Visit the Ara Project

Punta Islita Breeding Center and
Scarlet Macaw Reintroduction Station

Tucked away in dry tropical jungle on the Pacific slopes of Costa Rica’s gorgeous Nicoya Peninsula and just minutes from the beautiful Playa Islita, The Ara Project’s breeding and release centre is a must-see for anyone wishing to experience the natural wonders of the area and get up close and personal with some truly remarkable and charismatic birds.

Tours of the centre are an opportunity to visit a working conservation organisation and learn about The Ara Project’s efforts to restore the Scarlet Macaw and the Great Green Macaw to the places where they once flew free. You will be welcomed with a short slideshow in our education centre. When you have learned all about The Ara Project’s conservation efforts, your guide will take you to the best place to watch our released flock of Scarlet Macaws put on a natural show for you as they fly in from the surrounding area for their afternoon snack.

Book Your Punta Islita Tour Online!

How to get to Punta Islita (West coast)

For directions, please see Ara Project on Google Maps.

You can also fly with Nature Air to Punta Islita or follow directions available at the Hotel Punta Islita website:

Love seeing the love and success going into these beautiful birds.

Melody Kacso - Canada - (visitor of the Punta Islita site)

Manzanillo Great Green Macaw Reintroduction Station

The Manzanillo fieldstation is located in a primary tropical rainforest at almost 100 m above sea level. The tour takes you to our lookout point where you get spectacular views of the forest and the ocean. At the lookout point will see the stunning Great Green Macaws, once again flying free in Caribbean lowland forest, their natural home. As you watch this spectacular natural show, your guide will give you information about the project and will be happy to answer any of your questions.

Our release site not only provides a protected habitat for the Great-green macaws but also a plethora of other forest life. Three different species of Toucan are seen almost daily, as well as monkeys, frogs, reptiles and a whole host of other bird life. If you are really lucky you might catch a glimpse of the unique Tayra, the elusive Jaguarondi or even the magnificent Puma.

This tour is a truly inspiring natural experience a must see for any nature enthusiast visiting the Puerto Viejo area.

Visitation to the Manzanillo site is daily from
3:00pm to 4:00pm with prior reservation.

To make a reservation:

Tel. 506-8971-1436 or Email:


How to get to Manzanillo (East coast)

For information on how to get to the Manzanillo station of the Ara Project, please refer to Ara Project Manzanillo on Google Maps, and use the helpful directions below the map.

Take the coastal road that goes from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in Limon province towards Manzanillo. At 12 km from Puerto Viejo you will see a sign titled "Ara" on your right. Turn right and follow the signs, through our gate and up to left where the road becomes very steep, however it is in excellent condition and does not require a 4x4 vehicle. Please park at Visitor parking up at the site.

Our GPS coordinates are 9°62'60.01"N, 82°68'47.17"W.


Book a tour at Punta Islita          

Bookings must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
When you have made your reservation, you will automatically receive a confirmation. Please show your confirmation to your guide upon arrival at The Ara Project.
If you have any questions about the Punta Islita tour --
Contact us at: Tel. 8505-3336 or Email:
If you have any questions about the Manzanillo tour --
Contact us at: Tel. 8971-1436 or Email:

If you are a returning customer or have an existing booking you’d like to modify or cancel, please login using the 'Log in' button below
(24 hours advance notice is required for a refund).

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Use our secure self-service online tour booking tool (above) to arrange a tour with the Ara project. Click on the Book Now, Details or Availability buttons beside each tour listed to explore available dates, information and pricing.
Please note:
The Ara Project's original breeding center in Alajuela has been closed since December, 2013 and is now relocated in Punta Islita, Guanacaste.