Cordillera de Guanacaste: Mountain Range (Costa Rica)

Cordillera de Guanacaste: Mountain Range (Costa Rica)

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 13:16

The Cordillera de Guanacaste is a volcanic mountain range in northwestern Costa Rica, near the border with Nicaragua. The mountain range forms part of the southern region of the Continental Divide and contains a number of volcanic peaks as well as several protected areas.

Cordillera de Guanacaste

The Cordillera de Guanacaste is a volcanic mountain range in northwestern Costa Rica, near the border with Nicaragua.

The mountain range forms part of the southern region of the Continental Divide and extends 113 km (70 mi) northwest-southeast. It contains mostly complex stratovolcanoes and reaches a high point at the dormant Miravalles Volcano at 2,020 m (6,627 ft).

The Cordillera de Guanacaste is divided into two sections:

  • La Cordillera Volcánica: formed by a series of volcanic edifices that begin with the Orosi Volcano and ends with the Arenal Volcano

  • La Sierra Minera: depressions located between Arenal and Tapezco

Topographic map of Costa Rica depicting the Cordillera de Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica

Topographic map of Costa Rica depicting the Cordillera de Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica

Notable peaks within the mountain range include:

Rivers flowing from the range and draining into the Caribbean Sea include the Guacalito and Zapote. Rivers draining into the Pacific Ocean include the Blanco, Tenorio, Martirio, Corobiá and San Lorenzo.

Protected areas located in the mountain range include Guanacaste National Park and Area de Conservación Guanacaste World Heritage Site, inscribed by UNESCO in 1999.

The Arenal Volcano erupted in 1968, covering the area with hot ash. The eruption wiped out two villages while destroying pasture and killing approximately 100,000 head of cattle. The volcano is still active but less threatening today.

Geothermal activity accounts for a portion of the country's energy needs in addition to that which is exported to Nicaragua and Panama.