Rincon de la Vieja National Park

See crater-filled mountains and hot sulfurous mud pits edged by lush tropical forest in this park filled with tropical plants and animals.

Volcanoes, bubbling mud pits and dry tropical forests make up the astonishing landscape of Rincon de la Vieja National Park. The highlight is the park’s namesake, a gigantic volcano that has nine individual craters dotted around the region. Meander through walking trails to see diverse flora and fauna. 

The moody ambiance of the volcanic craters and mud pits make the park a photographer’s paradise. Capture pictures of the largest volcano, the Rincon de la Vieja, looming throughout the 34,992-acre (14,161-hectare) landscape. Explore the natural features around the volcano, the summit of which reaches 6,217 feet (1,895 meters). The wonders include simmering mud pots, hot springs and fumaroles, the openings from which smoky sulfurous gases surface.

Delve into the thick tropical rainforest to spy the region’s wildlife, such as primates, jaguars and kinkajous, which look like a mix between a monkey and a ferret. A fuchsia orchid known as guaria morada is the country’s national flower and can be found throughout the forests. Follow the trails to discover mesmerizing natural beauty. Find the waterfall that runs into a small pool enclosed by trees and rocks near the main volcano.

There are several tour companies in the area that provide adventure activities. Go tubing down the Rio Negro before zip-lining through the forest. Reservations can be made through hotels in the region.

Stay overnight at one of the lodges, resorts or spas in the park to wake up refreshed and ready to go exploring in the morning. Pick up snacks and refreshments from the small shop by the entrance to the park.

There is an entrance fee per person as well as fees for car access in certain areas. The park opens from early morning until afternoon and is closed on Mondays.

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) northeast of Liberia. Turn off the main highway early at the sign for the park and follow the unpaved road for 30 minutes. There are taxis and regular buses that take visitors from the city to the national park.

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