Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park
Earth : North America : Central America : Costa Rica : Plains of the North : Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park
Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park (Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja) is a park of 14,161 hectare covering a dry tropical forest region in the provinces of Guanacaste and Alajuela , centered around the Volcano, Rincón de la Vieja, and the surrounding volcanic and natural features. Sights include an extraordinary amount of interesting flora and fauna, as well as plenty of hot bubbling sulphurous mud pits and a little "mini-volcano."
The closest park to the Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Flamingo, Tamarindo area. This park has lots of volcanic activity, fumaroles, boiling mud pots, vapor vents, sulfur vents, forests, wild life. Great for a one day tour with the whole family. There are more complicated trails for expert hikers as well, like the crater top or the sulfur springs "Los Azufrales". There is a convenience at the entrance of the park with bathrooms. The park is closed on Mondays.
This national park was created officially decreed on 23 October 1973, created on 10 May 1974, and ratified on 27 December 1982.
It is a part of the protected area of the Conservation Area Guanacaste, (ACG) and operates in conjunction with the National Parks of Guanacaste and Santa Rosa, the Vida Silvestre Wildlife Refuge and the Horizontes Experimental Forestry Station.
The park is divided into two sectors: Pailas and Santa Maria.
The park forms park of the watershed for the province of Guanacaste. The province has 32 rivers, including the el Colorado, Blanco and the Ahogados.
In addition, there are sixteen intermittent streams, which supply the rivers in the province.
Flora and fauna
Upper forest trees are of small stature and are twisted and covered with epiphytes. Rincon de la Vieja is a refuge for a large population the national flower Guaria Morada (Cattleya Skinerii). Tree species such as Laurel (Cordia alliodora), Guanacaste (In terolobium cyclocarpum), Cedar (odorata Cederla), Indian naked (Bursera simarouba) and Copey (Clusia spp.) are abundant.
Approximately 300 bird species inhabit the park including the Pavón (Penelope purpurascens), the Bobo bird (Momotus momotta), the mountain Linnet (goldfinch) (Myadestes melanops), and Tucancillo (Auracorhynchus prasinus).
The park is accessible only by car. From Liberia it's 5 km north up the Inter-American Highway, turn right (east) towards Curubande and head 17 km, then keep going until you pass through Hacienda Guachipelin. The park hours are 7AM-3PM Tu-Su.
Be certain you have a spare tire and jack in your car. The gravel road has many sharp edges to the gravel. A two wheel drive can make the journey weather permitting. A four wheel drive car is advisable during the wet season.
The entrance fee is US$15.
At this time the trail to the crater is closed. Possibility to walk by the security warnings and hiked up, ensure you have a clear view. It's yet not advised to go on your own. The trail is really bad and it may stay closed for a while (just by sight). Count three hours to get to the top and two hours to get down. The two other trails are also really nice. You can see two beautiful waterfalls on 1 trail and on the other trail you walk to a mudvolcano, gaslake, steampots etc. (5-09-2013)