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Palo Verde National Park, Guanacaste

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The interesting blend of ecological systems at Palo Verde National Park is a result of the Rio Tempisque, which floods over the land located in a typically dry region.

A Bird Watchers Paradise

Perhaps the main attraction to Palo Verde National Park is the abundance of birds, many of which migrate from the Americas to the marshes created by the river flooding. Many of the tropical bird species located at the national park nest at the Isla de Pajaros (bird island) which is a small mangrove island situated on the river.

The island provides a safe nesting place for a significant number of bird species, including cattle egrets, wood storks, green-backed herons and anhingas. Other birds that tourists will be able to view during their visit to Palo Verde National Park include the white ibis, the black-bellied whistling-duck and the northern shoveler.

During the dry season, many of these birds tend to congregate around the remaining available water sources, so it may be a good idea to stake out a place near a pond or part of the river in order to get the best views of the birds.

Not Only Birds

In addition to the substantial number of bird species, visitors to Palo Verde National Park will also see their fair share of animals, including some of Costa Rica's treasured mammals like the howler and capuchin monkeys. White-nosed coatis and white-tailed deer can also be found within the park's grounds.

Bike the Park

One of the best ways to view the impressive wildlife located at the national park is by bicycle. Travelers are encouraged to rent mountain bikes from the Organization for Tropical Studies station in order to explore some of the less-viewed parts of the park. Due to the changing landscape and marshes in the park, it may be necessary to walk one's bike for some parts of the journey.

Boat up Rio Tempisque

Another unique way to enter Palo Verde National Park is by hiring a boat at the dock in the town of Puerto Humo, located on the Nicoya side of the Rio Tempisque. Travelers should ask their guide to take them by the Isla de Pajaros for an up-close look at the birds.
North Pacific Coast (Tamarindo Area) Map