Shore Excursion Details

Jaguar and Macaw Sanctuary

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Jaguar and Macaw Sanctuary


  • 43/4
    hrs Estimate Duration
  • Snack
  • Family Recommended

The Natuwa Sanctuary at El Manantial is a Costa Rican wildlife conservation charity working to save and protect endangered species from extinction, headquartered in Aranjuez de Puntarenas.

Natuwa works with some of the most endangered native birds of Costa Rica, focusing on the rarest species and the most fragile habitats. The main focus of the project is the Scarlet Macaw (Ara Macao) and the Great Green Macaw (Ara Ambigua), who once flew freely in many areas of Costa Rica.

At the Sanctuary, Great Green macaws and Scarlet macaws are not bred for the pet trade. They are strictly bred in order to release their young into the wild to be set free forever. In the sanctuary the birds fly unrestricted, enjoying the trees and the fruits they can find around this habitat. The local people from the village of Aranjuez care for and watch over the wild macaws.

In November 2014 three jaguar cubs were brought to the NATUWA Sanctuary, just a few days old. The Costa Rican government rescued them and brought them to NATUWA to be taken care of because they were orphaned. The three jaguar cubs Onka, Baguira, and Dinamú were able to survive thanks to the care they received at NATUWA. They did not have the opportunity to learn survival skills from their mother such as how to hunt and how to mark territory. They have been raised surrounded by humans and this leaves them vulnerable and unable to survive in the wild. They have no other option and must stay in captivity.

These felines will be Ambassadors for an environmental education program that involves schools and the general public. The main objective is to generate information so that visitors understand the vital role that animals play in the forest ecosystem.

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Excursion Type:

Scenic & City Tours
Wildlife Tours

Activity Level:

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Tours with this activity level involve walking over relatively level terrain, possibly some cobblestone, gravel, or a few steps. Comfortable shoes are recommended.
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