Jungle Quest, Costa Rica

A one-off adventure packed jungle experience

Coupling the iconic Rio Colorado where giant tarpon test angler’s strength and fish fighting abilities, with a machaca river float trip where fisherman cast flies to aggressive and exotic fish, is a one-off adventure packed jungle fishing experience. 

A tarpon and machaca combination 

The week starts on Rio Colorado where anglers target giant tarpon. This mighty river on the northern Caribbean coast has long been celebrated as one of the world’s greatest tarpon aggregation points. At key times of year, huge schools of adult tarpon congregate where they engage in mass feeding and migratory behaviour. On standout days tarpon are rolling and blasting bait as far as the eye can see and anglers have the opportunity to hook incredibly large numbers of tarpon from 80 to 200lb. To offset the ocean fishing anglers can also spend a day exploring some of the incredible lagoons close by and chase a variety of tropical species.

After a few days with giant tarpon, the trip moves to a machaca river deep in the rainforest. A distant relative of the piranha, the machaca is a highly enjoyable fish to pursue on the fly. While juvenile fish eat aquatic and terrestrial insects, adult fish turn largely vegetarian consuming fruit, flowers and leaves that fall into the waters they patrol. Slapping poppers and fruit flies onto the surface of the river to mimic the falling edibles entices aggressive top-water takes. Once hooked the fish are as aerial as mini tarpon, doggedly pulling into roots and snags in an effort to break free. If South America’s pacu is the ‘river permit’ then the machaca is the ‘river bonefish’. Fishing is from a whitewater raft operated drift boat style and suitable for two anglers. Most machaca weigh around two to six pounds but there are plenty of larger fish too.

Coastal and jungle accommodation

On the coast, anglers stay at a private, family-run lodge right on the water and surrounded by a beautiful garden with lots of wildlife. The run to the fishing grounds is about 10 minutes. Accommodation comprises two and three bed cabins with air conditioning and a fan. The restaurant serves delicious Afro-Caribbean meals. The lodging on the machaca river is a simple, comfortable jungle eco-lodge. With howler monkeys and toucans just outside the door you’ll enjoy proper jungle surroundings. 

Beautiful coast and jungle setting

Anglers will require a night in San Jose on arrival. An early morning road transfer takes you to the Rio Colorado. Transfer between camps is also by road. A night is generally required in San Jose on the way home.

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