Among the national parks of Costa Rica, Barra Honda National Park is unique and it is in the western part of Costa Rica which forms part of the Tempisque Conservation Area about 12 km (7.46 mi) from the Tempisque River. Tempisque River is flowing from the Guanacaste Cordillera near theOrosí Volcano and emptying into the Gulf of Nicoya.
People who want to explore some of the deeper caves that the Barra Honda National Park has to offer it will require the proper mountaineering equipment and the visitors want to go with a group, then they will need to call the parks office in advance for approval to descend into the caves.
Main attraction of the Barra Honda National Park is an tangled huge system of limestone caverns which house different figures and forms. Glistening stalagmites and stalactites is one attraction of the cavers that fills the Hall of Pearls. Attractions of this national park also include calcareous formations of the more than 40 limestone caverns, roses, the soda straws, needles, curtains, stalactites, cave grapes, pearls etc. The caves of Barra Honda were only discovered in the late sixties and earlier it was believed by many people that Cerro Barra Honda was a volcano as many people listened to the roaring sound made by the bats at the time of departing the caverns. Only 19 of the 42 caves have been surveyed till. As the vertical entrances of the caves are difficult to negotiate, it keeps the caves in good condition. This is also the reason that the visitors need to visit the caves with an experienced guide and also take climbing gear. If you want to enter the caves, you need to take permission earlier from the Parks service.
Santa Ana is the deepest of the Barra Honda caves and this cave go down to 249 meters. La Trampa (the trap) has the deepest cliff with a of 30 m length vertical entrance . The most beautiful caves is Terciopelo which along with la Cuevita, is the only one accessible for the public and this cave is considered as the largest and most beautiful caves of the Barra Honda caves.
Anyone can enjoy hiking on the trails on the 2,295 ha area. You will find the main trail leading through the secondary forest to Barra Honda. While hiking people might find the juxtaposition of capuchin monkeys and cactus odd but it will be enjoyable to watch the howler monkeys, deer, racoons, peccaries, kinkajous, agoutis, and anteaters.You can collect the hiking map from the ranger station.
Way to the Park:
You can reach the ranger station of the park by driving north from the Tempisque ferry through the community of Santa Ana. It will be best to take a four-wheel drive vehicle because you might find the road rough to go through. You can access the eastern part of the park through the rural town of Quebrada Honda. Entrance fee of the park is $US 7.
From December through April hot and dry season stays and then hot and humid the rest of the year.
There are four rustic cabinas with bunks at the main ranger station. These cabinas are ideal for the travelers who don’t bring any camping equipment nor budget for eco camp or lodge. Next to the ranger station across the road from the cabinas there is also a camping area.