum Ankommen und dann erst ab Monteverde mit Ausflügen im Inland etc. und am Ende nochmal Strand – perfekt!
      - Betreuung von Ara Tours war SEHR gut!! Durch die Whatsapp erreichbarkeit war der Service prima, sehr schnelle Antworten / sehr flexibel, gute Vorschläge etc. Auch beim Arzt hat Ara Tours geholfen mit Übersetzungen per Telefon – das war wirklcih sehr, sehr gut!
      - Der Home Stay Tag war absolutes Highlight – sehr authentisch – so haben sie die Einheimischen RICHTIG kennengelernt, die Familie war super freundlich und sehr offen und haben über alles gesprochen. Überhaupt nicht touristisch wahrgenommen, Sie durften dort sich auch das Haus ansehen und Frau Neumann fand es für ihre Kinder auch eine tolle Erfahrung
    • - The route was super planned, first time to arrive at the beach and then from Monteverde with excursions inland etc. and at the end again beach - perfect!
      - Support from Ara Tours was VERY good!!! Through Whatsapp reachability the service was great, very quick answers / very flexible, good suggestions etc. Also with the doctor Ara Tours helped with translations by phone - that was very, very good!
      - The Home Stay day was absolute highlight - very authentic - so they got to know the locals REAL, the family was super friendly and very open and have talked about everything. Not at all touristy perceived, you were also allowed to look at the house there and Mrs. Neumann found it also a great experience for their children
    • - La ruta estaba super planificada, primero para llegando a la playa y luego hacia Monteverde, con excursiones por el interior, ect y al final otra ves a la playa, perfecto!
      - ¡¡¡El - ¡El apoyo de Ara Tours fue Muy bueno!!! A través de la accesibilidad del WhatsApp el servicio fue genial, respuestas muy rápidas / muy flexibles, buenas sugerencias etc.! ¡También con el médico de Ara Tours, nos ayudó con las traducciones por teléfono - eso fue muy bueno!
      - El día de la estancia en la casa de huéspedes fue absolutamente el punto culminante- muy auténtico- por lo que llegué a conocer a los lugareños REALMENTE, la familia era super amable y muy abiertos y han hablado de todo. No se percibe en absoluto una zona turística., también se nos permitió mirar la casa allí y la señora Neumann encontró también una gran experiencia para sus hijos
  • Marine & Bruno Serra

    • Hallo
      Wir wollten Ihnen persönlich für diese sehr schöne Reise danken, die Sie für uns organisiert haben und für die Nachbereitung, die Sie während des gesamten Aufenthalts gemacht haben. Ein großes Dankeschön auch an Jennifer d'Ara tours! Nochmals vielen Dank und eine gute Woche
    • Hello
      We would like to thank you personally for this beautiful trip that you organised for us and for the follow-up that you did throughout the stay. A big thank you also to Jennifer d'Ara tours! Thank you again and have a great week!
    • Hola
      Queríamos agradecerte personalmente este viaje tan bonito que nos has organizado y el seguimiento que has hecho durante toda la estancia. ¡Un gran agradecimiento también a Jennifer d'Ara tours! Gracias de nuevo y que tengan una buena semana
    • Bonjour
      Nous tenions à vous remercier personnellement pour ce très beau voyage que vous nous avez organisé ainsi que pour le suivi que vous avez effectué tout au long du séjour. Un grand merci également à Jennifer d Ara tours! Merci encore et bonne semaine

    • Deine (fast) täglichen Updates aus Costa Rica zum Thema Covid und damit verbundene Problemstellungen haben wir sehr geschätzt. Das war ein Highlight im Vergleich zu anderen Incoming Agents weltweit! Wir bedanken uns für euren Effort und wünschen euch, dass ihr die kommende Zeit gut bewältigt und gesund bleibt.
    • We really appreciated your (almost) daily updates from Costa Rica on Covid and related issues. That was a highlight compared to other incoming agents worldwide! We thank you for your effort and wish you that you manage the coming time well and stay healthy.
    • Tus actualizaciones (casi) diarias desde Costa Rica sobre Covid y temas relacionados fueron muy apreciadas. ¡Eso fue un punto culminante en comparación con otros agentes entrantes en todo el mundo! Le agradecemos su esfuerzo y le deseamos que lleve bien el tiempo que viene y que se mantenga sano.

    • Unser großes Kompliment dafür, dass Sie uns jeden Tag über die Entwicklungen auf dem Laufenden halten. Wir wünschen Ihnen alles Gute und behalten Sie sich und Ihre Familien in dieser beispiellosen Zeit in guter Gesundheit und Stimmung!
    • Our great compliments for keeping us informed every day on the developments. We wish you all the best and keep yourself and families in good health and mood during this unprecedented period!
    • Nuestra gran felicitación por mantenernos informados cada día sobre los acontecimientos. Le deseamos todo lo mejor y que se mantenga a sí mismo y a su familia con buena salud y ánimo durante este periodo sin precedentes.

    • Ihr seid wirklich super! Es ist beeindruckend, wie Ihr die Krise mit Eurem super Informationsfluss und der tollen Rückabwicklung meistert. Hut ab!
    • You are really super! It is impressive how you manage the crisis with your super flow of information and the great reversal. Hats off!
    • ¡Eres realmente super! Es impresionante cómo gestionas la crisis con tu súper flujo de información y la gran inversión. Me quito el sombrero.

    • Guten Tag, wir waren ab dem 27.11. auf einer Rundreise in Costa Rica, welche über BigXtra gebucht und von ihnen organisiert wurde. Wir möchten uns auf diesem Wege sehr herzlich bedanken. Die Rundfahrt war einfach der Hammer !! Die Betreuung durch Carlos war eifach nur Spitze. Wir haben schon viele Reisen gemacht, aber diese ist Dank Carlos zu einem unvergesslichen Erlebnis geworden. Carlos spicht sehr gut deutsch und konnte und sehr einfühlsam Costa Rica, die unvergleichliche Natur und die tollen, freundlichen Einwohner nahe bringen. Pura Vida wurde für uns ein Begriff für das Lebensgefühl in Costa Rica. Bitte grüßen sie Carlos von uns und nochmals eine riesiges Dankeschön an ihn im Namen der ganzen 8-köpfigen Gruppe. Wir wünschen ihm nur das Beste für seine Zukunft.
    • Hello, we were on a round trip in Costa Rica from 27.11., which was booked through BigXtra and organised by them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much. The tour was simply amazing! The support by Carlos was just great. We have done many trips before, but this one was an unforgettable experience thanks to Carlos. Carlos speaks very good German and was able to sensitively introduce us to Costa Rica, its incomparable nature and its great, friendly inhabitants. Pura Vida became for us a term for the attitude towards life in Costa Rica. Please say hello to Carlos from us and once again a huge thank you to him in the name of the whole group of 8. We wish him only the best for his future.
    • Hola, estuvimos desde el 27.11. en un viaje de ida y vuelta en Costa Rica, que fue reservado a través de BigXtra y organizado por ellos. Nos gustaría darles las gracias. ¡El viaje de ida y vuelta fue simplemente impresionante! El apoyo de Carlos fue simplemente genial. Ya hemos hecho muchos viajes, pero este se ha convertido en una experiencia inolvidable gracias a Carlos. Carlos habla muy bien alemán y fue capaz de introducirnos con sensibilidad en Costa Rica, la incomparable naturaleza y los grandes y amables habitantes. Pura Vida se convirtió para nosotros en un término para la actitud hacia la vida en Costa Rica. Por favor, saluda a Carlos de nuestra parte y una vez más un enorme agradecimiento a él en nombre de todo el grupo de los 8. Le deseamos lo mejor para su futuro.

    • Wir haben gerade eine 4-wöchige Reise in Costa Rica gemacht, die von ARA Tours organisiert wurde und es hat uns sehr gut gefallen - gut gemacht Ara Tours! Wir hatten auch einen Reiseleiter - sein Name ist Enrique. Sein Deutsch ist wirklich gut und er weiß viel über Costa Rica und er hat uns viele Tiere gezeigt. Wir hatten eine wunderbare Zeit mit ihm - vielen Dank Enrique!
    • Wie just did a 4 week trip in Costa Rica which was organised from ARA tours and we really liked it - well done Ara Tours! We also had a guide - his name is Enrique. His German is really good and he knows a lot about Costa Rica and he showed us a lot of animals. We had a wonderful time with hime - thank you so much Enrique!
    • Acabamos de hacer un viaje de 4 semanas en Costa Rica organizado por ARA Tours y nos ha gustado mucho. También tuvimos un guía - su nombre es Enrique. Su alemán es muy bueno y sabe mucho sobre Costa Rica y nos mostró muchos animales. Lo pasamos muy bien con él - ¡muchas gracias Enrique!

    • perfekte tour perfekter reiseleiter pablo, alles sehr gut organisiert 👍👍👍👍🇨🇷🇨🇷🇨🇷 waren begeistert
    • perfect tour perfect tour guide pablo, everything very well organised 👍👍👍👍🇨🇷🇨🇨🇷 were thrilled
    • tour perfecto, perfecto guía turístico pablo, todo muy bien organizado 👍👍👍👍🇨🇷🇨🇨🇷 quedaron encantados

    • Herzlichen Dank und großes Lob an unseren Reiseleiter Mauricio und unseren Busfahrer Adrian! Wir haben uns in den 2 Wochen Costa Rica sehr wohl gefühlt. Sehr bewundernswert waren vor allem das breitgefächerte Wissen von Mauricio und die super Fahrkünste von Adrian. Dank der Adleraugen der Beiden, hatten wir die Möglichkeit eine Vielzahl der Tiere in Costa Rica zu beobachten. Danke für Alles!
    • Many thanks and great praise to our tour guide Mauricio and our bus driver Adrian! We felt very comfortable during the 2 weeks in Costa Rica. The wide-ranging knowledge of Mauricio and the super driving skills of Adrian were particularly admirable. Thanks to the eagle eyes of both of them, we had the opportunity to observe a variety of animals in Costa Rica. Thank you for everything!
    • ¡Muchas gracias y grandes elogios a nuestro guía turístico Mauricio y a nuestro conductor de autobús Adrián! Nos sentimos muy cómodos durante las 2 semanas en Costa Rica. Fueron muy admirables sobre todo los amplios conocimientos de Mauricio y las súper habilidades de conducción de Adrián. Gracias a los ojos de águila de ambos, tuvimos la oportunidad de observar una gran variedad de animales en Costa Rica. Gracias por todo.

    • ARA Tours kann ich nur weiterempfehlen. Danke nochmal an Nicole für die tolle Ausarbeitung der Tour und die Betreuung. Auch unser Tourguide Peter Käser war einfach unglaublich (wandelndes Lexikon) auf alle Fragen rund um Flora und Fauna sowie über die Geschichte von CR hatte er immer eine Antwort. Unser Fahrer Julio hat meinen Vater auf Händen getragen wofür ich ihm sehr dankbar bin Auch für Rollifahrer ist CR jederzeit eine Reise wert ( natürlich mit ARA Tours ) Tausend Dank an das ganze Team
    • I can only recommend ARA Tours. Thanks again to Nicole for the great planning of the tour and the support. Our tour guide Peter Käser was simply incredible (a walking encyclopaedia) and always had an answer to all my questions about the flora and fauna and the history of CR. Our driver Julio carried my father on his hands, for which I am very grateful. CR is also worth a trip for wheelchair users at any time (with ARA Tours, of course).
    • Sólo puedo recomendar ARA Tours. Gracias de nuevo a Nicole por la gran preparación de la gira y el apoyo. También nuestro guía turístico Peter Käser era simplemente increíble (enciclopedia andante) en todas las preguntas sobre la flora y la fauna, así como sobre la historia de CR siempre tenía una respuesta. Nuestro conductor Julio ha llevado a mi padre de la mano por lo que le estoy muy agradecido También para los usuarios de sillas de ruedas CR siempre vale la pena un viaje (por supuesto con ARA Tours) Mil gracias a todo el equipo

    • ,,Wir bedanken uns hiermit noch einmal für die Organisation der Reise [...] durch das wunderschöne Land Costa Rica. Unser besonderer Dank gilt unserem Reiseleiter Enrique, der uns mit seiner umfassenden Kenntnis von Flora und Fauna über sein Land dieses sehr nahe gebracht hat und den Wunsch geweckt hat, sogar ein zweites Mal zu kommen. Wir waren sehr froh und glücklich, mit ihm zu reisen, da er sich auch neben seiner kompetenten Funktion als Reiseleiter sehr für unsere Probleme vor Ort eingesetzt hat."
    • We would like to thank you once again for organizing our trip [...] through the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Our special thanks go to our tour guide Enrique, who with his extensive knowledge of flora and fauna about his country brought it very close to us and made us want to come even a second time. We were very glad and happy to travel with him, as he was also very committed to our problems on site, in addition to his competent function as a tour guide."
    • Nos gustaría agradecerles una vez más la organización de nuestro viaje [...] por el hermoso país de Costa Rica. Nuestro especial agradecimiento a nuestro guía turístico Enrique, que con sus amplios conocimientos de la flora y la fauna de su país nos acercó mucho a él y nos hizo querer venir incluso una segunda vez. Estuvimos muy contentos y felices de viajar con él, ya que también se implicó mucho en nuestros problemas locales, además de su competente función de guía turístico."

    • Danke Euch von Herzen für Euren sensationellen Einsatz! Ich kenne keine so kompetente Reiseleitung wie bei Euch echt von nirgendwo sonst... und wir sind schon viel gereist... 🙏🏻🍀
    • Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sensational effort! I do not know such a competent tour guide as with you really from nowhere else... and we have already traveled a lot... 🙏🏻🍀
    • Gracias de todo corazón por su sensacional esfuerzo. No conozco un guía turístico tan competente como con usted realmente de ningún otro lugar... y ya hemos viajado mucho.... 🙏🏻🍀
  • Katja Stadelmann

    • ich wollte mich bei euch nochmals für die tolle Costa Rica Reise bedanken. Wir sind ganz glücklich und mit vielen tollen Eindrücken nach Hause zurückgeflogen. Ein Kompliment für die super Organisation. Es hat alles perfekt geklappt (bis auf die Übergabe des Mietwagens, was aber höhere Gewalt war...). Euch also nochmals vielen Dank und ich habe euch auch schon an Freunde weiterempfohlen:-)!
    • I wanted to thank you again for the great Costa Rica trip. We flew back home very happy and with many great impressions. A compliment for the super organisation. Everything worked out perfectly (except for the handover of the rental car, which was force majeure...). So thank you again and I have already recommended you to friends:-)!
    • Quería daros las gracias de nuevo por el estupendo viaje a Costa Rica. Estamos muy contentos y volvimos a casa con muy buenas impresiones. Un elogio para la súper organización. Todo funcionó a la perfección (excepto la entrega del coche de alquiler, que fue de fuerza mayor...). ¡Así que gracias de nuevo y ya os he recomendado a mis amigos:-)!
  • Conny Koch

    • Du und dein Team habt den Gästen eine tolle Reise und traumhafte Tage in eurem schönen Land organisiert und dafür danke ich dir/euch ganz herzlich!
    • You and your team have organized a great trip and wonderful days for the guests in your beautiful country and I thank you very much for that!
    • Usted y su equipo han organizado un gran viaje y unos días maravillosos en su hermoso país, ¡y se lo agradezco mucho!
  • Dénise Steiger

    • Vielen Dank für Ihre E-Mail und die Tickets. Wir wissen es wirklich sehr zu schätzen, wie schnell und effizient Sie sich um unsere Anfragen jeweils kümmern!
    • Thank you very much for your email and the tickets. We really appreciate how quickly and efficiently you deal with our requests each time!
    • Muchas gracias por su correo electrónico y sus entradas. Apreciamos mucho la rapidez y eficacia con la que atendieron nuestras peticiones cada vez.
  • Philippe

    • Hallo Christine Besten Dank für diese Infos. Der Support ist super👍 vielen dank Gruss
    • Hello Christine Thank you very much for this information. The support is super👍 many thanks Gruss
    • Hola Christine Muchas gracias por esta información. El apoyo es super👍 muchas gracias Gruss
  • Marianne & Stefan Gräub

    • Ansonsten war die geplante Reise ein voller Erfolg. Alles hat bestens geklappt und die von euch organisierten. Besuche waren alle sehr interessant und gaben uns einen tollen Einblick in die jeweiligen Themen. Dass die Ticos sehr freundlich und jederzeit hilfsbereit sind, hat sich voll bestätigt.
    • Otherwise, the planned trip was a complete success. Everything went well and the visits you organised were all very interesting. The visits you organised were all very interesting and gave us a great insight into the respective topics. The fact that the Ticos are very friendly and always ready to help was fully confirmed.
    • Por lo demás, el viaje previsto fue todo un éxito. Todo funcionó muy bien y las visitas organizadas por ustedes. Las visitas fueron todas muy interesantes y nos dieron una gran visión de los respectivos temas. El hecho de que los ticos son muy amables y serviciales en todo momento se confirmó plenamente.

Contact Information

WhatsApp: +506-8893-3863
Phone: +506-2232-0400
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Apdo 799 – 1007
San José, Costa Rica

Licenced by the Costa Rican Tourist Board: Lic ICT OT 294

Liability insurance: Instituto Costarricense de Seguros (INS) Coverage: Territory of the Republic of Costa Rica

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