One of the many great aspects of Costa Rica is that it’s full of surprises.
And one gem worth exploring is the Rincón de la Vieja National Park located in the Cordillera de Guanacaste (Guanacaste Mountains). The name, which translates to the old woman’s corner, is one of six active volcanoes in Costa Rica. The 34,800-acre preserve offers interesting volcanic rock formations, tropical forests, abundant wildlife as well as waterfalls, hot springs and bubbling mud to check out.
There are nine craters – however, due to recent eruptions of the volcano, hikers are unable to visit the crater of Rincón de la Vieja itself for obvious safety reasons. But don’t be discouraged – there are eight other craters including the Volcan Santa Maria (Santa Maria Volcano), which tops out at 6,385 feet, and many trails to explore. You may encounter squirrel monkeys, kinkajous (it’s a cute mammal related to the raccoon – I had to check), vampire bats or the three-wattled bellbird before you’re through. In addition, Costa Rica’s diverse botanical sights are worth checking out. What’s more, hikers can stop and take a dip in one of the parks’ many naturally heated springsor refreshing streams but you’ll want to just watch the hot bubbling mud pools and volcanic fumaroles.
Guides can be arranged through the Santa Maria or Pailas Stations. Consult your Palms host for additional information. The trip to Rincón de la Vieja National Park is only about an hour and a half from The Palms.
One tip, the dry season, which lasts from November to April, is the ideal time to explore this park. Camping is allowed is designated camping areas, but be sure to bring your own food as none is available within the park, and there’s forest canopy tours, horseback riding and river-rafting.