Palo Verde Boat Safari

Badge of ExcellenceTamarindo, Costa Rica

From USD 130.00

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 6 hours (approx.)
  • Hotel pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Discover the incredible birds and biodiversity of Palo Verde National Park on this boat tour with lunch. Spot native wildlife such as crocodiles, iguanas, monkeys, and a colorful parade of bird species during a 1-hour and 20 minutes cruise down the Tempisque River led by a naturalist guide. Afterward, discuss your sightings with fellow travelers over a traditional Costa Rican lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Morning river safari tour
  • Cruise along the Tempisque River bordering Palo Verde National Park
  • Visit one of Costa Rica's best bird-watching locales
  • Spot monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, and many exotic birds
  • Learn about the park's unique wetlands environment from a naturalist guide
  • Savor a traditional Costa Rican lunch at a restaurant

What's Included

  • Lunch included
  • Live commentary on board
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • National Park fees
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to your preferred meeting point, or request pickup.

Meeting points

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Pickup points

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Start time

07:00 am

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

Tour Picks up from JW Marriott, Tamarindo, Langosta, Grande, Conchal, Flamingo, RIU Guanacaste/Palace, Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa (Occidental, Villas Sol, Condovac), Playa Panama (Secrets Papagayo, Mangroove) Fours Seasons, Andaz, Planet Hollywood

What To Expect

Relax and enjoy the rich scenery of Guanacaste's backcountry during the roughly 1-hour journey to reach Palo Verde National Park. This protected nature reserve is known for its unique dual landscape featuring wetlands surrounding the Tempisque River as well as a tropical dry forest environment. Costa Rica’s dry season attracts hundreds of species of migratory birds to the park, making it one of the country's premier birdwatching destinations.

When you arrive, board a river boat for a leisurely 2-hour cruise along the Tempisque. Admire the park’s undisturbed beauty while a naturalist guide provides insight into its unique ecosystem. Keep a sharp eye out for some of the many creatures that make their home along the river banks, including crocodiles, howler and capuchin monkeys, deer, raccoons, and iguanas. Your guide will help identify local and migratory birds such as macaws, guacacos, kingfishers, tiger herons, woodstorks, and jabiru birds.

After the safari, climb back onto solid ground and head to a local restaurant for a typical Costa Rican lunch. Relax on the return ride to your coastal hotel, where the 6-hour tour concludes in the afternoon.

Palo Verde National Park

Hotel Pick up You will be picked up from your hotel journey one hour through the back roads of Guanacaste’s Sabanero (Cowboy Country) Province to Palo Verde National Park. 2 Hour Boat Safari on Tempisque River After a scenic guided drive, you will then hope into your boat and spend 2 hours on the Tempique River that borders the Palo Verde National Park, best known for its murky water and spectacular wetlands. Your naturalist guide will help to spot wildlife in the dry forest vegetation and mangroves. There are over 600 different species of birds, both local and migratory. Appropriately, this tour is a real treat for bird watchers, as you’ll have the chance of spotting a wide range of fowl that includes storks, egrets, spoonbills, grebes and more. Also be on the lookout for monkeys, iguanas, scarlet macaws, anteaters, crocodiles and caimans, which can often be seen lingering along the banks of the river. Costa Rica Style Lunch After your boat safari, you will be taken to eat a plentiful Costa Rican style meal called a Casado with rice, beans, salad, plantains, choice of meat, and more. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Guaitil Pottery Village Before heading back, we will visit the Guaitil Pottery village that is famous throughout Costa Rica and the rest of Central America for its pre-Columbian Chorotega style. They will show you how they make the pottery and there is an opportunity to buy some if you like!

6 hours Admission Ticket Included

Playa Langosta (Pass By)

7:00 am

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
  • Child rate applies only when sharing with 2 paying adults
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • A minimum of 2 adults per booking is required
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveller Photos

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83 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 83 reviews
Bad setup by Viator
Adrienne_S, Mar 2023
Poor setup Didn’t tell us a regular car was picking us up and asking us to meet two other cars. Then put my English speaking daughter and I on a French speaking tour. By the time the guide sorr of translated to English after French whatever we saw was gone - when he remembered to translate to English. Then put us on the wrong bus to take us home and when we got on the right bus they didn’t send the three cars again only two so we were last to be dropped off. A very long day. Not impressed with Viator or natures way on that day. Palo verde itself is interesting to see the crocodiles and the monkeys
rondcostello, Mar 2023
Fabulous experience. Juan Carlos (Carlos) was a knowledgeable, friendly guide and between him and Manuelo, the excellent and eagle-eyed boat captain, we saw the beautiful wildlife the trip promised, including capuchin monkeys, crocodiles and a plethora of birds. A great experience that enriched our Costa Rican vacation.
So many birds, monkeys and crocodiles!
Eko_L, Mar 2023
What a great adventure. This excursion is a must for bird watchers! From the great egret, blue heron, black-crowned and yellow-crowned heron, tiger heron, orioles, and northern jacana, beautiful birds abound in their natural pristine environment. Beyond that, there were also white-faced monkeys and crocodiles everywhere on the banks. The kids loved it, it is so worth the 1.5hrs drive one way. And to top it off, the lunch at the local authentic restaurant was yummy!
Great day
amyboutin, Feb 2023
What a great day. Our tour guide Rodrigo/Rodriguez (I should have paid more attention). Was absolutely amazing, so knowledgeable. We had a great day. Stopped before the boat ride to see monkeys, would stop to show us different fruits and nuts. Seen so many monkeys, birds and crocodiles. Family enjoyed this tour.
Fun and educational morning
Gayle_F, Feb 2023
Interesting boat ride included information on different species of birds and monkeys...crocodiles and iguanas.
Worth the trip.
April_J, Feb 2023
Our guide, Kevin, was wonderful. Made us see his country through his eyes. The crocs were pretty awesome too.
Memorable day
John_T, Feb 2023
Our guide, Jorge, was amazing and so was the boat operator who could spot all kinds of wildlife along the river and even knew how to call them. We were a group of 12 and everyone was thrilled with the trip. Our lunch afterwards was delicious. Truly a great experience!!
Iryna_T, Feb 2023
Great tour! Lots of wildlife. Saw birds, monkeys and lots of crocodiles. You will have fun and enjoy the tour.
Amazing Adventure
Anthon_C, Jan 2023
This was a wonderful trip. We arrived alittle early so the guide's brother took us out for a private 20 minute tour. Then we went on the regular boat ride and we saw so many birds, monkeys, lizards and crocodiles. The guide would move closer so we could get better photos. We had a car so we asked to meet them at the place, I would probably not recommend this unless you have a good GPS and are willing to drive on some difficult roads. During the rainy season it would be hard to get there. We went through 2 large areas where the road was covered with water. Alittle nervous but then was able to say it was part of the adventure.
Loved the nature and bird...
Stacey_W, Jan 2023
Loved the nature and bird watching (including the monkeys and crocodiles) The lunch was an authentic Costa Rican experience. Loved it!
Not as advertised
Katie_L, Nov 2022
Simply wanting to state facts here and not my opinion in the hopes that the website description is updated. The pickup time was supposed to be 7am or so and the day before the tour we were emailed that pickup would be 6:30am. Tour states it will be an hour drive to the River from the Westin Golf and Spa Resort and it was a 2 hour drive each way. This is a massive difference when traveling with little kids. It was supposed to be a 2 hour river boat tour and it was 1 hour with minimal narration. The lunch included a demonstration of making local clay pottery which was nice, but also a total sales trap because when in a small tour group you feel obligated to buy at least something. Food was fine. The drive there and back our tour guide was very friendly and answered any questions we had, but we had to initiate the conversation and spent the majority of the trip in silence. So he was more like a champeron than an actual tour guide. I couldn't recommend this trip. We did see some birds, a few monkeys and crocodiles, but we also saw most of these animals from our resort grounds. Pick a different tour.
Palo verde river cruise
Liz_W, July 2022
Luis did an excellent job! He was polite, knowledgeable, and helpful. He went above and beyond! He even had us stop at a traditional pottery workshop. The river cruise was good and we saw crocodiles, monkeys, and birds.
Unsafe Boat Safari
Sean_R, Feb 2022
We paid for a private tour 2 people, we had to wait 45 minutes for 3 others. They put the 5 in the Ayer, floated for ten minutes, then went back to dock and added about 15 more. Boat was leaning and I felt unsafe as the river has crocodiles. Boat owner was very greedy and did not care for safety of passengers or customers.
Response from Host, June 2022
Hola Sean! We can't seem to find your reservations in our system. Are you sure you went on the tour with Native's Way? This does not sound like any operation we have ever run. Please reach out to us as soon as possible with details so we can resolve and clarify whatever we can for you.
Great Palo Verdi Park Experience!
James_C, Jan 2022
Most memorable was the safari boat ride and seeing the monkeys, iguana, and crocodiles. The van ride to the river safari was very informative as the Guide, Ariel, told us about the geographical area including the sugar cane farming, cantaloupe farming and work occupations of the local residents.
amazing tour
Sabrina_K, Nov 2021
the tour was amazing, we got a lot of information from the guide and he was really nice and we felt it he is doing that with a lot of pleasure. and also we saw many animals thru the boattrip… and the lunch was delicious in a really local restaurant… we can just recommend that trip…
Wonderful day!
Fran_B, Aug 2021
We had a wonderful trip with plenty of birds, monkeys snd crocodiles! Our guides, Christian and Jorje, were amazing!
Guides were great
John_P, July 2021
Claudio and Luis were great they made the experience there and back, better than the excursion itself!!
It's worth the time and money, but don't expect much of a lunch or that you're going to a "village" for the pottery.
Jodi_M, July 2021
Our guide was the best we've EVER had. This company and tour is great. So kind, professional, and knowledgeable and even their shuttle van was new! I will say the lunch could have been better (the "hen" (chicken) was so over cooked and tough to eat we just gave up. The pottery "village" is not a village. It is a little area set up on the ranch where you eat lunch that they demonstrate how to make pottery and then try to sell it to you. Not what we expected at all! Aside from the lunch spot and pottery set-up, which was a disappointment, we thoroughly enjoyed the river tour. They went above and beyond to try and show us everything to be seen. They may oversell this tour, but for $99 you have a great time.
Palo Verde Boat Safari
Mark_B, Feb 2020
Although the tour yielded an experience that included some wonderful contact and sighting of wildlife; it was substantially shorter (about an hour verses 2 hour advertised boat ride. Lunch however was exceptional. Driver was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining- culture and info on countryside was excellent.
Good Tour
Karen_S, Feb 2020
Ronnie, our guide, Luis, the driver, and "eagle eyes" Solano, boat captain, were awesome! We saw several crocodiles, herons of all sorts, iguanas, 3 scarlet macaws, monkeys and more. They also took us to a family run place for lunch. Along with lunch we had a native 4th generation artist show us how he makes pottery. Very fun and informative. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour.