From the towering Rincon de la Vieja Volcano to an endless horizon of water birds during migration season in Palo Verde National Park, here are some of the most memorable places to visit in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
To Do: Bird watching, wildlife viewing, river safari
Palo Verde National Park is best known for its superb bird watching in Costa Rica. Covering more than 18,410 hectares (45,490 acres) along the Tempisque River delta, Palo Verde National Park protects some of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world. A combination of wetlands, salt water marshes, mangroves, and dry tropical forest attract thousands of native and migratory birds, along with other wildlife like American Crocodiles, Spectacled Caimans, howler and white-faced monkeys, iguanas and turtles.
To Do: Hiking, waterfall swimming, hot springs, horseback riding, wildlife viewing
The massive 600,000-year-old geological wonder of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste, Costa Rica is an adventurer’s dream. Seeing the awesome power of the live volcano in the Rincón de la Vieja National Park – steaming fumaroles, mini-geysers, bubbling volcanic mud pits, and natural hot springs – give you an incredible experience like no other volcano in Costa Rica. At 6,286 feet (1,916 meters) tall and 9 miles (15 km) wide, Rincón de la Vieja is the largest and most active volcano in Guanacaste. It bridges the Continental Divide with at least nine volcanic craters. More than 32 rivers flow down its sides. The volcano and national park are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Guanacaste Conservation Area.
Nature lovers are in luck since the exotic dry tropical forest of the Rincón de la Vieja National Park is home to over 300 bird species and many mammals, including white-faced, howler and spider monkeys, armadillos, collared peccaries, pumas and white-nosed coatis.
Even more, the northern side of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is completely different. Dry tropical forest turns into lush, green rainforest and a paradise of sky blue streams, gushing waterfalls, warm thermal springs, ornate orchids, and wild jungle where jaguars and tapirs roam. You can visit the area at the Sensoria private nature reserve.
To Do: River rafting float trip, bird watching, wildlife viewing
One of the best ways to discover the incredible wildlife of Costa Rica is on a gentle float tour down the Corobici River. Located in the heart of the Guanacaste province, the Corobici is a wide Class I and II river with moderate waves, suitable for all ages. This is an especially excellent tour for bird watching and wildlife viewing.
While your guide rows the raft, you get to keep an eye out for exotic tropical birds like toucans, parrots, motmots, cuckoos, laughing falcons, kingfishers, sungrebes, egrets, ospreys and herons, along with monkeys, otters, iguanas and other animals. This is a great Guanacaste tour for families.
MIRAVALLES & TENORIO VOLCANOES
To Do: Hiking, hanging bridges tour, wildlife viewing
Listen to the hum of the jungle and spend time in nature – proven to have healing benefits – at the twin volcanoes of Miravalles and Tenorio in Guanacaste. Surrounded by lush cloud forest, these two volcanoes and their national parks offer breathtaking pristine beauty. Famous for being the tallest peak in the Guanacaste mountain range, the Miravalles Volcano is dormant, although it still produces geothermal energy for electricity. The Tenorio Volcano National Park is known for its abundant wildlife and hiking trails like the Heliconias Rainforest and Hanging Bridges.
Experience the diverse beauty of Guanacaste at these top iconic places in Costa Rica.
Article by Shannon Farley