Barra Honda National Park

Barra Honda National Park

Barra Honda National Park; many thought cerro Barra Honda was a volcano because of the roar of the bats that lived within and their fumes, but in the 1960’s a large network of limestone caves was found dispelling that myth. The caves (some as deep as 780′) were the result of erosion after the ridge emerged from the sea. The caverns, with calcareous formations , are home to bats, birds, blindfish and many other creatures. You will see many unusual formations including roses, shark’s teeth, cave-grapes, popcorn, fried eggs, stalactites, and stalagmites, and there are more than 40 limestone caverns. If caves are not your thing, you can hike the 2 miles Los Laureles Trail to the Barra Honda Summit for a gorgeous view of the Gulf of Nicoya.

Inhabitants of the Barra Honda National Park include howler and capuchin monkeys, coatis, peccaries, deer, agoutis, anteaters, iguanas, and parakeets. Barra Honda National park is home to some of the last tropical dry forest in the world. It is hot and dry from Dec – April, and hot and humid the rest of the year. The highest elevation is 1450′, and the park consists of 5675 acres, established in 1974.

Barra Honda National Park is located in Guanacaste Province about 2 hours south of Liberia at Lat – 10.1868, Long – 85.3318. You need climbing gear, a guide, and permission from the parks department to enter ($10 admission fee, 8 AM to dusk).

Camping is allowed at Barra Honda National Park or you can stay in one of the 4 rustic cabins with a reservation. The caves are not open during the wet season due to a chance for flooding. Caving and hiking are the 2 main activities and you can find restrooms and drinking water at the ranger station.

Note: You must have a guide with you to explore the Barra Honda Caves or hike the park, and children under 12 are not allowed in the caves.

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