Guanacaste National Park - Costa Rica

This national park is located in the North of Costa Rica, close to the Nicaraguan border. The Santa Rosa National Park is west of the Interamericana highway and the Guanacaste National Park is east of the highway. The two parks form the biggest dry forest reserve of Costa Rica.

The highest elevations in the Santa Rosa National Park are the Volcano Cacao and the Volcano Orosi. The latter is with 1487 the lower one. It is extinct, no even a crater is longer visible. The Volcano is 1659 high, it is possible to ascend it. A good 4x4 vehicle is necessary to reach the ranger station at the foot of the volcano. The ranger station is positioned in an altitude of 1100 meters. From there it is a 2.5 kilometers walk through the cloud forest, to the top.

The best time for wildlife observation is during the dry season. The animals can be seen at the watering holes. Among the dry forest inhabitants are coatis, sloths, armadillos, pumas, peccaries and king vultures.

The national park contains several interesting trails and three research stations, each of them with overnight accommodations. The most important one is the Maritza Biological Station, in the center of the park.

Observing wildlife during the dry season...

The other stations are the Pitilla Station in the northeastern corner of the park and the Cacao Station. Which is situated on the southwestern slope of the Cacao Volcano.

Guanacaste National Park on the map

Guanacaste National Park on the map

Facts about Guanacaste National Park, Costa Rica

  • From the volcano Cacao one has a good view of Nicaragua.
  • Together with the Santa Rosa Nation Park the Guanacaste National Park forms the largest dry forest reserve in Costa Rica.