Kayak to the Heart of the National Park

Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Kayak to the Heart of the National Park
  • 3 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Get off the beaten path in Tamarindo on a kayak tour to Las Baulas National Marine Park. Latin America's largest mangrove estuary is only accessible by water, so you're sure to escape the crowds. No kayaking experience is necessary, as a nature guide shows you the basics and leads you on a peaceful paddle and hike to spot native Costa Rican wildlife like howler monkeys, iguanas, and exotic birds.
  • Explore an undeveloped mangrove forest rich with wildlife
  • No cars are allowed inside the park, so a boat tour is the only way to go
  • Learn essential kayak skills with a brief lesson before setting off
  • Step ashore for a guided nature hike and visit to an indigenous site

What's Included

  • Single or double kayak with comfortable seat pads, back rests and life jackets
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • Protective dry bag to keep your valuables safe from water damage
  • Mosquito spray
  • Suitable walking / tennis shoes

Meeting and Pickup

Meeting point

  • Pangas Beach Club
    Main road to Tamarindo, 500m SW from Auto Mercado, in front of El Tesoro, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica

    We'll meet at the front of Pangas Beach Club

Start time

Confirm time with the local provider in advance of your experience.

Opening hours

  • 11/8/2019 - 5/4/2025

    Monday - Sunday : 06:00 AM - 05:00 PM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Las Baulas National Marine Park

3 hours Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

Cancellation Policy

This experience is non-refundable and cannot be changed for any reason. If you cancel or ask for an amendment, the amount you paid will not be refunded.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
It was a great kayak adventure! The tour guide Tom was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot about the Costa Rica flora and fauna. I enjoyed kayaking on the river and the educational hike . I saw different birds and interesting trees . I highly recommend this tour for people who enjoy kayaking .


55 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 55 reviews
Mangrove tour
Mary_M, Mar 2024
The mangrove preserve was interesting and we saw howler monkeys as well. The hike was short but our guide, Luis, pointed out interesting facts about trees in the park. I was disappointed that he didn’t know much about birds.
Our tour guide, Tom, was...
Jonathan_C, Mar 2024
Our tour guide, Tom, was very knowledgeable and provided lots of information about the flora and fauna.
equipment not maintained; stepping on and off kayaks for nature walk not well planned. Would not recommend
Diane_H, Feb 2024
kayaks were in poor condition and not maintained. Portable seats did not work properly as they could not be adjusted. Nature walk was informative and Luis had alot of knowledge to offer; however, getting out of the kayak and returning to the kayak were treacherous. Getting out to enter the nature walk was during high tide, so water level was even with land; however, land is quite wet, muddy and slippery. Reentering kayak after nature walk was very difficult and actually dangerous. Tide had receded and it was very difficult to get back in from the slippery muddy ground into the kayak 3 feet below. People could have been injured during reentry into kayak.
Beautiful kayak and walk!
Stuart_P, Feb 2024
A wonderful and educational kayak and walk through the forest. Luis has many, many years of knowledge and is able to teach participants about much of the plant life of the area. Seeing animals is a bit more “hit and miss”, but we lucked out near the end of the walk and saw what appeared to be a family of 6 or 7 howler monkeys (including young ones) climbing from branch to branch through the trees. Luis is a low key sort of guy, but very sincere and he takes a lot of pride in what he does.
Disappointing experience
Peter_C, Feb 2024
Our guide Luis did not justify the additional expense of the experience. He did not interact with us very much, and we were the ones that had to point things out as we went along. Definitely not worth it. Did not see much wildlife as advertised.
Very knowledgeable guide
Gretchen_H, Feb 2024
Luis was very knowledgeable- he took his time and explained things to us and showed us plants, trees, etc. gave us history and nature lesson. It was great!
Great excursion!!
Dawn_P, Feb 2024
This tour was perfect for us. As it turns out we were the only two on the excursion so we opted for a two hour kayak. Our guide (Louis)was terrific! Lunch at Pangas Beach Club after- it was not included but if you have the time the lunch was really good. Grilled octopus and yellow fin tuna tower. Delicious!!
Monkey in the wild
steven_n, Feb 2024
Luis was great tour guy, he shows us around and we even find the monkey in the wild. Beautiful park and fun activities.
My review on the kayak tour that changed my life
Samantha_H, Aug 2023
I loved the kayaking adventure honestly top 3 all time expieriences amazing teacher! I did a tour with him last year he has since changed his name but it does not matter because it was genuinely my favorite part of my trip! We went on a supposedly 40 minute kayaking adventure but he knew that wasn’t enough for us so it really took an hour and a half but it was the best hour and a half of my life. It started raining mid trip it’s like god knew I was too hot, and we saw unexpected wildlife including alligators in the trees next to where we were kayaking and monkeys and every kind of tree known to man kind. We got to walk through mud during the rain which was an amazing expierience and had a much faster trip back since our amazing teacher taught us how to kayak. Lots of tough love was exchanged but if you just remember that he’s yelling at you for your better good and it will ultimately help you in the long run then it doesn’t negatively affect you at all like I was reading in the other comments. Would definitely recommend for future tourists or localist which wouldn’t be surprising since Tom/Luis knows all the locals and if you love adventure wild life and would like to get some stronger arms I would say this kayak trip is a must if your staying in the area and have nothing else to do!
immersive, active enjoyment! relaxing and yet energizing.
Jasmine_K, Jul 2023
I love kayaking as a means to get closer to nature in a relatively unobtrusive way while getting some fairly mindful and soothing exercise. This trip was perfect for that, and structured with great timing both in regards to the tides and our energy levels (it was hot, humid and mostly sunny when we went, so being on the water helped a lot!). Gorgeous spots visited, a soulful little walk past some particularly great old trees, plenty of animals spotted along the way, extra plus for an activity that demands a little more of you so you can escape the crowds in turn. the bug spray we brought along was not quite enough for the walking part, so I suggest getting some locally!
Kayaking on the river
Elena_S, Apr 2023
It was a great kayak adventure! The tour guide Tom was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot about the Costa Rica flora and fauna. I enjoyed kayaking on the river and the educational hike . I saw different birds and interesting trees . I highly recommend this tour for people who enjoy kayaking .
Overall great
Matthew_H, Apr 2023
Tour guide means well, but can be a bit rough around the edges. Overall it was beautiful and worth it! We saw monkeys on the hike portion of the Tour
Very iffy guide
David_B, Jan 2023
My wife and I are avid Viator tour goers and have had many great experiences. This was the worst viator tour we have been on. The guide (Louis /Tom) was grouchy, and seemed to have no sense of humor. He yelled “pay attention” several times which brought back memories of my worst junior high teachers. The river and mangroves were very beautiful . The hike wasn’t anything special as we saw no wildlife . Overall it was like having a teacher in school that should have retired long ago.
Neat area, terrible guide
Maggie_M, Aug 2022
The scenery was great and I enjoyed seeing the wildlife, but our guide made it a bad experience from the start. He was very short tempered and acted very annoyed by anything we did, although all we were doing was just trying to follow instructions. He would yell at us and act frustrated to down right panicked. He knew a lot about the plants and area, but we pointed out more wildlife to him than the other way around. The tour was also extremely rushed. You couldn't enjoy looking around the mangroves because he was constantly yelling at us to go faster. Could have been a pretty awesome experience if we had a better guide, but we all left frustrated, sore, and cheated out of a potentially great day.
Awful and unsafe experience with rude guide.
Yolaina_V, Apr 2022
It was an awful experience. The guide was incredibly rude, he gave us no safety briefing, no indications as to what the plans for the tour were and just told us to start paddling. We specifically had to ask him in which direction. When asked whether he could tell us more about where we were located, he told me "not now". My father started to feel bad and he did nothing to help us deal with him and instead spoke over us as we w were tending to him. I have done many tours, however this is the only one that has been truly awful and felt unsafe. I do NOT recommend this tour with this guide.
Beautiful area + knowledgeable guide = great experience for the whole family
Jiri_S, Apr 2022
Luis may seem a bit rough around the edges at first but he is knowledgeable and truly cares about the estuary. We are booking another tour with him later this week (turtle watching).
Beautiful trip
Angela_C, Mar 2022
Our guide Luis was very patient with novice kayakers. Our trip and hike were excellent, and he was very knowledgeable about local flora and fauna and history.
Not worth the price
Janet_A, Mar 2022
Our guide Luis had us paddle a long distance without telling us where we were going or to explain anything about the mangroves or estuary. He pointed out birds often without telling us the names or telling us anything about them. He assumed because we were 2 older women that we couldn’t paddle-he was condescending. Highlight of trip, we saw monkeys. Felt that we would have enjoyed ourselves more if we had rented kayaks and explored on own.
Pleasant, informative morning out in the mangroves.
David_G, Dec 2021
Tom (also called Luis, which helps you understand some of the other reviews) was great. We booked the night before and he was super helpful and got everything figured out. We had a very nice hour kayak trip, where we saw birds, interesting mangroves (all explained by Tom/Luis), then we took a hike through the woods, that was really interesting. I am pretty sure he knows these woods (with some interesting surprises) better than anyone. We then had an enjoyable float/paddle back. If you do this, definitely try to do it early (you have to time it with the tides). I highly recommend this if you like paddling (not too hard) and you are interested in learning more about the flora and fauna in Tamarindo.
Incredible time!
Ingrid_J, Nov 2021
Luis was the most amazing guide. So passionate about the fauna and Flora in the mangrove swamps, and sharing his excitement with our kayaking group. His knowledge and information he shared opened our eyes to these amazing trees. He was attentive, funny, knowledgeable, and made sure everyone was safe at all times. This is a trip I would highly recommend, and ask for Luis!

From $55.00

-You will not receive a refund if you cancel.

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