The Carara National Park was founded on April 26, 1978, was originally born as a biological reserve by then in November 18, 1998 changed its management category to National Park.
Our Visit to Carara National Park and its transitional forest, will give us the right answer for many questions, on how works the Nature. This specialized area protects ecosystems where converge the northern and southern continental influence. The park is uniquely located between the Amazonian and the Mesoamerican habitats in a transition zone. That’s why is possible to observe the distinct Flora and Fauna from both areas.
Although parts of the park are comprised of secondary forests in different stages of succession, most of the area (4700 ha) is covered by primary forest in very good condition. According to Holdridge 1969, the three areas of life are proposed: 1- Tropical Rainforest transition to Pre humid (Prehúmedo), 2- Tropical wet forest transition to humid and 3- Very humid pre-montane forest, with their basal conditions and Pre humid (Prehúmedo). The maximum elevation of the park is 640 meters in Jamaica Mountains. They are also some vestiges of pre-Columbian indigenous occupations, ecosystems, marshes, ponds gallery forest, secondary and primary forest, nature trails.
The park was named Carara by the Huetar Culture native’s, and means "River of lizards", or Crocodile. Anyone who visits the area will understand the meaning of the name, and the reason to call it like this. Because the Tarcoles River (Rio grande de Tarcoles), the northern boundary of the park is inhabited by crocodiles all year around.
The forest is a perfect place for the bird’s watchers, being one of the four most important ornithological sites in the country for bird watching, due the magnificent population of many different species of birds; including Scarlet macaws, toucans, wrens, parrots, egrets, tinamous, jacanas, motmots and so many more. As well as many mammals and reptiles, just to have an idea of the incredible biodiversity of this National Park. As well, is important for research, environmental education, tourism, volunteerism, guided practice, community work and internships.
The area where is located the National Park, was historically a hacienda that spanned a period of 2 centuries that includes the first reductions of indigenous; and installation charges, the consolidation of the process of colonization into the country. And the emergence of the population determined by the dynamics of the different productive Zebu cattle, jaragua grass (Hyparrhenia rufa) and crops farms.