Hiking trails in Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park make for a memorable Costa Rican adventure

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Travelers preparing to head to the Central American nation of Costa Rica tend to have more active plans than simply lying on the beach and sipping a tropical drink. Indeed, the country is filled with many wondrous and beautiful jungles and national parks that long to be explored by hikers and other nature-loving travelers. For those vacationers who want to sample a little bit of everything that the nation has to offer on their hikes through Costa Rica, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park is a great place to start.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park

Spanning more than 122 square kilometers (over 34,000 acres), Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park is an expansive stretch of land located in the Guanacaste Conservation Area in the northwestern part of Costa Rica. The centerpiece of the large park is the Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Maria volcanoes, a pair of active andesitic volcanoes that tower above the largely flat area surrounding them.

Hikers Paradise

As one of the larger parks in Costa Rica, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park features a number of different ecosystems that will give hikers much to see on their journey. Within the park, trekkers will find dense tropical rain forests, open praries, hot springs, towering waterfalls and - of course - volcanic craters. As such, terrain can vary in difficulty greatly from path to path.

In addition to the grand sights and sounds of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park, hikers will also have the opportunity to witness a number of local animals and migratory birds known to frequent the park. This list can include cuter and friendlier creatures like sloths, tapirs and monkeys to more rare and exotic beasts like the jaguar or the resplendent quetzal.

Trekkers eager to witness some of the natural beauty of Costa Rica would be best served to hike to Blue Lake and Congrejo Falls, a 6.5 mile (round trip) route that will take intrepid travelers through a number of natural environments that are sure to make for lasting memories.