Guanacaste National Park

Guanacaste National Park is located in Costa Rica. It’s the perfect day trip for locals and tourists. This is not a relatively small park considering it’s only 80,336 acres. If you’re staying in San Jose and you’d like to visit Guanacaste National Park, it’s recommended that you find a hotel in the area. This is a 173-mile drive.  From Liberia the park is a 29 miles drive.There are many hotels to choose from. Camping in this park is not allowed. If you’d like to camp, consider doing so at Santa Rosa National Park, which is directly across from Guanacaste National Park.

Capuchin Monkey, Guanacaste National Park Costa RicaGuanacaste National Park opened in 1989. It was opened for two reasons. One was for forest protection services. The other was to secure a migration route for animals during the dry season. In the park, you can find many different animals, amphibians and insects. Don’t worry. If you stay on the trail, then you likely won’t have to get too close. Creatures you might find include howler monkeys, long-nosed armadillos, pumas, white-tailed deer, black hawks, white-faced capuchins and ocelots. As far as insects go, there are over 10,000 types in the park.

Other interesting features include volcanoes, research stations, rivers, waterfalls, an education center, observation decks over the river, a swimming hole, sheltered picnic areas and a gift shop. Also keep in mind that this entire area is a tropical forest. Many people like to take advantage of the swimming hole. A standard trip to Guanacaste National Park begins with a short hike, follows with a picnic lunch and finishes off with an hour-long dip in the swimming hole. Others prefer to hike to one of the waterfalls and read a book or even take a nap. One of the research stations is opened to tourists. If you have never been to it before, it’s recommended. Another fun note is that some people have found ancient pottery pieces and artifacts on the trials. In addition to that, there is believed to be a Mayan underground chamber in the north end of the park, but archeologists have yet to explore the suspected site.

If you visit Guanacaste National Park, you need to register at the visitor’s center first. The cost for the park is small. If you’re from another country, it will be $5. If you’re a national, it will be $1. Always wear hiking shoes, long-sleeve shirts, bug spray and sunscreen. Also remember to bring a lot of water.

Santa Rosa National Park

Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica is recognized as a World Heritage location. It is the site of the Battle of Santa Rosa in 1856, when the troops of filibusters who wanted to conquer Costa Rica were forced to retreat because the Tico troops attacked. At the time, Santa Rosa was a farm in Guanacaste Province. La Casona, a hacienda building, serves as the monument for the battles that occurred on the site. Because the area has been preserved as a park, wildlife and ecosystems have been saved from extinction.

The Santa Rosa National Park has 50,000 hectares of vanities of forests, grassland and land along the coast. It is a refuge for species of birds, thousands of insects including thousands of kinds of butterflies, reptiles and amphibians, and mammals. Some examples of these are black hawks, and trogons, 50 different kinds of bats, capuchin and howler monkeys, and crocodiles. The species threatened by extinction are the leatherback and green turtles.

Playa Naranjo and Witches Rock, Santa Rosa National Park, Costa RicaThe park has a variety of ecosystems including mangrove and mesquite-nacascol bogs, slopes with oaks and evergreen trees, forests near the shore and grasslands. While Guanacaste province has droughts during the dry season from December to April, the forest protects the park during the drought.

To reach the Santa Rosa National Park, drive the Inter American Highway from San Jose to Libera. Keep on the InterAmerican Highway on past Liberia to Potrerillos- a distance of 20 miles. The park entrance is on the left side of the road, six miles beyond Potrerillos. The total drive between San Jose and the park is over 250 km.

The park is ideal for those who enjoy outdoors, historical spots, camping and surfing. The beaches of Nancite and Narango are popular with campers and surfers. This park has some of the best campsites in the national park system of Costa Rica. It is recommended that campers bring water.

The entrance to the park is 35 km north of Liberia and is distinctively marked.
After paying at the entrance, drive six km to the Administrative Center which has a restaurant. Visitors can hire a guide for a $10 to $15 fee. Leading off from the center are routes into the forest or to the beaches.