Self Guided Activities


  • BEACH JOGGING  Carate beach at dawn is a favorite for joggers–miles of deserted, undeveloped, pristine beaches.  Heading west toward Corcovado Park, it is less than 1 mile to the Carate river, and 1 mile more to the La Leona park entrance.  Heading east toward the lagoon, it is about 1 mile to Rio Oro, and beyond that, it is 4 miles to Matapalo.
  • CARATE JUNGLE HIKE  The local community can be explored via the Carate Road in either direction–toward the Carate river, the road ends at the air strip, but with permission from the owner of the Pulperia, you may be allowed to hike on his property along the Carate river, in the land of the the gold panners.  It can be a rough neighborhood, so watch your valuables, and travel in groups.  For variety, you can return via the beach.  The road toward Matapalo will give excellent vistas of the lagoon, but you will not be able to return via the beach because it is all private property.  Shady Lane is the best route into deeper jungle while retaining  good trails.  The main road ends about 1 mile back, but there are stream beds and back waters to explore.  Without a guide it is best to stay on the marked trails.
  • LAGOON KAYAKING  It is recommended that you tour with a guide first, unless you are an experienced kayaker, or familiar with lowland watersheds.  If the lagoon is open, your guide will tell you what time of day will be safe to come out on your own, because the tide will affect the difficulty of padelling.  Early morning and late afternoon are the most comfortable for temperature, with birds and animals to see at most times of day.
  • CARATE BEACH HIKING  Beach hiking is more strenuous than road hiking, but very rewarding for animal sitings: shore birds, dolphins, whales, and possibly a tapir.  Pumas have been photographed in the trees along the beach.  A variety of crabs inhabit the edges of the jungle and beach, as well as lizards and other small animals.  As with road hiking, you can return by the road if you hike to the Carate river, but you will have to return by the beach if you strike off toward the lagoon and Matapalo.
  • SURFING  At different time the waves on Carate beach are large enough for surfing, but it is not considered a beginner’s beach because of the currents.  If you are really looking for the best surfing in the southern zone, Pavones, on the other side of the Gulf of Dulce, where the Gulf opens into the Pacific Ocean, is world famous  for it’s left hand break–the second longest in the world.
  • BIRD WATCHING  A variety of shore birds, as well as parrots, hawks, and smaller brilliantly colored passerines and humming birds can be see right from the casa.  A short walk on the Carate road or better still back Shady Lane will provide countless species of birds for photographing.  Down through the slough and around the lagoon is always rewarding for a glimpse of herons, egrets, ibises, and the Roseate Spoonbill.
  • SEA TURTLE HIKE  Turtles nesting and babies hatching can bee seen sporadically at all times of the year, but sitings are most frequent in the months of June through November, during the “green” season.  Local turtle projects are in full swing during this time, and you can usually join a group patrolling the beach at night hunting for nesting turtles, or hatching babies.