Tours > Jungle and Nature

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a mother monkey and baby being cared for at the Jaguar Rescue Center

Animal Rescue Center, Chocolate Lady and Waterfall

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What could be better than a day seeing monkeys and sloths and more close-up, learning how cacao becomes chocolate and hiking to a pristine waterfall? Three of our favorite local activities combined to make a truly memorable day on your vacation.

Why wait? Let’s book your tour of the Jaguar Rescue Center, Chocolate Lady & Waterfall. This tour combines the best of nature and culture into a truly memorable day and supports the animal rescue center with their efforts and indigenous communities with a sustainable income.

Trip Schedule

First, you will learn how the center serves as refuge and rehabilitation for animals (monkeys, sloths, snakes, wild cats and more). Then a visit to an indigenous Bribri family's farm and workshop where you'll learn how cacao fruit is transformed into chocolate. We end our day by walking to a beautiful waterfall. Swimming is optional but encouraged!

Tour cost includes transportation to and from your hotel in Puerto Viejo and all entrance/tour fees.

Jaguar Rescue Center

The Jaguar Animal Rescue Center offers shelter, treatment, rehabilitation and protection to ill or wounded wild animals in the South Caribbean area.

Encar, a biologist with many years of experience caring for wild mammals in captivity, runs the Center. She and her partner Sandro, an expert in poisonous snakes, started the Center with the aim of saving the lives of as many injured or sick wild animals as they could. Tragically, Sandro passed away in February 2016 and Encar is now running the center with a dedicated staff of volunteers. After sufficient time has passed, and if the animals are able, they are reintroduced into their natural habitat in the jungles of the South Caribbean.

The Center has become a sanctuary for wild animals. They try to accommodate their jungle guests as well as they can! Terrariums have been built for the snakes and small animals. Large spaces for the monkeys keeps them comfortable and they spend plenty of time in the trees. There are also special quarantine cages for the animals arriving seriously injured and an operating theatre for emergency surgery if necessary. Your visit helps support the work of the center.

Chocolate Lady

After the rescue center we'll visit a Bribri family growing cacao trees on their land. They are eager to show you the entire process of cacao fruit becoming a bar of chocolate. You will have the opportunity to purchase some of their chocolate or other indigenous handmade crafts. Please note that only part of the family speaks very limited English! If you don’t speak Spanish, your explanation of the process may be in the form of pantomime!


After learning a bit about cacao, your tour guide will bring you to a waterfall with beautiful swimming holes. It’s about a ten-minute walk down stairs and through the jungle. There you'll discover several waterfalls in the mountains of Talamanca. You can swim if you'd like! Be advised: your feet may get wet while you’re exploring the waterfall. Wear appropriate shoes or bring an extra pair for changing into afterwards.

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Tour Details

 Location: Playa Chiquita with pickup available from area hotels in Puerto Viejo and elsewhere

Price $75+tax USD per person for groups of three or more, $80+tax USD per person for groups of two, children under ten half price with 2 or more paying adults

Round-trip transportation
driver/bilingual tour guide
entrance fees to Jaguar Animal Rescue Center, the Chocolate Lady and the waterfall
Fruit snack, cold coconut (pipa) to drink

 Not included:
An additional charge applies for hotels distant from Puerto Viejo: $20 per booking from Cahuita or Manzanillo (after Arrecife Beach Entrance)

 Operates: Daily

Pickup Pickup: At local hotels in the South Caribbean zone between Cahuita and Manzanillo

Duration Duration: Half day

What to bring What to bring:
Sunscreen and insect repellent
water bottle
some cash for souvenirs and tips

Reserve now!

Please fill in the details below and we will verify pricing and availability. If you have any questions you'd like answered first feel free to contact us by email at

Ages 0-10. Children over 10 pay adult rate. Child rate only applicable with 2 or more paying adults.
yyyy-mm-dd Daily

$75+tax USD per person for groups of three or more, $80+tax USD per person for groups of two, children under ten half price with 2 or more paying adults

Enter name of hotel where you will be picked up, if the hotel is not on our list of pickup locations we will advise the closest location. An extra charge of $20 per booking applies to pickup in Cahuita or locations beyond Playa Arrecife to Manzanillo or locations outside the normal pickup route.
Full name of first participant/primary contact
Contact number where tour company can reach you if needed (pls incl + and country code)
Do you have whatsapp installed on this phone number and can we contact you that way?
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USD$ + 13% tax added at checkout