Damas Island and the surrounding mangroves provide one of the better places in Costa Rica to go boating in a wildlife refuge. Kayaking through the mangroves can be a thrilling experience as you immerse yourself in the local wildlfie habitat.
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 the pickup location, you will be driven to the Damas Island Refuge where you will meet your guide and prepare for the experience.
After a brief safety and instructional course, you will receive a life jacket and board either a single or double sit on top kayak which is assigned based on availability and the guides discretion. Some experience in open-seat kayaking is preferred, plus a reasonable fitness level is recommended since this adventure involves kayaking in an open seat kayak. 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. In additional to reptiles, you may see capuchin monkeys, anteaters, sloths and other mammals. Birdwatchers will delight as many species live or migrate here including parrots, toucans, roseate spoonbills, herons and other wetland waterfowl.
The kayaking will be done at a group pace, so you will never be left behind. While experience is not necessary, 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 typically hot, humid weather. This tour is available to children 7 years and older who may be required to paddle in a double kayak with an adult.
After kayaking is complete you will enjoy a traditional Costa Rican meal at a local Tico restaurant.
Tour times vary as they depend on the daily high and low 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 hang out in the restaurant so please be prepared for these eventualities. Depending on the tides, the full day trip can be up to 8 hours, so 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 rare tropical wildlife
- Traditional Costa Rican style meal served at a local restaurant