Distance from San José: 264 km (165 miles) / about 3 hours
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / Closed on Mondays!
Date of foundation: May 10, 1973
Size: 14.085 hectares
Las Pailas Sector
The park has been named after the active volcano Rincón de la Vieja of an altitude of 1895 m (6217 feet) which forms part of the Cordillera Guanacaste. The main attraction of this national park of 14.000 hectares is the Las Pailas Sector with bubbling mud pools, geysers and sulfuric springs which can be visited during a 2-hour track on a well-marked hiking path. Also possible are extended hikes through dry savannah and mountainous forests in order to reach hidden waterfalls. To climb up to the crater is only possible to a limited extent due to the strong downslope winds. The vegetation changes with the altitude from premontane mountain forest to cloud forest. The tree line is located at about 1600 m (5250 feet). The national flower of Costa Rica, the orchid Cattleya Skinneria or “Guaria Morada” can be found abundantly here.
Animals to be spotted regularly are pacas and agutis (large rodents). Also armadillos, coatis, howler monkeys, iguanas, numerous reptile species and a large variety of birds can be seen.
The access to the Las Pailas Sector is located 25 km (15.6 miles) northeast of Libera. From the Panamerica just after Liberia, an almost completely paved road leads for about 20 km (12.5 miles) to the national park. At a crossing, turn right to the entrance which is marked as “Curubandé/Rincón de la Vieja/Las Pailas”.
The Santa María Sector used to be one of the largest haciendas of the region, from the end of the 19th century until 1973. Especially cattle breeding and milk production, but also coffee and sugarcane cultivation are the main sources of income. The sector is home to the Miravalles volcano, in the surroundings the village of San Jorge and the regions around the Río Tempisque are worth a visit.
The La Anita Rainforest Ranch in the north of Costa Rica and about 2 hours from Libera, is located close to Aguas Claras and the Rincón de la Vieja National Park, Santa María Sector.
The Buena Vista Lodge is located north east of Liberia, surrounded by a property of 1.600 hectares which mainly consists of primary forest and which offers an impressive diversity of flora and fauna.
The Borinquen Moutain Resort is located in the mountainous foothills of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano and offers a marvelous view of the mountains and the surrounding forests.
The Blue River Resort is about one driving hour from Liberia and located amidst tropical dry forest and surrounded by waterfalls and blue rivers.