The Rainmaker Park is a small privately run park in the south of Costa Rica and is close to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park. We wanted to go to there, but since it was Monday and the Manuel Antonio Park was closed, we looked for an alternative. And this alternative became the Rainmaker Conservation Park.
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Rainmaker Park | How to get there?
The Rainmaker Conservation Park is located about 30 km from Manuel Antonio National Park. In the reviews you always read that the Rainmaker Park is a good alternative to Manuel Antonio. However, we can absolutely not agree with that, because both parks are completely different. We are therefore glad to have visited both, even if the entrance fees are very expensive in each case.
The Rainmaker Park costs $20 entrance fee per person, the parking lot (Google Maps) can be used for free. The approach leads from the main road about 7 kilometers over a very bumpy road, which can be driven shortly before the destination almost only at walking pace.
By the way, the opening hours of the park are between 7:00 and 17:00. From the Rainmaker Conservation Park entrance, you walk along a short path on the left until you are suddenly enveloped in the dark canopy of the rainforest.
Shortly after the entrance we made the first great discovery. A small black and green frog hopped along the path and became our animal photo of the day.
Hike through Rainmaker Park
From here, the trail continued to a fork in the road. Here we had to decide whether to admire the moist green jungle first from the ground along the river, or walk across the suspension bridges anchored in the canopy of trees. We decided to do the River Hike first. The trail led continuously past the rushing river.
At a total of four places there is the possibility to swim in the clear, cold water of the river. However, the slowly starting rain during our visit made sure that we decided against cooling down. With each step the raindrops pelted down more strongly on us and the smacking noise of our walking shoes on the earth increased. In order not to become completely soaking wet, we sought shelter under a few larger leaves and took a small lunch break.
The Suspension Bridges
After the break, we followed the trail to the end of the river hike. At the end of the hike along the river the trail continued steep uphill. The rest of the trail took us over rickety, narrow suspension bridges through the treetops lined with green leaves. In fact, the suspension bridges don’t look particularly confidence-inspiring.
The wooden planks are soaked and rotten and there are always holes in the boards. Very carefully, we put one foot in front of the other, always careful to hold on to the wet and slippery ropes with both hands on the right and left.
While at the beginning of the bridge you still have the feeling that it is quite stable, towards the middle it becomes more and more wobbly and the bridge starts to sway. The view into the abyss encouraged us once again to hold on tight. A few more meters and we had made it. We had solid ground under our feet again. The suspension bridges are stretched between wooden platforms in the trees. And these are in exactly the same condition as the bridges.
There is no going back
But there was no going back. So we carefully went from platform to platform, steadily surrounded by lush green of the canopy of leaves around us. We could marvel at the rainforest from a whole new perspective…. until suddenly the rain started again. The Rainmaker Park lived up to its name. So without further ado, we sheltered, taking advantage of the downpour for another break until we slowly made our way towards the end of the hike.
For us, visiting Rainmaker Conservation Park was a great and exciting experience. The suspension bridges and the fact that we did not meet a single, other person made the visit a wonderful experience.
Hotel Recommendation nearby
We spent the evening at the recommended Hostel Plinio*, enjoying the view of the sea on the horizon and taking another quick dip in the pool.
Costa Rica Itinerary
We spent a total of 4 weeks in Costa Rica and saw almost all the highlights of this great country. If you want to see how to pack Costa Rica’s sights into a 2-4 week itinerary, check out our trip report.