Added by Lindsay Cameron

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.

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildlife

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