Braulio Carrillo National Park

Braulio Carrillo National Park

Braulio Carrillo National Park is a dense primary tropical cloud forest that is on both sides of the highway to the town of Guapiles from San Jose. It is located in the Central Volcanic Range in Costa Rica down the Caribbean slope to the La Selva Research station near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, and goes from cloud forest on the upper slopes to tropical wet forest in the lower regions. Barvo Volcano is the highest peak at 9500′ with a 540′ diameter crater filled with a black lake. Hikes are often steep and muddy and require good hiking boots to not only navigate the terrain but protect from snakes. The 1 mile long main trail takes you thru primary forest to the lookout point.

Wildlife is varied and includes monkeys, jaguers, kinkajouse, sloths, tapirs, marjays, eagles, and the resplendent quetzal. Braulio Carrillo National Park is home to 6000 tree species, more than 500 bird species, and 150 mammals.

The summit is the only part of Braulio Carrillo National Park where camping is allowed, and you will need raingear, boots, and warm clothing at this high elevation. You can also do horseback riding tours along the upper slopes.

Braulio Carrillo National park was established in 1978 and consists of 117,300 acres with temperatures ranging from 90 degrees F on lower slopes to below freezing on upper slopes. The park is driest March thru April and averages 160″ to 310″ rainfall annually. Braulio Carrillo National Park is about 13 miles NE of San Jose at Lat – 10.129258, Long – 83.993053.

Note: One unique feature of Braulio Carrillo National Park is the “orange color stream.” This is the Rio Sucio (means “dirty river”). The water is turned orange from the sulfur deposits of Irazu Volcano.

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