Taking a Boat Tour Through Palo Verde Park in Costa Rica When vacationing at the Four Seasons Peninsula de Papagayo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, there aren’t many excursions within a reasonable driving distance. If you are really into exploring the Arenal volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest, you are best off staying in the southern part of Costa Rica (unless you want to spend most of the day on the road.) But never leaving the resort sort of defeats the purpose of coming to such an amazing country. A day trip that is suitable to the entire extended family is to go to Palo Verde National Park for a boat tour. Our guides picked us up and we settled in for the one hour drive to the park. Little did we know how much we were going to learn in the next hour. Our guides made numerous stops along the road to introduce us to local agriculture and explain the Costa Rican way of life. Along the road we stopped to pick some starfruit from the tree. Even though it wasn’t fully ripe, our guide still cut it up for us to try. It is now my daughter’s favorite fruit so I need to search out some local Latin markets to find some. We then went off road to drive through acres of cantaloupe farms and sugarcane fields. All this education really helped my daughter put together a PowerPoint on Costa Rica to present to her class when we returned. Enjoying the mist from the fountain at Hacienda El Viejo After a quick stop at the gorgeous Hacienda El Viejo for some tropical juice and fruit, we made our way down to the Tempisque River basin for our Palo Verde National Park boat tour. As we gently cruised down the river we saw a variety of wildlife including many species of birds. We later learned that Costa Rica is home to 2,000 species of trees and 9,000 species of flowering plants, as well as 200 types of reptiles (luckily I only saw iguanas since most are snakes which I fear and loathe) and hundreds of mammals, insects, and tropical birds. Tempisque River in Palo Verde National Park The capuchin “white-faced” monkeys frolicked in the trees but proved a bit hard to photograph. Probably the most exciting animal spotting was the many crocodiles we saw gliding through the water or sunning themselves on shore. Pin Me for later! Capuchin monkey peeking through the trees Our river explorer Once we’d gotten our fill of the river, we headed back to Hacienda El Viejo for a delicious local lunch of casado (salad, rice, black beans, plantains and chicken, beef or fish.) Luckily they also accommodated our picky eaters with chicken fingers and french fries. I’m still amazing by how many chicken fingers and french fries were consumed by our clan on that trip. It makes me thankful for my adventurous eater who ate fish or sushi every day (especially when her grandparents were footing the bill!) After lunch and relaxing at the Hacienda, we were given a demonstration of how sugar cane was milled in olden times using oxen. Since there were no oxen around my husband helped out…although I think he would have preferred to see the oxen because it was a heavy load! I’m not sure I’d recommend the taste of pure sugar cane water but it was fun to watch. After saying goodbye to our new friends (the iguanas and our guides), we headed back to the hotel. After an exciting, but very hot morning, we were ready to relax at the pool for the afternoon. Stayed tuned for our next adventure, ziplining! Share Written by We3Travel and was last updated on January 2, 2017. Read more about Family Trips, Destinations, Costa Rica, Travel TypesTagged costa rica Related Posts Jamestown Settlement vs Historic Jamestowne: Which Should you Visit? Where to Stay in Plymouth, MA: The John Carver Inn Discovering Central Oregon from Sunriver Vacation Rentals Be the first to comment Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Name * Email * Website Subscribe to replies:Do Not Send Email Notifications.Send Email Notification ONLY If Someone Replies To My Comment(s).Send Email Notification Whenever A New Comment Is Posted. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.