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Juan Castro Blanco National Park

The Juan Castro Blanco National Park is situated in the province of Alajuela, east of the city of Quesada. It is surrounded by the districts of Aguas Zarcas, Venecia, Zapote, Laguna, Tapezco, Palmira, Sarchí Norte, Toro Amarillo and Río Cuarto, among others. It comprises an area of 14.258 hectares and was created by the law no. 7297, on April 22, 1992.
This protected wildlife area features water resources of great importance for the northern area, for the human consumption and for the production of hydroelectric energy for example for the industrial consumption. The rivers Platanar, Toro, Aguas Zarcas, Tres Amigos and La Vieja, among others, arise here. The park comprises areas of primary forest inside of five different habitats with important species of flora and fauna.
In this national park, important geomorphologic characteristics have been found, such as craters, active volcanic focal points (Volcán Platanar), inactive volcanic focal points (Cerro Viejo and Cerro Pelón), alluvial sinkholes and formations of alluvial sedimentation.

The area’s vegetation is very diverse. Approximately 60% of the park are covered with primary forests, mixed with forest patches in regeneration.

You will find these forests in five different habitats, according to the Holdrige’s classification: the premountainous rainforest in transition to the prehumid one, the low-mountainous rainforest in transition to the very humid one, the premountainous very humid forest in transition to the rainforest, the low-mountainous rainforest and the premountainous rainforest.

Among the most common species you will find the oak tree and the quizarrá. In the higher regions the vegetation is stunted and covered with a huge quantity of epiphyte plants, characteristic of cold, windy and humid microclimates.

Among the fauna, the most common species are birds as the quetzal, the peacock, the black turkey and the chaco chachalaca; the predominant mammals are the mountain goat, two different monkey species, the amardillo, the tepescuinte, the tapir and different species of wild cats.


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