Starting at $65 per night


Damas Island and the surrounding mangroves provide one of the best places in Costa Rica to observe wildlife from a boat or kayak. Kayaking through the mangroves is a thrilling way to immerse in the habitat that provides a home for the wildlife!

The tour starts off when you are picked up from your hotel. If you are in Manuel Antonio, the drive will be around a half hour. The drive will take longer from other destinations such as Jaco, Dominical, or Uvita. Regardless of pickup location, you will be driven to the Damas Island Refuge where you will meet your guide and prepare for the experience.

Your guide will provide a brief instructional course for kayaking as well as your lifejacket. You will be provided with either a single or double a sit on top kayak which is assigned based on availability and guides discretion. Then you will be on your way, paddling through the estuary.

The refuge is home to large populations of caimans and crocodiles, which can be observed at nearly every turn! It's not only reptiles though as the area is also home to capuchin monkeys, anteaters, sloths and other mammals. Birdwatchers will delight as many species either live here or migrate through including parrots, toucans, roseate spoonbills, herons and other waterfowl.

The kayaking will be done at group pace, so you will never be left behind. While experience is not necessary for this adventure, keep in mind that you will be in a natural setting with wild animals! The kayaking portion is expected to last a few hours in hot, humid weather as well.

After kayaking is complete you will enjoy a traditional Costa Rican meal at a local Tico restaurant.

Tour times for this fun-filled excursion depend on the tides. After the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Your safari adventure includes transportation, bilingual guide, gear, and a meal.

In total, the tour is expected to last 4 hours, though this is subject to change and longer if you are staying in Jaco, Dominical, or Uvita. Transportation from these areas is at set times. If you have to wait for the tide to come in or wait for the bus back to your hotel, don't worry, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the beach, or hanging out in the restaurant; please be prepared for these eventualities. Depending on the tides, the full day trip can be up to 8 hours, please do not coordinate other activities on this day when staying in Jaco, Domical, or Uvita.


  • Kayaking through the Damas Island Refuge
  • Possibility to observe exotic and rare wildlife
  • Traditional Costa Rican style meal served at a local restaurant

What to Bring

  • Insect Repellent
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel
  • Sun Block
  • And Rain Gear

Location and Availability

The Damas Island Kayaking Safari is available from Dominical, Herradura, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, and Uvita

Tour Time

  • Varies

Tour Type

  • Adventure
  • Nature

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

Recommended Ages

7 and up


Latitude: N 9°27'30.76". Longitude: W 85°47'56.63"


  • Overall 87.9% (49 Guest Ratings)
  • Experience: 87.6%
  • Expectations: 85.6%
  • Guides: 88.0%
  • Logistics: 90.4%
  • Value: 90.0%


Really interesting. Not difficult kayaking and a good way to get up close to the wildlife.


The equipment was great, saw lots of interesting things and wildlife. The guide did not speak English well and there was some difficulty, error in communication, but he tried hard! Lunch included was great!


It was a bit short, but okay.


From the description, we expected to see "crocodiles and caimans around every corner". We didn't. There wasn't that much wildlife, but it was a nice excursion. The lunch afterwards was great.


Guide was not informative about the environment or the animals, fauna etc. nor did he wait for the whole group to get together before speaking to us. The group was too large.


Interesting, but not any animals


So interesting! Learned so much about an ecosystem I had never experienced before. Great meal afterwards!


Really wonderful time on this tour! Loved the guide and the adventure! Food was amazing.


Great guides, fun activity. We did not see too many animals, however. The meal at the end of the trip was absolutely fantastic, though!


Poor quality kayaks; they look "homemade"; uncomfortable.


This a less strenuous kayaking tour. Sit on kayaks. The tour recommended that we take a double kayak for stability (we did). The guide was personable and seemed knowledgable. I am glad I had the breakfast at the hotel in advance. After the kayak tour they served a minimal breakfast.


This was a fun, wonderful experience for us. We kayak all of the time but never through the mangroves with monkeys jumping overhead. What a great adventure.


Minimal wildlife, water was gross. But kayaking right through the mangroves was fun.