A short drive from Liberia, Costa Rica is the Ponderosa Adventure Park. We went to the park specifically to go on the safari tour, but after we arrived we realized how much more there is to do at the park.
First things first, as you drive to the park from Liberia, there’s an initial sign off the road that leads you down a gravel/dirt road through a neighborhood. I’m not sure why they have signs there because they lead you to the rear entrance of the park, which I assume is for employees. Pass that first sign and head to the main entrance. The same directional signs are up, but it’s more clearly marked. You’ll enter the park on brand new, perfectly paved roads, and over a bridge with a welcome marker until you arrive at the large parking lot for the park.
At the welcome desk, you can choose different activities a la cart or bundle adventures together for a cost savings. They also offer a lunch buffet that is included with many of the bundles. On top of the low price per person, the lunch buffet is pretty large and the food is incredible. They offered a variety of fish, pork, chicken, rice, salad, drinks, and desserts.
Our group decided to bundle the waterfall tour, safari, and lunch.
We started with the safari tour. Before leaving we purchased several bundles of carrots to feed the animals. I purchased three bundles at $2/each for myself and my husband and that was enough to last the entire safari, while being very generous in feeding the animals.
A bilingual guide led us to a platform where we got on a tram to take us to the animals. On the way to the tram we passed many buildings under construction. Based on the extensive work we saw, and what our guide told us, the park is looking to nearly double in size and offer a variety of new lodging, activities, and family friendly attractions.
We climbed onto the tram and soon enough, we were off to our Costa Rican, African safari!
First up was a group of zebras that were eager to welcome us to their area of the park. This obviously wasn’t their first rodeo, and then ran right up to the tram for their delicious carrot treats.
If you refrain from offering a carrot long enough, the smarter zebras will give you a smile and a show to earn their treat.
A group of ostrich were next on our tour. I saw the movie “The Birds” when I was young and since then birds have freaked me out. Not to mention, these are giant birds with beady little eyes. I thought it was a good enough time as any to face my fears and try and give these (evil) feathered beasts a carrot or two. The guides warned us to hold the carrots sticking out from a flat palm so they wouldn’t peck our hands off. (ok that might be a little dramatic but whatever, it freaked me out)
Turns out it wasn’t that bad and I left with all of my fingers in place. Next up were camels and African camels (I can’t remember their name – sorry!). There were even little babies along that were just adorable.
Never in my life would I have thought that I would have the opportunity to take a selfie with a giraffe, but it happened!! The giraffes were so large when they got up close and were happy to get right up next to you in order to enjoy a delicious carrot. In fact, one of my friends was putting carrots on his shoulder and letting the giraffe slurp carrots right off him!
This was easily the most fun part of the safari. I wish we could have stayed longer with the giraffes.
The tour took us by a variety of different animals that weren’t as interested in carrots as you would think they should be. But it was really neat to see them so close, just hanging out doing their thing.
By the end of the tour, even those in the group who weren’t initially sure if they wanted to do the safari were thrilled. Everyone agreed it was a worthwhile experience and we all would have done it again!