The Journey


Our operations and reception department is located about an hour and a half from San José in the small town of Las Horquetas de Sarapiquí, easily reached by bus, taxi or car. There you can leave your car and excess baggage at our office or buy your last supplies before you leave civilization behind. The15km (less than 10 miles) to your destination will take about 3 1/2 hours.

For individuals and small groups we recommend horses that can be rented at U.S.$35 for each one way trip. Your departure from Las Horquetas between 8:00a.m. and 1:00p.m. (8h-13h) must be arranged in advance. 

Telephone +506 2764 1111, Mail  or

The first 12 km will take about two and a half hours on horseback before you arrive at El Plástico lodge where you leave your horse. You'll spend about another hour walking the final 3km (2 miles) on your own steam along the road or on the jungle trail. You need to carry your luggage so we recommend a small backpack.  When traveling by tractor many people choose to walk the rainforest trail while their bags are carried up on the tractor cart. One of our guides will accompany you on the trail.


Every day leaving Las Horquetas at 9am a ride is available on the tractor-pulled wagon for individuals or groups from 1-14 people for the flat rate of U.S.$200, arriving at the Waterfall Lodge about 3.5 hours later if all goes well.

You can also chose to Horseback ride to El Plastico. You will then need to walk the last 3 km (2 miles) through the rainforest to get to the Waterfall Lodge. Total time is 2.5 hours on horseback and 1 hour walk.

Your clothing should be suitable for mud and rain. It is hazardous to wear sandals or Teva's on trails we highly recommend to wear the rubber boots for the outdoor activities.



Rara Avis has remained pristine because of its inaccessibility. On your way there you will get a first-hand understanding of how rainforests have been cut down wherever they are near roads causing damaging erosion.

You can walk into Rara Avis, but you can't get there by car.

Please keep in mind that our trails are natural, with uneven and sometimes slippery footing. The tractor ride to get to the lodge is jolting and uncomfortable and is not recommended for pregnant women, people with serious back problems, or those with difficulty walking on uneven terrain.


Access to Rara Avis can be difficult. It can be problematic to take large luggage so please leave your non-essential baggage locked up in our office in Las Horquetas. Here's a list things you will absolutely need and some others that would be great to bring up to enhance your adventure. We can lend you boots.

We STRONGLY recommend water protected backpacks with:

  • Rubber boots or other waterproof, mud-proof footwear (boots may be borrowed at our Horquetas office, for U.S. shoe sizes 11 and under).
    Trousers (2), preferably quick drying or zip pants.

  • Light-colored long-sleeved shirt (1 or 2) waterproof.
    Light-colored T-shirts or short-sleeved shirts (2).
  • Several changes of calf-high socks.
  • Raingear.
  • Hat & sun-screen.
  • Sports bra for the tractor ride.
  • Flashlight for each person – This is indispensable and should be kept with you on the tractor. We suggest also a headlamp and batteries.
  • Insect repellant.
  • Bathing suit.
  • Insect-sting kit if you have a dangerous sensitivity to stings.
  • Flip-flops or sandals to wear around the lodge.


Your clothing should be suitable for mud and rain. It is hazardous to wear sandals or “tivas” on trails we highly recommend to wear the rubber boots for the outdoor activities.