1611 parc national guanacaste
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Guanacaste National Park

Guanacaste National Park is located in the north of the country, in the province of the same name. It comprises three sectors: the Maritza sector, at the foot of the Orosi volcano, 59 km from Liberia, the Pitilla sector, 59 km north-west of Liberia on the slopes of Cerro Orosito and finally, the Cacao sector, 51 km north-west of Liberia on the slopes of the Cacao volcano.

The latter is where the biological stations and scientific groups are located.

The Guanacaste National Park is most interesting during the dry season. These different ecosystems are divided into tropical rainforest, cloud forest and tropical dry forest. The upper reaches of the park are dominated by the Orosi and Cacao volcanoes. It is important to note that between the hill and the Cacao Orosito volcano, the birth of rivers such as the Colorado which, in conjunction with other streams, form the Tempisque River, Guanacaste’s main watering hole.

A true natural reservoir, Guanacaste National Park preserves the largest herd of peccaries (Tayassu pécari) in the Guanacaste Conservation Zone. It is this biological corridor that enables the seasonal migration of a large number of insects, birds and mammals that descend from Santa Rosa during the dry season to the high plateaus of the Orosi and Cacao volcanoes.

The Cacao sector of Guanacaste National Park

Steep terrain through transitions of tropical dry forest, lowlands and the cloud forest of the Cacao volcano. Trails lead through the forest to the summit. The Pedregal hill station offers panoramic views of the Costa Rican countryside.

Pitrilla sector

One of the least explored areas, 2 trails wind through tropical rainforest. Magnificent views over Lake Nicaragua.

Easy birdwatching.

Maritza sector

This section of the park protects the upper reaches of the river. Scientific studies are mainly carried out on the area’s insects. Archaeology is also in the spotlight, as hundreds of pre-Columbian petroglyphs (rock engravings) can be seen here.

The flora

Due to its size, geographical position and climate with both Caribbean and Pacific influences, the forest on the slopes of the Orosi and Cacao volcanoes is made up of epiphytes such as bromeliads and orchids, as well as a large number of ferns, Araceae and mosses.

In total: around 3,000 plant species.
The dominant tree species are the Tule tree, Tempisque, cork oak, cherry and golden fruit.

The fauna

The park’s fauna is varied. To date, some 140 species of mammals, over 300 birds, 100 amphibians and reptiles and more than 10,000 species of insects have been recorded. The most common animals are monkeys, armadillos, pumas and black hawks.

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