Traveling to Costa Rica, Visit Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Costa Rica

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Traveling to Costa Rica, Visit Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Costa Rica

Are you traveling to Costa Rica? This is a series of articles on The National Parks of  Costa Rica.   Rincon de La Viejo National Park. Let’s  travel Costa Rica to the northern  province of Guanacaste to a special place called Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.  What is so special about Rincon de  la Vieja Volcano?  At the foothills of this volcano lies  20  areas  of hot springs,  boiling mud pots,  sulphur lakes, and vapor geysers that color the surrounding rocks  red, green, and bright yellow.  This is a bizarre geological phenomenon  unique to Costa Rica.   When the mud from these boiling pots is cooled,  it  makes  an excellent mud face mask.   People believe that it has properties that make the skin more beautiful. The hot springs can also be enjoyed along with a relaxing massage.

Rincon de la Vieja is inactive at the moment.  Geologists believe it’s last major eruption was over 3,000 years ago.   Ricon  has a twin , located adjacent to her  named  Santa Maria volcano,  also inactive . (Shown in the above photo)

There are several trails within the park,  in good condition  and easy to walk;   however don’t get off the trails!  You might unexpectedly step into a hot gurgling baby geyser!  You can even hike to the top of the volcano (if you are in good physical shape for hiking) and look over into the  inactive (for the moment) crater. Primary rainforest exists here and you can  see the huge trees that seem to reach the sky and not allow the sunlight in.   Lots of colorful tropical birds flying around and easy to spot.

Park is open  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Entrance fee is around $7

Several small ecotourist  lodges in the area, not expensive.  You can find them on google or in one of the many excellent guide books on Costa Rica.  Among them:  Hacienda Guachipelin approx $110 for a double. Buena Vista Lodge  $73-$94 for a double.    Rincon de la Vieja Mountain Lodge   approx $65 for a double Plus there is the high end, more expensive,  Hotel Borinquen  $180-$314 for a double.


For the Costa Rica traveler this park is a “unique  and unusual experience”  esp if you are already in this northern region of Pacific northwest beaches.  How to get there?    From the San Jose area takes about 4.5 hours to drive.  Take highway one (Pan American) to the northern part of Costa Rica, past Liberia.  Then, about 4 miles north take a right turn  on the gravel road which leads to Curubande,  go 1 miles to the entrance to Hacienda Guachipelin, then enter thru the gate.  If you are visiting one of the many popular northwest beaches,  this is an excellent day trip.  Either by rental car or purchase a day trip from you hotel tourist desk.

How long should you stay?   1-2 overnights is sufficient to experience Rincon de La Vieja National Park.

Weather: dry season is December thru March with sunny days and cool nights.  Rainy season  April thru November so bring a rain jacket.  Temperatures during the day are warm so lightweight cottons are best and very comfortable tennis shoes with traction or  light weight hiking boots. Sun hat and sun screen.  binoculars for birdwatching  And of course your camera!