December 12, 2020

Ponderosa Safari in Costa Rica

Wildlife park in Costa Rica
1 hour & 15 mins
Woman feeding giraffes by hand from the trolley at the Ponderosa Safari in Costa Rica

Welcome to beautiful Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Guanacaste is located in the northwestern region of Costa Rica, on the border of the Pacific Ocean. It’s one of the most popular places in Costa Rica because of its tropical beaches, beautiful coastlines, incredible mountain views, and active volcanoes. This is honestly the perfect vacation getaway. The views, wildlife, and climate are unreal. It’s also home to one of my favorite excursions so far: the Ponderosa Safari.

There is so much to see and do in this area in general, and we had a great time exploring. But the Ponderosa Safari was particularly amazing! There were so many exotic animals we got to see and interact with up close. I would highly recommend this attraction if you are ever in Costa Rica. You won’t regret it. 

The Ponderosa Safari

I can’t adequately express how much I loved this safari. The animals were so interactive and friendly. Not to mention the beautiful scenery surrounding them. I was in awe of the bright, blue skies and lush, green landscape. While aboard the safari trucks, the tour guides provided us with a ton of information on each species of animal. It was fascinating to learn so much about them.

The park also offers food options, so you will be able to grab a bite to eat before exploring the waterfalls. The tour brought us to the El Salto River, which is the home to the La Perla waterfall. You’re allowed to bring your bathing suits and enjoy the beautiful water, which makes for a nice refresher in the hot, Costa Rican climate.

I have to say though, the animals were the best part of this experience. While we were there, we got to pet and feed a ton of animals including cows, bulls, donkeys, gazelles, zebra and giraffes. You can’t do that in the United States! The animals were truly happy just roaming around waiting to be fed.

The Giraffes

The giraffes were my favorite animal to interact with. They swarmed our car looking for carrots when they saw us coming. As you can in the pictures, they were not afraid to get close to the vehicle. They’re so big that when we stood next to them, it was pretty intimidating. Giraffes are very smart creatures and have learned that when the tour vehicle comes, they will get fed. So, according to the tour guide, they always come right up to the car looking for carrots and treats. They are big animals, but also seem very calm and kind, like gentle giants. Chris and I got to feed them by hand, which was an unforgettable experience.

The zebras were extremely friendly as well. They would lay their heads on our laps looking for food. There were two big ostriches that everyone on the safari truck was afraid of. If you have seen the movie Jumanji, you will know why. They ended up being nice though and we were able to feed them as well. 

It wasn’t the most comfortable ride aboard the safari truck, but I made do. I honestly forgot how uncomfortable I was as soon as I started to see the amazing animals. There was quite a bit of walking in the beginning, but once we got onto the safari vehicle, it was smooth sailing. As I understand it, we weren’t supposed to leave the vehicle, but we had a super nice tour guide who let us get out. We wanted to stand with the giraffes, but the tour guide was hesitant because the animals are not used to people getting off the trucks and didn’t know how they would react. However, he ended up letting us, and it went really well. We got a few cool photos next to the giraffes. We looked so small compared to them!

Should You Go? 

If you love being surrounded by animals and nature, this excursion is for you. This was an amazing experience, and we had such a fun day exploring and enjoying the outdoors. Costa Rica is full of incredible excursions that allow you to experience nature in a whole different way. I have never been so close to so many exotic animals in my life. It was a great experience, and I have so many pictures that I will treasure forever.

I would highly recommend this spot to anyone! I’m so glad that Chris and I decided to take this tour. I am looking forward to exploring more of Costa Rica and sharing my experiences with you all. Keep following along on my adventures. Hopefully, you will feel inspired to explore the world as well! 

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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.

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