Costa Rica Hotel and Hot Springs
Rincon de la Vieja
Liberia, Guancaste, Costa Rica
(954) 688-3646 | (US) (506) 2206-5000 (CR)
(506) 2206-5505

Comparing the Pacific Side to the Carribbean side

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Tour Rincon de la Vieja through Blue River Resort

Read about Caribbean side of Rincon de la Vieja

What to Consider When Visiting the Pacific side of Rincon de la Vieja.

Rincon de la Vieja has two distinctly different sides for tourists to enjoy, each with entrances to the park. The Caribbean side is defined as being along the north boundary of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park and the Pacific side is along the west boundary. Your vacation here is all about ecotourism, with many places to visit, volcano tours and adventure. Ecotourism lodges, hotels and resorts are dotted all around the base or you can choose from many hotels in nearby Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

The weather along Rincon de la Vieja's Pacific side is similar to the beach resorts of Guanacaste – dry and hot. Contrast this with the Caribbean (north) side of Rincon de la Vieja with the more moderate climate and lush rainforest. On both sides, as you enter Rincon de la Vieja National Park you'll be in the rainforest. The park's changing elevation and geographic features provide for a great variety of weather, geography and animal habitats. However, there is a marked difference between the experience and activities available from either side of the Rincon de la Vieja.

The Pacific Side

Along the region along the Pacific side of Rincon de la Vieja is one of the hotter drier areas of Costa Rica, with more predictable seasons than the rest of Costa Rica. The land is dry tropical forest and open pastures for animals. There is less and more predictable rain.

From December to April (the dry season) the chance of rain is far less. However, if hiking into the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, it will be different. You'll enter the rainforest and ascend into the past. Rainforest means rainy, so expect to get wet, throughout year.

The rainy (green) season lasts from May to November. The rain can come down any day and is less predictable. However, it usually lasts a short duration and occurs during the middle afternoon. In July or August there is usually a two or three week dry spell called Veranillo de San Juan (saint Joseph's little summer).

The region around the Pacific side of Rincon de la Vieja is famous for cowboys and cattle ranching. Expect to see mostly dry open fields used for pastures and grazing cattle. This region was once all covered in dense, tropical, dry, forest. Now, most of the forest is sheltered within protected zones such as Rincon de la Vieja.

Tourism attractions first began along the Pacific side. Today, many hotels, resorts, mountain lodges, haciendas, and bed & breakfasts dot the roads leading up the entrances to Rincon de la Vieja's Pacific side. Most offer guided tours to Rincon de la Vieja and larger operations also offer excursions such as zip line canopy tours and horseback riding. It is the most popular one day tours as a place to visit for tourists in Guanacaste.

There are also numerous waterfalls in the area, the largest one being Oropendola Watersfall (25 meters) and La Victoria Waterfall (35 meters) which pour into the Colorado area. The geothermal activity in the area has also been harnessed to produce hot water pools and bubbling mud pools. After a long day of exploration, this can be very therapeutic for sore bodies.

Mountain biking is popular along the gravel roads near the park. Bikes are available for rent in Liberia

Hiking into the Rincon de la Vieja National Park begins well before the entering the actual park and there are several routes to choose from. Inside the park the Pacific side has two park ranger stations where you pass by and must pay the entry fee.

The hike begins well before entering the park and the ascent is more gradual. Upon entering the park, you will come upon rainforest. A unique marvel are the mud pots, and small mud depressions which bubble continuously, Homillas geysers release jets of steam (sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide), particularly during the rainy season; and mud cones in all shapes and sizes. The trails on the Pacific side of Rincon de la Vieja are well marked and its possible to make the hike without a guide.

From Liberia, The drive depends upon where you enter, so it ranges from approximately 25 to 50 km, much of it along gravel roads. > Getting There

Best Time of Year to Visit

Rincon de la Vieja can be visited all year around. There is more and less predictable rain, during the wet season. The Pacific side (just outside Rincon de la Vieja), receives less rain than the Caribbean side. The rain usually comes down around mid afternoon but these showers are a delightful part of the experience.

If you plan on hiking to the top of Rincon de la Vieja, the craters are often covered in cloud, especially later in the day. Plan to get there early since this obstructs the views. The fumaroles and boiling mud pots, which are popular places to visit, are found along the Pacific side, are most active during the wet season. Either time of year, check weather reports and leave early for the best chances for a day with no rain and clear skies. And remember, when hiking Rincon de la Vieja, bring lots of water, a light coat for rain and a change of clothes to accommodate the changing temperatures.

Summarizing Rincon de la Vieja Pacific Side

This Costa Rica park, Rincon de la Vieja, along the Pacific side is near Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica and the most popular places to visit for visitors in Guanacaste. The region is dry, but upon entering Rincon de la Vieja national park it becomes rainforest. Costa Rican tourism abounds here with adventure that includes volcano tours, hikes, zip lining etc. Many Costa Rica tourists come to this area.

There are many Rincon de la Vieja Hotels and Mountain Lodges in and around Guanacaste.
The Guanacaste hotels and national park hotels that border the Pacific side of Rincon de la Vieja are Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin and Hotel Borinquen.


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