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Costa Rica National Parks / Central Region / Tapantí & Orosí Valley

Tapantí National Park & Orosi Valley

Costa Rica: Tapanti National ParkDistance from San José: about 35 km (22 miles) / about 1 hour
Opening hours: Daily from 5:00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Date of foundation: November 19, 1999
Size: 58.500 hectares
Hiking trails:

  • Sendero Arboles Caidos: about 2.5 km (1.7 miles) - 2 hours
  • Sendero Oropendela (named after the oropendula birds): about 1 km (0.6 miles) - 1 hour
  • Sendero Pantanoso: leads to a bathing spot at the Rio Grande Orosi
  • Sendero la Pava: 0.5 km (0.3 miles) - 20 minutes (leads to the 'Salto' and 'Palmitas' waterfalls)

The Tapantí national park is located in the wild and wet country on the rain forested northern slopes of the Talamanca Mountain Range, accessible from the town of Orosi on a gravel road in approx. 30 minutes. Although not a large refuge, there are reported over 150 rivers within it, which gives an indication of the area's wetness. It has two "life zones":
Lower mountain rain forest (lower mountain slopes) and pre-montane rain forest (lowlands skirting the lower slopes). The forests are home to forty-five species of mammals, including tapir, paca, red brocket deer, eastern cottontail, kinkajou, raccoon, white-nosed coati, white-faced monkey, mountain hare (conejo de monte), agouti and such cats as ocelot, jaguarundi and tiger cat (an endangered species). You'll also find some 260 kinds of birds here: Quetzals, sparrow hawks, hawks, goldfinch, doves, hummingbirds, parrots, and falcons, etc. From the ranger's cabin, a Quetzal nesting site can be seen. The visitor center is located close to the Rio Grande de Orosi and offers nice camping grounds.

Several hiking trails are open to the public and lead to different lookout points, waterfalls and feeder rivers of the Rio Grande de Orosi.

The Orosi Valley is located about one hour east of the capital San José. It is a scenic river valley with beautiful mountain views to the Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes and rolling hills covered with coffee plantations. The small Cachi lake provides hydroelectric energy for the valley.
The small colonial town of Orosi has maintained its authenticity and is the perfect base for excursions in the valley. It was named after a Huetar chief who lived here during the Spanish conquest. The colonial architecture of Orosi is in pretty good shape compared to other towns and cities who suffered far more by Costa Ricas frequent earthquakes. The oldest church in Costa Rica, built in 1743 by the Spaniards, with the adjoining museum of religious artifacts, statues and vestments from colonial times is located in downtown. Orosi is the ideal base to explore the wild life of the Tapanti National Park, go fishing Trouts in Purisil or just sit on the porch of one of the small typical 'Soda' restaurants, sip a fresh tropical fruit drink and watch the village life.

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