Guanacaste National Park is located in the northern part of Costa Rica and was created to allow a corridor between the dry forest and rain forest areas which many species migrate between seasonally. It is a part of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste World Heritage Site.
Guanacaste National Park
Guanacaste National Park is located in the northern part of Costa Rica and was created to allow a corridor between the dry forest and rain forest areas which many species migrate between seasonally.
It covers an area of approximately 32,500 ha (80,300 acres), from the slopes of the Orosí and Cacao volcanoes west to the Interamerican Highway. It is a part of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste World Heritage Site. The nearest city is La Cruz to the northwest.
Guanacaste National Park was created with the purpose of connecting the neighboring Santa Rosa National Park with the high altitude forests of the two volcanoes, Orosi and Cacao and the rain forest of the Caribbean in the country's north.
The two parks together provide enough land for wide-ranging species such as jaguars and mountains lions. It constitutes a biological corridor for birds and insects between the dry forest and the evergreen cloud and rain forests.
Maritza Biological Station is positioned at the foot of the Orosi volcano among the hills that are relics of Plio-Cuaternary volcanoes as well as plains formed by the accumulation of ash, pyroclasts and ignimbrites.
The western slope of these volcanoes is covered with evergreen rain forests. Here trees here can grow up to 30 m (100 ft) in height and the predominating species are the Santa María, Tempisque and the Monkey Apple.
The Tempisque River flows through the park's lowland areas. There are dry forests at lower elevations and cloud forests at higher elevations.
Guanacaste National Park is home to 140 species of mammals, over 300 birds, 100 amphibians and reptiles, and over 10,000 species of insects that have been identified. It was this high density of bio-diversity that encouraged the Costa Rican government to protect this area.
Among the dry forest inhabitants are Collared Peccaries, Howler Monkeys, White-nosed Coatis, White-tailed Deer, and Variegated Squirrels, Long-tongued Bats, and Capuchin Monkeys.
The rainy season lasts from May to November, giving way to the intense sun typical of Guanacaste.
The trail leading to the Orosi Volcano has pre-Columbian petroglyphs near the plain at El Pedregal.