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This park is both, similar and different from the others of the country and is located between Nicoya and the mouth of the Rio Tempisque, in the province of Guanacaste. It can be found near the Palo Verde National Park. Despite its small area of 23 km2, it offers visitors a flora that is out of the ordinary, a surprising fauna and 40 caves of soft limestone. According to studies, these cavities are more than 70 million years old, and some of them are deeper than 200 meters. However, of these 40 caves, only 19 have been fully explored. By visiting this park, you can easily fill your day by caving and by hiking after your exploration.
When entering these cavities, be prepared to see stalagmites and stalactites. However, be advised that a good physical condition is required. The cave that receives the most visits is the «Terciopelo». Its interior contains more concretions than all the others. But the most visible ones are: Santa Ana with its 161 meters deep; Tampa which is 110 meters with a precipice of 52 meters; Pozo Hediondo which has a depth of 240 meters. This third one houses 5000 bats, albino salamanders and blind fish. Pre-Columbian remains dating back 300 years before Christ were discovered in these caves.
You will also notice that the park contains trails that allow you to walk through a dry forest. The trees that make up this forest are mainly astroniumgraveolens, laurel, red gum(a eucalyptus species) and many others. These trails will allow you to walk 3.5 kilometers to reach Cerro Barra Honda, a hill that rises 420 meters above sea level. Once you are at the top, you will have a splendid view of the Rio Tempisque and the Gulf of Nicoya. During your walk, don’t forget to keep your eyes wide open to locate certain animals. Among others, you’ll see: howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, peccaries, coatis, red daguets. You’ll also have the opportunity to see birds, including the guan egret, the blue egret, the great blue heron, the cow heron, the peregrine falcon and many others. You can visit the park every day from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. However, the caves are only accessible from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.
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