Costa Rica: Day 5 – Rincon de la Vieja

(One of the coolest!!)

Never did I expect to spend a day where the earth steams, burps and weeps. But it does at Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja.

This national park covers 55 sq miles around a massive volcano (the book says it has nine craters!) and promises an abundance of wildlife along its variety of trails. We already vowed that we will bring our camping gear to do the 11-mile summit hike on our next trip (which we will follow with a night at the Hacienda Lodge Guachipelin). What we saw was absolutely amazing… and we could stand to see more!

PN Rincon de la Vieja Map

We chose to take a 3-hour hike to see the waterfall, mini-volcano, fumaroles, mud pits, and sulfur lakes. We wandered over rivers, through the woods, across tree bridges, up a mountain, through the groves and across the prairie.

The hanging bridges hadn’t lost their novelty yet.

Leaving this waterfall we heard our first live howler monkey call. I immediately thought of the velociraptor that attacked Newman in Jurassic Park. Wholly unnerving.

There were plenty of creatures to admire. See more at my Flickr gallery.

The dangerous fumaroles were popular spots for capuchin monkeys

They called this the Volcanito. A mini-volcano! It steamed and bubbled.

I never imagined anything like these mud pots, where grey, rain-softened mud bubbles and pops.

After the forest and the mud pots, we hiked into a sort of plains area, where we could see the profile of the volcano.

Volcanic rocks prove we’re near a volcano. Yay!

There are 51 photos in my Rincon de la Vieja set. Check ’em out!

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