For nature lovers Costa Rica offers many natural wonders to discover :
majestic volcanoes, misty cloud forests, stunning river valleys, and hundreds of beaches…
And ecosystems to explore: variety of plant and animal species…
This 45000 acres Palo Verde National Park, on the banks of the Rio Tempisque, is one of the best wildlife and bird watching spots in Costa Rica.
This is a birdwatchers paradise, the most important concentration of birds in the country and Central America, as well as a perfect spot to see lots of crocodile, some monkeys, reptile and more than 200 bird species. Indeed, around 75 species of mammals, including peccaries, armadillos, deer, monkeys, and coatis roam the thickets. Palo Verde harbours Costa Rica’s largest population of jaguarundis, a brownish, small wild cat. 55 species of reptiles and amphibians are found, and the Tempisque river has the largest concentration of crocodiles in Costa Rica.
Boat trip (2h) on the river in the reserve: $65 per person (boat, entrance Park and lunch included)
What to bring: running shoes or sandals, camera, sunscreen and bug spray.
1h15 drive from the villa.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is established by the Costa Rica government in 1973, located 16 miles north from Liberia, it covers 1486 hectares. The name Rincon de la Vieja is translated as ‘Old Woman’s Nook’ and refers to the tragically romantic legend of a young girl named Curubandá whose lover was thrown into the volcano by her father, after which she became a recluse with healing powers.
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is composed of nine separate but contiguous craters, is the largest of five volcanoes in the Guanacaste Mountain Range. It is an active volcano (1895 m) . The volcano boasts a large number of fumerole, bubbling mud pots and hot springs on its slopes indicating substantial reserves of geothermal energy.The first recorded eruption of the volcano took place in 1765. Since then, many minor eruptions have occurred, the most recent in September 2011.
Hiking in Volcano: the spectacular hike starts in the tropical moist forest and as you climb, continues into low wet forest where the trees are covered with epiphytic vegetation.There are 257 species of birds that have been recorded and a great number of insect species; the park protects the largest population of wild purple orchid, Costa Rica’s national flower. This protected forest sits at the mouth of a volcano and is distinguished by bubbling mud pools, natural hot springs, and geothermal steam ascending from beneath the earth. A dramatic nearby waterfall enveloped in a lush jungle teams with wildlife, providing a natural backdrop to the scenic marvels of the area. There are easy and more challenging trails leading to the volcano.
$15 Park entrance
$15 Mud bath & Hot springs entrance
What to Bring: hiking boots or running shoes, hat, camera, sunscreen and bug spray.
2h drive from the villa.
An incredible and fascinating adventure that you will not forget!
Barra Honda, 2295 hectares, located 18 km from Nicoya, is unique among the National Parks of Costa Rica : its main attraction is an intricate large system of limestone caverns which house a multitude of capricious forms and figures (calcium carbonate formations) produced millions of years ago when ocean floor lifted.
The caves of Barra Honda were only explored in the late 60ies and until now only 19 of the 42 caves have been surveyed.
The caves of Barra Honda can be visited year-through: one of the largest and most beautiful caves is Terciopelo which along with la Cuevita, is the only one accessible for the public. Tours must be accompanied by two local guides. At the entrance to the cave you will be fit with a rappelling harness and helmet. The harness is only a security for the 17-meter descent on an aluminium ladder.
Hiking through Barra Honda: you can also just hike through the National Park. A network of trails leads through the dry tropical forest, one of the world’s rarest habitats. You might see deers, coatis, agutis, anteaters and monkeys.
$12 Park entrance
$37 caving tour p/p for a minimum of 2 participants.
A professional guide will accompany you. Children beyond the age of 10 are only allowed to the Cuevita cave.
What to Bring: hiking boots or running shoes, comfortable clothing and change of clothing, camera, bug spray.
1h15 drive from the villa.
If you have time to visit only one waterfall make it Lano de Cortés!
Nestled in the nature, to 22 km form Liberia, you will discover this beautiful and spectacular 12m-high, 15m-wide waterfall where you can spend your day swimming and exploring the surroundings. On weekends this is a popular Tico picnic spot, but on weekdays you’ll often have the waterfall to yourself.
Admission by donation. Proceeds help fund the local primary school.
What to Bring: hiking boots or running shoes, hat, camera, bathing suit, sunscreen and bug spray.
1h45 drive from the villa.
A kayak ride is the best way to discover this mysterious and unique ecosystem to the tropics. A wonderful experience!
South of Junquillal the road ends at the estuary of the Rio Nandamojo. A lagoon has formed behind the beach and mangrove forests extend inland. This sanctuary of over 200 hectares, is home to a huge variety of wildlife.
The kayak tour lets you observe closely, one of the richest and most important ecosystems on the planet, mangroves, and learn, the enormous direct and indirect benefits they provide to local populations.
The Nandamojo mangrove is part of the natural and cultural heritage of Junquillaleños and a place for recreation, for people of all ages. Sliding down the calm waters you can see many birds, crabs, mammals and fish, while listening to the birdsong.
$30 – 2 hours – including kayak and guide
What to Bring: hat, sunscreen and bug spray
10-15 minute drive from the villa.
The Rio Celeste is one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular rivers!
The legend goes that the River owes its name to the fact that God, after painting the skies, cleaned his brushes in these waters!
Situated within the Tenorio Volcano National Park, the Río Celeste winds tumbles and crashes through a verdant rainforest. A trip here involves a moderately challenging, one-hour hike through the park’s secondary forest – an effort that is well worth the trip. Two rivers merge into one at Borbollones, a confluence where the minerals from the river and volcano meet and subsequently create the famous blue hue.
The upper area of the park is dominated by primary cloud forest, while the lower regions are carpeted with rain forest. The Tapir and the rarely seen Puma reside in the area.
After 750 yards fall of steps, you will reach the famous falls of the Celeste River.
This fast-flowing stream seems to tear the green hill before to fall 65 feet lower into a basin of such a sky-blue color that will bring out the most spontaneous expressions of wonder.
The awe-inspiring Rio Celeste (Light Blue River) is turned literally blue due to the emanation of sulfur from the volcano and precipitation of calcium carbonate.
$15 Park entrance
What to Bring: hiking boots or running shoes, camera, sunscreen and bug spray, rain clothes.
3h drive from the villa.
On your request, we can organize tour for you!
You will enjoy this amazing and unforgettable experience!
Highest season from August through December.
The beach of Ostional is the scenery for a rarely-seen biological wonder. Hundreds of thousand sea turtles come to Ostiona beach to lay their eggs into the black, volcanic sand.
The Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica was created in 1984 to protect one of the world’s most important nesting sites of the olive ridley sea turtle.
The largest “arribada” (Spanish word for arrivals) thus far recorded in Ostional, took place in November 1995 when a calculated 500 000 females came ashore.
During an arribada the turttles start arriving soon after sunset and keep coming until 6 am the next morning.
$10 tour with guide. 1h drive from the villa.
sea turtles lay their eggs into the sand of Junquillal. . The community maintains a hatching station in the center of Playa Junquillal and at night boys of the village patrol the beaches to protect the eggs from poachers.
From July – Februar,yJunquillal is very important for reproduction in the Pacific of Costa Rica endangered leatherback turtle, black and Loras area. Seeking to mitigate poaching of turtles and get increase the welfare of the local population Junquillal, Life Verdiazul Association takes up the project of conservation of leatherback turtles in the Pacific, to ensure optimal conditions for nesting turtles through active conservation community support.
$20 Tour to discover the turtle’s world and help turtle babies to go in the sea. 5-10 mn drive from the villa.