We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

The Ara Project

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: Punta Islita 50906, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
+506 8505 3336
16:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 16:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

In remote, jungle covered hills on the Pacific coast, The Ara Project, a...

In remote, jungle covered hills on the Pacific coast, The Ara Project, a conservation NGO dedicated to the survival of Costa Rica's two macaw species is working to breed and release young birds into areas where they once flew free.

Guests can book tours at our Punta Islita centre where they have the opportunity to view released Scarlet macaws in the wild. They will hear about the work The Ara Project does and why it is so important. Tours run for an hour and aim to inform guests of the project's work, the plight of these birds in the wild and what we can all do to help them.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 134 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 109
  • 7
    Very good
  • 4
  • 1
  • 0
Support this great project

Reservations are needed to visit and can be made online at their website. It is about 40 minute drive from Samara and well worth the visit. There is a video presentation of the... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
East Nassau, New York
Add Photo Write a Review

134 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 121: English reviews
East Nassau, New York
Level Contributor
65 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Reservations are needed to visit and can be made online at their website. It is about 40 minute drive from Samara and well worth the visit. There is a video presentation of the work being done breeding and releasing the macaws. ARA is also working with the children on education about the birds and local farmers tending to nest boxes.... More 

Thank CrosCrek
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We decided spontanously to apply for a tour and where admitted at 3 p.m., which is now the feeding time for this majestic birds. On a 40 ha ground we could see lots of macaws feeding, flying, communicating with each other and even listening to us, the visitors. They seemed to have fun flying directly over our heads. Although it... More 

Thank Anonymous10779
TheAraProjectIslita, Manager at The Ara Project, responded to this review

Dear Anonymous10779, Thank you so much for the great review, we are glad you enjoyed your experience - Manzanillo truly is a unique place to see Great green macaws. Unfortunately you have written your review on the wrong page, we have different pages for our two sites. You have written your review on our Punta Islita page. You can find... More 

Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
705 reviews
160 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 328 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We didn't see many birds but did watch 7 Scarlet Macaws feeding . Sadly we weren't allowed to see the other birds as it's breeding season This is a good example of an effective NGO

Thank Droopydrawrs52
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Small and rustic, yet presentation great & heart-felt and bird feeding event not to be missed. We love that the Costa Ricans love and protect their wilderness!

Thank traci221
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Neat place to learn about Scarlet macaws and their reintroduction into the Costa Rican wilds. Tour was informative and well worth the fee they charged. however the road there was rougher than expected (hilly and windy too). Staff was friendly and well informed. The condition of the road and the fact we only saw 2 macaws is the only reason... More 

Thank will5822017
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017

The Ara Project is doing good and necessary work to breed and release endangered macaws in Costa Rica. If you're staying at the nearby Punta Islita Hotel you can set up a visit through the concierge (transportation provided) and go see the birds and learn about the challenges to their habitat. Definitely a good cause to support and a great... More 

Thank sputnik1784
Horseshoe Bay, Texas
Level Contributor
80 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2017

It is in a remote location, but worth the effort to make a reservation in the early AM or late PM. Although the orientation was professional and educational, the birds steal the show.

Thank Bill L
Dorking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
184 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2017

it was worth making the effort to go here - a very interesting project for these endangered species. we received a powerpoint and video summary from Tom and then watched the macaws come in for evening food. it would have been great if they had a cctv of the breeding area where they have the green macaws to see more... More 

Thank Angie L
TheAraProjectIslita, Manager at The Ara Project, responded to this review

Hi Angie L, Thank you for the review, we really value feedback from our guests. We are glad you think it is worth the effort to make the drive down here. Hopefully it was explained to you why we cannot go and see the breeding birds "in person". We are in the process of getting streaming webcams of our active... More 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2017

This is a great spot to visit if you are in the Samara area. The Are Project is a non-profit saving macaws in Costa Rica. You must reserve, in order to visit. They have a website, to do so. The tour starts with a slide presentation, which is very timely and informative.Then, you observe the macaws, as they fly in... More 

Thank Helen B
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
62 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2017

It's a bit of a drive through some rough roads to get to the Ara project but well worth the drive. Our visit started with a presentation and video on the plight if the macaws and the work that is being done to breed and release macaws into the wild to increase the population and then able to stick around... More 

Thank Katie H

Travellers who viewed The Ara Project also viewed

Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste
Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste

Been to The Ara Project? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Ara Project and other visitors
6 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (6)

Questions? Get answers from The Ara Project staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?