Located in the province of Guanacaste some 36 km north of the city of Liberia, the park extends over an area of more than 330 km2.
Guanacaste National Park was created in 1991 with the aim of connecting to Santa Rosa National Park in order to create one of the world’s largest biological reserves. It belongs to the Guanacaste Conservation Area and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
Its best-known features are its two main volcanoes. The Cacao Volcano, at an altitude of 1,659 m and the Orosí Volcano, at 1,446 m, are both conic stratovolcanoes that have not been active for thousands of years.
The park is made up of three sectors: Maritza, Pitilla and Cacao. Their main features are listed below.
Maritza sector is located 650 meters above sea level on the slopes of the Orosí volcano. The area includes water sources and streams amidst vegetation that is in a transitional phase between a dry and wet forest. There is a very diverse population of birds and a large community of peccaries. The services available are drinking water, latrines, trails and general information.
Pitilla sector is located 1 km south of the city of La Cruz. The area mainly consists of rainforest. Those who hike along its trails can observe birds and other animals, while the area offers a spectacular view of Lake Nicaragua.
Cacao sector is located on the slopes of the volcano that gives the sector its name. At 1,100 meters above sea level, the trails in this sector traverse dry forest, transitional forest and cloud forest. In addition, those with the correct permit can climb to the summit of the volcano. This impressive park is home to a stunning array of flora and fauna. To date, over 140 species of mammals have been recorded in the area, along with more than 300 bird species, about 100 species of amphibians and reptiles, and more than 10,000 insect species.
How do you get there?
To visit the biological stations of this national park, the visit must be coordinated with the Santa Rosa National Park. All access roads are unpaved and access can be quite complicated, meaning that the visit must be planned in detail. This national park is mainly visited by researchers and students.
Hours of operation: All visits must be coordinated with the Santa Rosa Sector.
Telephone: (506) 2666-5051 WhatsApp (506) 8886-9510
Costa Ricans: ₡1100.