Near the town of Santa Cruz on the Nicoya Peninsula, Diria National Park is located. In 1991, the Diria National Park was initially created as a wildlife refuge and it was established to preserve forests on the Nicoya Peninsula which is one of the first regions of Costa Rica colonized by the Spanish. It is set between the two main cities of the region- Nicoya and Santa Cruz.
Way to the Park
If you want to visit the park, you will have to drive from San Jose, head north on the Pan-American Highway and then will have to take the turn-off for Nicoya. Then turn to the past Nicoya to Santa Cruz straight to the road to Arado and Retallano following the signs to Diria. It is only 9 kilometers south of Santa Cruz and takes only 6 hour from San Jose and takes 3 hours from Liberia. You can also take a bus from San Jose -Santa Cruz which will take about 4.5 hours and from there you can take a taxi to the Diria National Park.
Diria National Park is not as diverse as most other Costa Rican national parks, but still provides habitat for 140 bird species, Howler Monkeys and White-faced Capuchins, Jaguarundi and also many other smaller mammals. You might also see a few of the many snake species like Vine Snakes, Tropical Rattlesnake and Boa Constrictor within the boundaries of the park. Diria National Park’s 12,000 acre of area protects important watersheds such as Tigre, Verde and Enmedio rivers which are the sources of water for the entire town of Santa Cruz. Dirai National Park is a part of the Tempisque Conservation Area and it protects some of the last remaining old growth forests on the peninsula including a lot of 382 plant species such as Ceibas, Mahogany, along with many endangered species.
Attractions of Diria National Park
If you want to escape from the daily busy life but need a change from the local festivals of Nicoya and beaches then you can visit the Diria National Park. If you are a hiking lovers then you will have a great experience while hiking along the two trails-El Venado and El Escabel that depart from the ranger station. From the trails you will be able to see the wildlife including white faced monkeys, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, a variety of birds, exquisite butterflies, peccaries, deer, anteaters, skunk, tropical waterfall and iguanas. From those trails you can also see the scenic rolling hills of Nicoya. It will be really amazing experience to see the best overlook at Vista al Mar. which is on the main road just after it exits the southern park boundary and beautifully provides what its name means. You can also enjoy biking and horse back riding as the surrounding area is also perfect for mountain biking and horseback riding. Among the two trails, one leads to the impressive Brasil Waterfall which is a nice place to take photographs, swim, or relax.
There are ranger station at Sector Diria and the ranger station is open from 8am to 4pm and contains a bunkhouse which can be accommodated 25 people and includes potable water, electric generator and restrooms.
Apdo 5251, Hojancha, Costa Rica
Lodge: Sector Diria Ranger Station