Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja National Park

The name translates to “old Lady in the corner”, which doesn’t sound very exciting, but this park is! Rincon de la Vieja National Park surrounds Ricon de la Vieja Volcano (an active volcano which last erupted in 1991) and is covered with tropical dry forest. This is Costa Rica’s mini Yellowstone with volcanic hot springs, and boiling and bubbling fumaroles, sulfur springs, and steam vents on the southern slope of the volcano. The volcano itself, with two peaks, is often covered in a mixture of sulferous gases and clouds. Santa Maria peaks at 6,228 feet and Ricon de la Vieja peaks at 5,924 feet. Ricon de la Vieja has 2 craters-the active crater is constantly letting off gases.

The Las Pilas park entrance is the most commonly used entrance with the most accessible trails. It is a good idea to explore this park with a guide, not only to get the most out of your hike, but also because many people have been burnt by hot springs and geysers. Also, the upper slopes can have very dangerous high winds. The south park entrance is about 15 miles (1 hour by car) from Liberia.

Wildlife includes 200 species of birds, mammals such as deer, monkeys, coatis, and armadillos. Activities are plentiful with hiking trails for every level of hiker, canopy tours with rock climber and rappelling, horseback riding, white river tubing, and my favorite: getting painted with volcanic ash after sitting in hot springs!

The weather at Rincon de la Vieja can be very hot with the driest months from Dec – April. If you want to do all the activities, you will need at least 2 days in this area.

The GPS coordinates for Rincon de la Vieja National Park are Lat – 10.7941 and Long – 85.3168. The park is 54 sq miles.

Although Costa Rica national park entrance fees do change often, plan on $10 park admission fee ? open 8am-4pm daily. The fee does not include a guide. We highly recommend a guide to thoroughly get the most out of the natural flora and fauna and wildlife that you almost certainly will not see on your own.

Tip – The food at the Hacienda Guachipelin was some of the best I’ve experienced in Costa Rica.

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