|Rincón de la Vieja National Park was created
by law No. 5398, on the 23rd of October, 1973. Located in Guanacaste and
Alajuela provinces, it covers a little over 14, 083.9 hectares. With 26°C
of temperature and 2000 mm rain fall average.
Rincón de la Vieja is one of the protected areas within the Guanacaste Conservation Area (ACG.), along with Guanacaste and Santa Rosa National Parks, Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge and the Horizontes Forestry Station.
To make management and oparations more efficient, Rincón de la Vieja National Park has been split into two sectors, Las Pailas and Santa María.
Las Pailas Sector owes its name to the volcanic features found here, which include fumaroles, mud pots, and steam vents.
Santa Maria Sector, from the end of the 19th century until 1973 was one of the largest haciendas of the region. Cattle raising (for both meat and milk) was the principal purpose of the hacienda, along with cultivation of coffee and sugar cane.
||Ways of access:|
Las Pailas Sector is located about 25 km northeast of Liberia. Travel
north on the Inter-American Highway, 5 km from Liberia to the community
of Guadalupe, then take the gravel road to the east, for 20 km.
|Flora and fauna:|
Due to the range of altitudes, rainfall and ages of volcanic ash fields,
there is a good variety of vegetative formations on Rincón's slopes
and craters. On the highest forested slopes the trees become dwarfed,
gnarled, and covered with moss mats, which provide arboreal soil for orchids
and other epiphytes. Rincón is, also, a protected refuge of a large
population of the lovely national flower of Costa Rica, the Guaria Morada
orchid (Cattleya skinerii). Representative trees include Laurel (Cordia
alliodora), Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), Cedro Amargo (Cedrela
odorata), the Naked Indian Tree, (Bursera simarouba) and the Copey, (Clusia
sp.). Common mammals include collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), agoutis
(Dasyprocta puntacta), tayras (Eira barbara), ninebanded armadello (Dassypus
novecinctus), white-faced monkeys (Cebus capuccinus), howler monkeys (Alouatta
palliata), and spider monkeys (Ateles gefroyi)
|Geology and Hidrology:|
Approximately 600,000 years old, the massive Rincón de la Vieja
volcano is a complex geological structure, consisting of at least nine
volcanic cones. The rim of the most active crater is at 1806 meters; its
sides are nearly vertical and are barren of vegetation. Santa María
crater is the highest at 1916 m. It is presently inactive and has some
vegetative cover. Along the south side of the volcano there is a zone,
where hot springs, mud pots, and steam and sulfer vents are found.
Mighty Rincón de la Vieja stands astride the continental divide, separating Atlantic from Pacific watersheds in the northwest zone of the country. Its height and location make it a veritable "water factory" one which has been lending service for many years to the province of Guanacaste. Here are forever protected important watersheds that supply drinking water to the provincial capital, the city of Liberia. In total, thirty two rivers are born on Rincón´s flanks; among them the Colorado, Blanco, and Ahogados Rivers. Additionaly, there are sixteen intermittent creeks, that flow only during the rainy season. Many of these streams are tributaries of the Tempisque River, the largest river in the province of Guanacaste.
Las Pailas Sector: Las Pailas Trail, Blanco River Pool, Hidden Waterfalls,
The Crab Waterfall, Active Crater Trail, Las Pailas to Santa Maria Trail
* Trails vary in length from about 1 to 8 km. Please, never leave the