Rincon de la Vieja National Park: Costa Rica’s Volcanic Pride

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is most famous for its center of attraction, the Rincon de la Vieja. It is one of the active volcanoes in Costa Rica and is the largest among the five volcanoes that can be found in Guanacaste.

This national park stretches to up to 14,083 hectares and extends from 650 to 1,965 meters in elevation on both the Caribbean and Pacific flanks. These two sides of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park differ in climate. The Pacific side is dry while the Caribbean is wet year-round, giving multitudes of biodiversity, vegetation and wildlife to the pristine park.

While the park is best town for this andesitic volcano, the Rincon de la Vieja National Park is also popular for its flaura and fauna as well as its various ecosystems.

The Rincon de la Vieja
The last recorded serious eruption of the volcano was in the year 1983 but a recent notable release of acid gases and lava was in 1991. The last eruption was recorded in the year 1998.

Standing at a height of 6, 296 feet above sea level, the Rincon de la Vieja is home to nine craters, each characterized by its size and appearance. Among these nine craters, below are the two major ones:

Santa Maria– it is the highest peak of the volcano but known to be the most dormant of all the volcano’s craters. This crater is dotted with forests home to the famed quetzals, tapirs and linnets.

Von Seebach– commonly known as the Rincon de la Vieja crater, Von Seebach remains to be an active crater which continuously brings out steam.

Visitors who are ambitious enough can trek the volcano’s summit and back for an entire day. A one-way trek would usually last for 4 hours. It can be quite a challenging hike but the view from the top is more than worth the workout.

More to See in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Sendero Encantago

This trail of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park leads to the dwarf cloud forests which is home to myriads of guaria morada orchids, Costa Rica’s national flower.

Las Pailas
This area houses 50 hectares of mud volcanoes, hot springs and boiling thermal waters, vapor and sulfur dioxide & hydrogen sulfide geysers. The mud and minerals in this part of the park are widely used for cosmetology.

Los Azufrales

After a long hike and hours of walking along the park, the hot sulfur springs at 42 degrees Celsius are there for you to bask in and benefit from the curative elements in it.

Hidden Waterfalls
Four continuous waterfalls can be seen in the Agria Ravine. If you want to bathe in it, there’s  small basin hole at the bottom of one of the falls.

The Park’s Fauna
The Rincon de la Vieja National Park
has acted as one of the wildlife refuges of Costa Rica. As you walk along the trails, there are a lot of bird, insect, reptile and mammal species that can be spotted in different areas. The endangered squirrel monkeys alongside the capuchins, white-faced monkeys, two-toed sloths, armadillo, vampire bats, agouti, ground anole, boa constrictor, spiny green lizard and the black ctenosaur are some of the inhabitants of this nature sanctuary.

A day may not be enough for you to explore the beauty that is Rinco de la Vieja National Park. There’s simply too many or much to see once you set foot in this Costa Rican jewel. So if you want a good volcano trek and nature-inspired hiking, make sure to visit this treasured park of Guanacaste.


Getting to Ricon de la Vieja National Park
Flying into the Liberia International Airport at the capital of Guancaste is the easiest take off point to get to the park. From Liberia, take the route of the Panamerican Highway driving all the way through Cercedo and onto the village of Curubande.


Places to Stay Near Rincon de la Vieja  

Hotel Borinquen Mountain Resort

Hotel Nahua

Chachagua Rainforest Hotel & Hacienda


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