May 6, 2016
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Everything you need to know about Rincon De La Veija National Park

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The name translates to ‘the old woman’s corner’ which refers to a local legend about a girl whose lover was thrown into the volcanic crater by her father. The girl then became confined to living on the mountain and was gifted with healing powers as a result.

About Rincon De La Veija
Rincon De La Veija National Park sits in a part of the Guanacaste Province that has mountains rich in forest vegetation making this one of the best spots in Costa Rica to spot wildlife.

RIncon De La Veija National Park in Costa Rica

Rincon De La Veija National Park

The Rincon De La Veija volcano sits in the park giving it a unique volcanic terrain and unmissable angry earth such as hot steam vents and bubbling mud pots. The park covers 13,000 acres of unspoiled Costa Rican rain forest and there are numerous trail paths that give full exposure to the angry earth below.

Getting there
The park is located in the North West corner of Costa Rica and is approximately 1.5 hours drive from the border of Nicaragua. Nearby cities are Liberia, Playa Hermosa and Playa Flamingo.
There are two entrance points to the park, the Las Palais Ranger Station and the Santa Maria Ranger Station. Both are shown on the map below.

We did not have access to a car and chose to stay in Liberia where our most accessible entrance point was the Las Palais Ranger Station.

  • Round trip transportation can be arranged with several hotels and hostels in Liberia for around $16-25.
  • We booked with Hotel Guanacaste for $25 for two people.

Fees

  • The park entrance fee is $15 per person. This will be paid at the Park’s Ranger Station.
  • You also need to pay 350 Costa Rican Colón (approx. $0.65) to use a private road to access the park, we gave this to our driver as he was approached by a guard around 15 minutes before arriving at the Ranger Station

Arriving at the park
Las Palais entrance
Pay the entrance fee here which is $15 per person. The park ranger will hand you a paper map advising that there are four hikes you can take.

  • Las Palais trail to an area of steam vents and bubbling mud
  • A hike to 2 different waterfalls which splits half way
  • The Volcano trail that takes you right by the active and inactive crates which was closed (October 2015) due to increased volcanic activity

Be sure to look out for signs at the Ranger Station and throughout the park.

Warning sign increased volcanic activity Costa Rica

One of the warning signs at the Ranger Station

Park Map and Brochure
The park have sent us their latest brochure which contains the trail maps, we have expanded the hiking maps here:

Map RIncon De La Veija

Map of the trails from the Las Palais entrance

You can download the full brochure here:
Brochure PNRV

Summary of hiking trails

Las Palais Trail
A 3km (2 mile) flat loop that weaves in and out of thick jungle and open spaces.

Las Palais hiking trail map, Rincon De La Veija National Park, Costa Rica

Map of the Las Palais Trail

The trail starts with a fun jungle rope bridge that is typical of Costa Rica.

A picture of a jungle rope bridge in the Rincon De Le Veija National park in Costa Rica

Rope bridge at the start of the trail

This trail is perfect for fans of volcanic activity and non-strenuous hikes. Though the terrain is rocky and potentially slippery with thick tree roots and uneven path ways, this is the most popular hike in the park.

Hiking the Costa Rica jungle in Rincon De La Veija National Park, a typical example of the terrain in the Costa Rica rainforest

Tree roots cover the trail paths throughout the park

It is a great way to get a taste of what volcanic Costa Rica has to offer. You will see bubbling mud pots, steam vents and colourful clay. If you’re as lucky as we were, you’ll hear a rumbling Volcano!
Volcanic laguna hot spring Costa Rica

Laguna Fumerolica

Although this is a 2 mile loop, we spent 3 hours on the trail because we were completely fascinated by the landscape.

The Waterfall Trail (Sendero de las Cataratas)
This trail allows you to see two of the Park’s spectacular waterfalls. The trail splits into two about half way into the hike.

Waterfall trails Rincon De La Veija National Park, Costa Rica

Map of the Waterfall trails

You can choose to see the Catarata La Cangreja or Cataratas Escondidas. Both of the waterfall trails are tough with each one an approximate 12 mile round trip from the Las Palais Ranger Station. The pathway consists of slippery tree roots, steep hills, boulders and all sorts of wildlife including masses of bees, snakes and spider monkeys to name a few.
La Canreja waterfall in Rincon De La Veija National Park in Costa Rica

La Cangreja Waterfall

One route (deep purple to ‘7A’) takes you to the La Cangreja waterfall and the other (green) takes you to Cataratas Escondidas. We hiked to La Cangreja which took around 6 hours in total there and back. This also included a 45 minute rest stop at the waterfall.

The Volcano trails

The Active Crater Trail (Sendero Crater Activo) allows you to hike up to the summit of the Rincon De La Veija volcano craters.

Volcano trail map, Rincon De La Veija National Park, Costa Rica

Map of the Volcano Trails

This trail was closed when we visited the park and it will probably remain closed for the foreseeable future until volcanic activity eases. We could hear the rumbling from as far as the Catarata La Cangreja waterfall so you won’t miss out entirely if this is what you wanted to experience.

Check out our blog on the full day we spent hiking through this beautiful volcanic rain forest here.

Article Categories:
Central America · Costa RIca · National Park

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