mud bog “quick sand”
Fumaroles- hot steam vents
Three reasons to visit Rincon de la Vieja National Park located in the northern zone of Costa Rica.
This huge park protects 14,087 hectares with widely ranging elevations range from 980 to 1987 meters (3215 to 6519 feet). Habitats are diverse and include cloud forest, tropical rainforest-upland, tropical rainforest-lowland and tropical dry forest. The best time of the year to visit is Costa Rica’s dry season January 1 thru May 1. However we see tourist all year round in the park.
First reason to include Rincon de La Vieja in your vacation itinerary (especially if you are going to already be in the northern zone). is: This park is good for a Family vacation. Children love the unusual small geysers and mud bogs which look like quick sand. The many gurgling hot pools remind the children of witches brew. For kids it is like being in “never never” land.
Second reason: Experience a primary rainforest. This park is home to hundreds of varieties of rainforest trees and plants. Many of the trees have buttresses two meters in diameter. Here you see so many colorful tropical birds so pack your bird binoculars in your backpack! We saw a family of toucans, perhaps twenty in number.
Third reason: Strange occurrences-All the family will learn from and enjoy the diverse and weird ecosystem in Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Strange winds blow thru the volcano canyon. Strange occurrences..misty rain at night when you can at the same time see the stars. Odd whistling sounds at sunrise. White rabbits with pink legs hopping around the pastures surrounding the national park.
How to get there? From SJO international airport-Alajuela head north on Highway 1 (pan american highway) 3 hours to Liberian in the Northern zone. Drive past Liberia and keep looking on the right hand side of the road and you will see a sign for the park. Follow the signs all the way to the park. (approximately 35 minutes) Stop and ask if you get lost. Several small eco hotels along your way.
What to wear? Closed toe tennis shoes or hiking boots. Cotton clothing. Light weight rain jacket, small folding umbrella, bug spray, bird binoculars, camera, bottle water.
Entrance to park is $15 for adults and $8 for children under age 12. The park does not accept credit cards.
Stay on trails…which are well marked. Naturalist guides sometimes are at entrance to park gate. They can give you very good information and guidance so best to hire one of the guides.
There are several small Hotels and ecolodges in the immediate area of the entrance to Rincon de la Vieja National Park. We stayed at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin because of its closeness to the gate to the national park. This is an older hotel but quite well kept with a nice swimming pool and well groomed grounds. The restaurant serves Costa Rican type food, nothing fancy. This three star hotel offers many tours on the grounds of the hotel..zipline tour, horseback riding on the farm, mud baths, and more.
Would you like to visit this area on you your vacation to Costa Rica? Contact Ann, the Costa Rica Expert www.costaricalearn.com