Three decades ago, Richard and Margot Frisius (U.S. expats in Costa Rica) initiated a breeding program for green and scarlet macaws at their home at Río Segundo de Alajuela, three kilometers southeast of Alajuela .
Their Flor de Mayo project is now The Ara Project (tel. 506/8339-4329 or 8339-2407, www.thearaproject.org , guided tours $20), which continues to breed these magnificent birds for eventual release into the wild.
The home and breeding center, called Finca Hatched to Fly Free, features huge aviaries where pairs of breeding macaws are housed, plus flyways where they can fly and learn to flock.
Visitation is strictly by appointment.
Finca Hatched to Fly Free is 600 meters east of the Hampton Inn. (Turn north at the traffic light opposite Super Santiago; go 400 meters to a Y-fork, then 200 meters uphill to the left; look for the gate on the right that says “Hatched to Fly Free—por conservación.”)