Volcano! Scenic & exotic. Wildlife. Distance: 2.2mi loop (3.5kms). Duration: approximately 2 hours.

Rincón de la Vieja offers an immense variety of scenery and wildlife. The trail, Las Pailas, twists around the base of the volcano through jungle, geysers and low-dry foothills. The cinder cone volcano, Rincón de la Vieja (6217 ft/1895 m), is the main attraction.

From the ranger station, the trail plunges into the jungle. It will snake up and down (beware of lots of roots on the path) and between the most incredible trees you've seen. Eventually, the path will wander out into dry, flat lands with little tree cover. You will see several mud and water geysers. Finally, you will be taken back through the jungle to the ranger station. Along the way you may spot toucans, spider monkeys, lizards, turkeys, and many varieties of birds. If you're lucky, you may spot a sloth. The flora is beautiful!

You can get guided tours through the trail to describe plant life and wildlife. They will point out wildlife you didn't even know was there! There is so much about the trails/climate/wildlife that isn't obvious from just hiking. It also provides employment opportunities for locals, which is always a bonus.

There are other hikes in the 35,000 acre national park: one leads to Catarata la Cangreja (waterfall with a swimming hole!) and another leads to the Santa Maria Crater.

Note about the trail to Santa Maria Crater: the government sometimes closes the trail to the crater during phases when the volcano is particularly active.

Other notes: no camping allowed in the park. You may get rained on during rainy season (May to November). Entrance fee is $10 USD for one day. Park hours are 7am-5pm, but last hikers are admitted at 3pm.

Pack List

  • lots of water
  • $10USD park fee (they will accept the equivalent in colonies as well)
  • camera
  • bug spray
  • wear light clothing -- it will get hot!
Show More
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Features
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Swim at Llanos de Cortez, Costa Rica

Llanos de Cortez is a hidden gem in the northwestern portion of Costa Rica in the Guanacaste region.

53 Saves

Relax at Playa Conchal, Costa Rica

Concha is the Spanish word for "shell" and as the name states, you will find the whole beach is made up of tiny sea shells.

29 Saves

Climb into the Terciopelo Cave

Riddled with stygian chambers much like the holes in Swiss cheese, Barra Honda is unique among Costa Rica's network of national parks.

90 Saves