The Carara National Park protects the river basin of the Rio Grande de Tarcoles, near Jaco, Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast. At this park you can find primary and secondary rainforest, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Birdwatchers are interested in the Carara National Park area because it presents two life zones and a variety of birds, including one of the largest remaining wild populations of scarlet macaw in Costa Rica.
Manuel Antonio National Park is perhaps the most visited in Costa Rica. The picturesque Punta Catedral was once an island off the coast. Over the years, sedimentation filled in a bar of sand, connecting it to the mainland.
The three primary beaches of the park are Playas Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio and Puerto Escondido Costa Rica. The mouth of the Rio Naranjo forms the southern border of the park.