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The National Park ¨Rincón de la Vieja


The national park ¨Rincón de la Vieja¨ is located in the mountain range of Guanacaste, in the province of Guanacaste and Alajuela, 27 km Northeast of the city of Liberia.
It was created by the law no. 5398 of October 23, 1973. It has an area of 14.083.9 hectares.

One of the great advantages of this wildlife area is the protection of hydrografic river baisins. Here you will probably find the biggest wild-living population of the national floor, the ¨guaria morada¨. Because of its attractions, the park is of great touristic potential, especially because of the beautiful scenery and the geologic features.

The mountainous massive of the Rincón de la Vieja, which is 1.916 meters high, is made of a compound structure. On the mountain peak, nine eruptive points have been identified, an active one and the other ones inactive or in the process of degradation. In the South of the crater you´ll find a pure water lagoon.

The last period of strong eruptions, with the ejection of huge ash clouds, earthquakes and subterranean grumble, took place between 1966 and 1970. The latest eruptions occured in 1983, 1984 and 1991. Nowadays the Rincón de la Vieja shows vapor activity.

At the bottom of the mountain, on the Southern side, you´ll find the areas of Las Pailas and Las Hornillas, which cover an area of about 50 hectares. There are thermal springs, too, and this is why hot water canyons and lagoons arise here. They originate in small depressions in which the muddy water bubbles continuously. You can also find orifices through which beams of vapor emanate, particularly during the rainy season; and small capot volcanoes, in different forms and dimensions.

The Rincón de la Vieja features various habitats, due to the differences in altitude and precipitation and as an effect of the volcanic eruptions and the position. In the lower parts, some of the most common trees are the laurel, the guanacaste, the aceituno, the ardillo, the indian desnudo (Spanish for: ¨the naked Indian¨), the cedar and the white capulín.

In the intermediate parts of the massif, between 1200 and 1400 above sea level, the most common trees are the copey, the cuajada, the jícaro danto, the papayillo, the burío ratón, the yos, the iguano, the oak, the mata-gente (Spanish for: ¨kills-people¨) and the white cypress.

About 1400 meters around the hilltop, the trees are of low growth, very ramified and covered with moss and toras epífitas. One of the most common species is, for example, the copey. The volcanoe´s peak is covered with ash and you won´t find much vegetation, some of the plants there are the copey and the sombrilla del pobre (Spanish for: the umbrella of the poor).
The copey can sometimes be found adorning the nearly pure forests, where the big cat, the danta, the gongolona and the black turkey are prevalent.

In this park 257 species of birds have been detected: the calandria, the peacock, the goldfinch, the oriole of Montezuma, the riverside swallow, the tucancillo or curré verde, the black widow, the hummingbird, the eagle owl, the white foreheaded parrot and the guaco.
Some of the mammals are: the mountain gota, the saíno, the guatuza, the tolomuco, the armadillo, the apiarist bear, the two fingered sloth, the congo ape and the barnacle goose. There are a lot of insects, such as beautiful butterflies of various species.

 

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