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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
The park have sent us their latest brochure which contains the trail maps, we have expanded the hiking maps here:
You can download the full brochure here:
The trail starts with a fun jungle rope bridge that is typical of Costa Rica.
A 3km (2 mile) flat loop that weaves in and out of thick jungle and open spaces.
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.
Although this is a 2 mile loop, we spent 3 hours on the trail because we were completely fascinated by the landscape.
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.
This trail allows you to see two of the Park’s spectacular waterfalls. The trail splits into two about half way into the hike.
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 Active Crater Trail (Sendero Crater Activo) allows you to hike up to the summit of the Rincon De La Veija volcano craters.
Check out our blog on the full day we spent hiking through this beautiful volcanic rain forest here.