Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Alajuela

There is a reason that Juan Castro Blanco National Park is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica; it has attractions and activities to satisfy a wide range of interests. Of course, the location of the park in the middle of an area abounding with other tourist destinations makes it easy to see the maximum amount of sights with a minimum amount of travel.

History and Archeology Highlights

If you enjoy learning about the history of places you visit, Juan Castro Blanco National Park has a wealth of ancient history of former civilizations told through its archaeological sites. With the average temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round, you can explore in comfort.

A Premier Eco Travel Destination

Juan Castro Blanco National Park is beloved by avid bird watchers and is a great place to see unspoiled rain forests. The park’s extensive trail system traverses over 35,000 acres and allows for wildlife viewing up close. Dedication to preservation makes it possible for visitors to view a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

Even though the park is popular, it offers a low key setting in which to view an array of birds and mammals. The park is home to 233 bird species and 57 mammal species. Bird watchers are treated to sitings of peacocks, quetzal, black turkeys, and falcons. Several monkey species found in Costa Rica are also in the park.

Volcanoes and Geothermal Activity

Hot springs that lead to rivers are situated throughout the park and are just a glimpse of the geothermal activity in the area. Juan Castro Blanco National Park has three volcanoes within its borders. The tallest is the Porvenir Volcano at 7,438 feet in elevation. The Platanar Volcano summit measures 7,162 feet high, and the El Viejo Volcano is 6,962 feet tall.

How to Get to Juan Castro Blanco

From San José, the capital of Costa Rica and the country’s largest city, take the highway to Alajuela Province and follow it to the city of Alajuela. From Alajuela, travel to Ciudad Quesada. The park’s main entrance is right outside the city.

Nearby Parks

Just east of Juan Castro Blanco National Park is Poas Volcano National Park. As it is both a wildlife sanctuary and home to an active volcano, check the status of park hours when planning your trip.

Braulio Carrillo

Braulio Carrillo National Park is also nearby and hosts a panorama of plant species and has an extensive trail system. The trails traverse through several elevation levels and life zone habitats. You are sure to see many of the 500 bird species that call the park home, including eagles, quetzals, and toucans. Approximately 150 mammal types live in the protected area of Braulio Carrillo as well, so you will have a great chance to see monkeys, tapir, coati, jaguars, and peccaries.

Take a Ride

Want to skim across a forest? Take the aerial tram at Braulio Carrillo and glide up to 170 feet above the forest floor and observe the unspoiled nature from above. When you are on the ground, watch out for the matabuey, the largest venomous snake in Costa Rica, which has been seen in Braulio Carillo.

The location of Braulio Carrillo with other parks such as Juan Castro Blanco and Poas Volcano National Park makes it easy to visit. The modest entrance fee in combination with its location just northeast of San Jose makes it convenient to visit. There are two entrances to the park right on the Guapiles Highway 32. The most frequented entrance is the Zurqui ranger station, as it has an information center. Make sure to take advantage of all of these recreational opportunities just outside San José the next time you visit Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Cloud Forest & Arenal Volcano Tour
6 Days / 5 Nights
Starting at $878 per person
Costa Rica Eco-Adventure Tour
12 Days / 11 Nights or 10 Days / 9 Nights
Starting at $2,352 per person

Where to Stay near Juan Castro Blanco National Park

Featured Hotel
La Terraza Guest House
Starting at $80 / night
Featured Hotel
Peace Lodge
Starting at $250 / night
Featured Hotel
Bosque de Paz
Starting at $120 / night
Featured Hotel
Poas Lodge
Starting at $53 / night
Featured Hotel
Finca Vibran Bed and Breakfast
Starting at $85 / night
Featured Hotel
El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Starting at $350 / night
Featured Hotel
Hotel Colinas del Sol
Starting at $84 / night
Featured Hotel
Hotel Mango Valley
Starting at $60 / night

Things to Do near Juan Castro Blanco National Park

Featured Activity
Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour
Starting at $89 / person