Best National Park in Costa Rica – Rincon De La Vieja

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is located in the Guanacaste mountain range, province of Guanacaste and Alajuela, 27-km northeast of Liberia City. The park has an extension of 14.083.9 hectares. The solid Rincon de La Vieja National Park, of 1.916 Mts. of altitude, is a composed structure. At the top nine eruptive points have been identified, one active and the others inactive in the degradation process. To the south of the crater, you can find a pure water lagoon.

At the foot of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano, of the south side are the areas called Las Pailas and the Hornilllas (“Kitchen Stoves”), which covers a surface of 50 hectares. It is a site with associated volcanic formations. Hot springs form small streams with very hot water. Volcanic lakes fill small hollows with constantly bubbling muddy water. You must to visit this area if you come to Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

The Rincon de La Vieja National Park presents a large diversity of habitats due to the differences in altitude and precipitation, the volcanic eruptive effect, and the type of watershed. In the lower parts, the most common trees are the laurel, the Guanacaste, the aceituno, the ardillo, the naked Indian, the bitter cedar, and the capulin Blanco.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

It is the main attraction of this national park. Impressive and imposing, the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano has been distinguished as one of the most exuberant and unexplored areas of the Costa Rican territory. Its difficult access makes it into a challenge and mystery to its visitors. Its scenic beauty encloses all kinds of contrasts: colors, vegetation and fauna, and its geography turns it into a unique and complete adventure to be experienced.

The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is part of the areas protected by the Costa Rican Government under the National Park regime and it is composed of two massifs, the Santa Maria and the one that provides the park’s name. Nine craters have been identified, but only one of them is active; nevertheless, around the volcanoes, you can observe fumaroles, vapor, and volcanic mud spurts.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is a stratovolcano that soars 1,916 meters above sea level and spreads over 400 square kilometers.  It was formed by the simultaneous explosion of several volcanic cones that grew and merged into a single mountain. It has been possible to identify 9 sites of volcanic activity on the summit. One is active and the others are slowly eroding.

The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano’s last strong eruption period was between 1966 and 1970 when it produced earthquakes, ash clouds, and underground noises. Other eruptions, of lower intensity, took place between 1983 and 1984 without causing much alarm among the scarce population located near the place.

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