Casa Tucán Tranquilo

Embark on an unforgettable journey through nature’s wonders in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge through a variety of different adventure experiences that will immerse you in this unique environment!

Hike from Gandoca to Manzanillo through the wildlife refuge

Experience an Unforgettable
Adventure with Our Experiential Programs

Retreat Center

Organize the ultimate retreat in the heart of Costa Rica's mesmerizing southern Caribbean rainforest.

Environmental Volunteering

Join conservation efforts such as protection of sea turtles, reforestation, beach cleaning, and more.

Cultural Immersion

Embark on a transformative journey of cultural discovery in the most culturally diverse province of Costa Rica!

Agrotourism

Get up close to sustainable agricultural practices at local organic farms.

Spanish Learning

Improve your Spanish quickly through total immersion with native teachers.

Adventure in Nature

Embark on thrilling tours to explore the lush jungle, wildlife, and unique landscapes.

Tarpon sport fishing

In the Coast of Gandoca Village offers an exciting and memorable experience for fishing enthusiasts.

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Gandoca_Manzanillo Hike

Hike from Gandoca to Manzanillo through the wildlife refuge

Embrace the wilderness with a beach and mountain hike, traversing through dense rainforests, encountering exotic flora and fauna, and connecting with the raw beauty of the landscape. The panoramic views from these remote, untouched beaches are an awe-inspiring example of nature’s grandeur. This hike is a full-day adventure which takes around 6-7 hours, depending on the physical condition of the group. The hike is on soft-surface trails and is medium intensity due to the distance. If the group prefers a shorter hike, we can plan half of the route to reduce the distance.

There are a variety of pristine beaches along the hike as well as primary forest ecosystems, which we will explore during the tour as the educational component. We will stop for a snack and go swimming at one of the beaches. The landscape is hilly, forested and, depending on whether it rains or not before the hike, the trail can be muddy. The hike is approximately 15 kilometers total (9.3 miles). After the hike, we will dine at one of the best local restaurants in the area and then head back to Gandoca village by boat, looking for dolphins and other animals along the way. If the weather is not favorable, we will return to Gandoca by shuttle.

Gandoca Rainforest Hike

Gandoca Rainforest Hike

During this hike in the lush secondary forest of the community of Gandoca, we will observe a variety of wildlife including poison dart frogs, monkeys, birds and snakes. This hike typically takes approximately 4 hours, though it depends on the group speed. We will walk slowly to maximize the amount of flora and fauna we are able to observe. The landscape is flat forested and, depending on whether it rains or not before the hike, the trail can be muddy. The total distance of the hike is approximately 4.8 kilometers total, 3 miles.
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Gandoca Lagoon Tour

Glide over the tranquil waters of the Gandoca Lagoon by boat as you are surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of the tropical mangrove forest!

During this tour, we will explore one of the most important wetlands in the Southern Caribbean zone of Costa Rica, which has the largest and least contaminated mangrove forest in the country. An expert local guide will lead you on a journey through the ecosystem, the animal and plant life that it supports, the different types of mangroves, and human impacts on mangrove health. After exploring the mangroves, we will go to the mouth of the lagoon where it meets the sea, enjoy light refreshments and take a swim in the refreshing waters of the lagoon.

Snorkel Tour

Snorkeling in Punta Mona Reef

Snorkeling in Punta Mona Reef is an extraordinary experience that promises a day filled with adventure. Nestled along Costa Rica’s stunning Caribbean coast, this picturesque reef teems with an abundance of marine life and dazzling coral formations. Visitors are greeted with crystal-clear turquoise waters that invite them to immerse themselves in nature’s aquatic playground. Accompanied by experienced guides, snorkelers of all levels can delve into the depths, discovering a mesmerizing array of tropical fish, colorful corals, and other captivating marine species. We will provide all of the equipment, experienced guides during the duration of the tour as well as light refreshments. This is a six-hour tour that includes a hike to Punta Mona and a boat tour from Punta Mona back to Gandoca.

For those seeking an unforgettable adventure, a snorkeling day tour in Punta Mona Reef is a must. It offers an extraordinary opportunity to connect with nature, appreciate its wonders, and leave with a profound sense of admiration and responsibility for the preservation of our oceans. So, if you’re planning your next escapade, don’t miss the chance to explore the enchanting Punta Mona Reef – a true paradise beneath the waves.

Organic Cacao Tour

Organic Cacao Farm and Food Forest Tour

Immerse yourself in the world of fine, organic chocolate creation amidst the lush tropical beauty of Costa Rica. The journey begins with an introduction to the history and origins of chocolate, tracing its roots back to ancient civilizations and the cacao plant’s significance to the region.Cocoa farms were the main crop in Gandoca until the 1980s and cacao was used in the community as a currency that was exchanged for products that could not be found in the community such as sugar, cooking oil, and salt. In this era, almost everything that was consumed by residents in the community was produced on their own farms. Unfortunately, the practice of cultivating one’s own food has been disappearing throughout the generations. Organic cocoa farms are integral farms, which means that cocoa is planted along with other products to increase diversity, which is a much more ecologically friendly method of farming. Touring organic cacao farms supports and motivates local families to continue working their land in an ecologically-friendly way and promotes sustainable food sources within the community. As you embark on this unique adventure, led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll learn about the traditional methods of harvesting and processing cacao beans, gaining insights into the meticulous steps that transform this raw ingredient into the delectable treat we all know and love. Participating in the harvesting process, you’ll gather ripe cacao pods and experience the joy of being closely connected to nature’s gifts. After the harvest, it’s time to delve into the heart of chocolate-making – fermenting, drying, and roasting the cacao beans. Under the guidance of skilled local farmers, you’ll engage in each step, immersing yourself in the aroma and texture as the cacao beans undergo their magical transformation. The highlight of the tour comes with the hands-on chocolate-making workshop. After roasting the cacao beans over an open fire, you’ll grind them into a smooth paste using traditional grinding tools, releasing the distinct chocolate aroma into the air. This paste becomes the foundation for creating various chocolate products, and you’ll have the chance to mold your bars, adding a personal touch to each delectable treat. The tour concludes with a tasting session, savoring the fruits of your labor and experiencing the rich flavors and textures of your handcrafted chocolates.
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Braulio Vanegas Rojas

Adventure Coordinator

Braulio is a bilingual tour guide certified by The Costa Rican Tourism Board and is pursuing an English teaching degree at the Universidad Estatal a Distanica. He is from and lives in the community of Gandoca and stands out for being one of the leaders in promoting the conservation of natural resources in the area. He has more than 10 years of experience working on sea turtle conservation projects and tourism. Braulio is an independent tour guide and 3 years ago he created his own tour packages that he offers in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge, culture and practicing traditional fishing.
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Andrey Castillo McCarthy

Co-Founder & Program Manager

Andrey is a true trilingual jack of many trades. He holds degrees and certificates in Tourism (INA & ICT), ELE – Teaching Spanish as a Second Language (TEC), German C1 (University of Essen) and Woodworking (Blinn College). Growing up in Gandoca, a small town on the Southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, it was here that Andrey first came in contact with sea turtles. He started volunteering with the local sea turtle conservation project while still in high school and later started working as a research assistant for different projects. Over the years, Andrey has worked in various capacities with sea turtles and community development projects with students, volunteers and tourists in Costa Rica, Panama, and the USA (Texas) and has amassed over twenty years of experience this way. In 2014, he co-founded the non-profit organization COASTS (Costa Rican Alliance for Sea Turtle Conservation & Science), dedicated to researching and conserving sea turtles along Costa Rican coasts.
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Danilo McCarthy

Co-Founder & Director

Danilo was born and raised in the community of Gandoca, Costa Rica. He is the first generation to graduate from high school and college. He is certified as a bilingual general tour guide, has a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Costa Rica, and is pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Minnesota. Danilo has extensive experience leading groups of national and international high school and university students and tourists in conservation and community development projects in various rural communities in Costa Rica and Panama. Danilo loves enjoying nature, supporting young people to achieve their academic and personal goals, and learning about other cultures and traditions.