Hike along a volcano in Costa Rica’s famous national park, Rincon de La Vieja
An expansive national park with an ancient volcano at its heart, Rincon de la Vieja is easily accessed from Tamarindo and seemly has no end to the activities and adventures available within its borders.
At the base of the volcano, an extensive network of trails and paths lead visitors through tropical dry forest and rainforest-like vegetation, which opens up to crashing waterfalls, volcanic craters, smoking fumaroles, bubbling cauldrons of mud and steaming hot springs. It’s also the natural habitat for deft howler monkeys, iguanas, curious rodents and tons of exotic birds that are only found in this part of the world.
Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas has organized a unique and exciting tour to this natural refuge, including a hike through the gorgeous national park, a visit to the exceptional Oropendola waterfalls and a relaxing dip in the healing hot springs.
Included: transportation, entrance to Rincon de la Vieja National Park, entrance to the waterfalls, entrance to the hot springs, lunch, refreshments
What to bring: sunscreen, hat, swimsuit, towel, sunglasses, camera, good closed-toe walking shoes or sport sandals, such as Tevas
Suited for: all ages; people in good physical condition, as some walking is required
Waterfalls and hot springs, oh my!
Your Rincon de la Vieja hiking tour takes you on a journey through a beautiful part of Costa Rica. You’ll walk through the tropical dry forest, exploring old-growth native trees that are alive with the calls of birds and the ocean breeze that rustles their leaves. You’ll notice this part of the country is teeming with farms – thanks to the rich, fertile soil caused by past volcanic activity, it’s a popular place for cattle ranching and other types of agriculture. Don’t be surprised if you see cowboys on horseback, called sabaneros, herding cattle across the plains.
But first, you’ll have to get there. We’ll transport you in a comfortable, air conditioned vehicle to the entrance of the park. Rincon de la Vieja is about 1 hour, 45 minutes from Tamarindo – just outside of the city of Liberia, where the international airport is located, in the province of Guanacaste.
Your trek into the national park will lead you to the Oropendola waterfall, which cascades down 25 meters (82 feet) into a swimming hole bordered by high rock walls. Eventually, the Oropendola feeds into the mighty Colorado River – no, not the same one that winds through the Grand Canyon. If you want, you can strip down to your swimsuit here for a refreshing dip in the cool water. Dry off under the sun while you listen to the sound of the crashing water before carrying on.
Next, you’ll arrive at the hot springs. Here, it’s time to get back into your swimsuit for a very relaxing soak in the warm, mineral rich water sourced from the volcano’s geothermal activity. Try to get your hands on some of the gray, clay-like volcanic mud, which is known for its detoxifying and anti-aging abilities. Paint yourself head to toe in the mud if possible, then have another refreshing rinse.
Here, you can take advantage of the facilities to dry off and change before heading back on the picturesque journey to Tamarindo.
After all this activity, you’re bound to be hungry, so we’ll treat you to lunch before making the trip back to Tamarindo.
Weather and other information about Rincon de la Vieja
Any time of year is great for visiting Rincon de la Vieja National Park. The weather is best for hiking between November and April, before the rainy season starts. During this time of year, you’ll be treated to dry days, but the temperatures can rise significantly between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so be sure to keep yourself hydrated.
There are plenty of other activities to do in Rincon de la Vieja, and we’d be happy to arrange a different tour for you if you request it. The park is home to adventure activities such as zip lines or canopy tours, white water rafting or tubing. You can also take a horseback ride through the hilly landscape and visit the famed Blue Lake of Rincon de la Vieja, with the exceptional Cangreja waterfall that falls into it. Copper deposits in the water here give the Blue Lake a bright, celestial color that will take your breath away.
We’d be happy to arrange a guided or unguided tour of Rincon de la Vieja for you and your partner, for your family, or your group. Please let us know your wishes so we can make it happen.