When it comes to seeing everything that Costa Rica has to offer, there's no better way than on foot. With thousands of trails winding through lush jungles and along the country's twin shorelines, Costa Rica offers hikers the opportunity to see the breathtaking scenery for which this Central American nation is famous. For some of the best hiking anywhere in the world, head to Guanacaste!
Santa Rosa National Park
The hiking trails of Santa Rosa National Park are not for the faint of heart - or motor vehicles, as the conditions here are notoriously rugged, offering a serious challenge for even experienced hikers. However, the main trail that runs from the center of the park to the beach at Playa Naranjo boasts spectacular views of the surrounding countryside as well as some of the best surf in Costa Rica at a spot called Witches Rock - well worth the effort! All in all, there are more than seven miles of trails at Santa Rosa National Park, so trekking through this area will take quite some time.
Barra Honda National Park
If you're planning a hiking vacation in Guanacaste, you're spoiled for choice for where to start. Barra Honda National Park is a must for serious hikers. Characterized by its extensive underground network of caves, which are home to tens of thousands of bats, Barra Honda also boasts a dry tropical forest, one of the rarest habitats in the world.
The highest point of the park stands at 450 meters, offering spectacular views of the surrounding flatlands. There are several hiking trails of various difficulties that wind through Barra Honda, and one of the park's main paths crosses the Rio Nacaome, where you can see rock pools and waterfalls.
Rincon de la Vieja
This area is renowned for its stunning waterfalls and its bubbling mud pots. Featuring almost six miles of trails, Rincon de la Vieja National Park is one of the most lush conservation areas in Guanacaste. The hiking in this park is a little easier, as the inclines tend to be more gradual, but it's still hard work for a little tree frog like me! Weather conditions can vary widely here - the lower hills are often arid and hot, while the upper slopes can be quite windy and rainy, even during the high season. Don't forget to bring a jacket! The main trail in Rincon de la Vieja is almost semicircular, and leads you around the breathtaking waterfalls and spectacular vistas of Catarata La Cangreja.
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