Braulio Carrillo National Park

Braulio National Park, Costa Rica

Situated on the Caribbean, between Puerto Limón and San Jose, Braulio Carrillo National Park is a National Park of the Volcanic Cordillera Conservation Area. This park  is named after the third president of Costa Rica. This park is considered as the second largest park of the Costa Rica. The park includes different sleeping volcanoes like Cerro Cacho Negro, Cerros las Tres Marias and Cerro Chompipe.

Way to the Park:

Braulio Carrillo National ParkIf you take a car you will have to drive from San Jose and follow the Guapiles Highway (32) headed northeast. There are two main park entrances that charge a fee of $7. The main ranger station, Zurqui, which also has an information center. This is most popular and easiest station which is on the right side of the road, just north of the tunnel. The other main entrance is Puesto Carrillo ranger station, which is also along the highway,  26 miles from San Jose. An aerial tram is available is available inside the park which let the visitors reach the  heights up to 170 ft (52 m) as it glides through the forest with as many as four passengers at a time.

Ranger Stations:

There is another ranger station ‘Barva’ which is easiest to access by exiting San Jose via Heredia, then continuing north to Birri, Porrosati, Barva and Sacramento on 114. This station is two miles northeast of Sacramento on a dirt trail. From San Jose it takes only 40 minutes to reach the Braulio Carrillo National Park.

If you take a public bus then it will be going to Guapiles, Siquirres, or Puerto Viejo will pass the Zurqui Ranger Station where you can pay the entrance fee and then proceed to the hiking trails. Buses depart from the Gran Caribe Terminal at Calle Central and Avenidas 15/17 in San Jose.


Annual rainfall of the Braulio Carrillo National Park is 4,500-8000 mm  and the temperature ranges from 59º F in the high altitudes to 90º F.

Flora & Fauna:

white faced monkeyBarva Volcano, an active volcano, is the highest peak within the park. The cloud forest near this active volcano is home to a variety of frog and toad species, including strawberry poison arrow frogs, red-eyed tree frogs and the currently endangered Bufo holdridgei toad. There are about 6,000 plant species in the park. While hiking you will enjoy watching howler monkeys, spider and white-faced monkeys and also coatimundis. This park is also home to the different species of birds including gold finches, hummingbirds, scarlet-rumpled tanagers, and resplendent quetzals and this will attracts the bird watchers. You will also spot some mammals like jaguars, white-faced monkeys, coati, peccaries, raccoons, deer and tapir inside the protected zone of the park.


In Braulio Carrillo National Park there are no reliable accommodations but you can go for a easy day trip from San Jose or a great place to stop on your way to Limon and the Caribbean beaches.

It will be best to view volcano craters is early in the morning before they are obscured by mist and clouds, so you could visit one before heading to Braulio Carrillo National Park

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