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Hiking the Caribbean Side of Rincon de la Vieja

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Hike Costa Rica volcanoes inside the volcano national parks. Take a vacation adventure with park tours up Rincon de la Vieja through the rainforest, jungles, lava flows and swim in hot springs and waterfalls. See the famous Von Seebach crater.

The Caribbean side of Rincon de la Vieja is considered one Costa Rica's most beautiful rainforest national parks. The region adjoining the Caribbean side of the northern Rincon de la Vieja is made up of lush, green rainforest all year round and experiences almost 200 inches of rainfall annually. Inside the volcano national park, the average temperature is about 78°F/26°C. The dry season lasts from December to March with hot sunny days and magnificent sunsets. May to November is considered the rainy season, with sunny mornings and rainy afternoons. The rainy season is famous for its greenery, with tropical blossoms along the mountain slopes and plains.

Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, the only major resort/hotel in the area, offers guided hiking tours and many nearby eco-tourism excursions. This hotel is also becoming renowned for the unique natural mineral "green" hot springs, which is something only found here along the Caribbean side. Another unique feature of this area is the two gorgeous blue volcanic rivers that run down the Caribbean side of Rincon de la Vieja. Blue River Resort & Hot Springs features four large hot springs pools, botanical gardens, butterfly gardens and excursions to the unique blue volcanic rivers and waterfalls.

Using a guide to hike up the Rincon de la Vieja volcano from the Caribbean side is a must. It's an adventure, but please be aware that you must be in good physical condition to hike the crater of Rincon de la Vieja. Portions of the trail are steep and the adventure lasts from 6 to 8 hours.

The Blue River adventure tour to Rincon de la Vieja begins on private property and continues through Rincon de la Vieja National park. The trail winds through steep, thick, rainforest jungle. Animals are plentiful. You'll notice that different habitats are produced by the changing altitude and rainfall; the effects of the volcanic eruptions; and the type of slope. You'll pass through dry lava flows and many waterfalls, with opportunities to swim, including in blue volcanic rivers and hot springs.

The final physical change is dramatic. You'll hike over exposed lava rock and through the eerie volcano landscape. On a clear day, you'll be able to enjoy stunning panoramic views toward Nicoya and Nicaragua. At the top you'll find a gorgeous, cold freshwater lake.

You have two options as you approach the base of the crater, Von Seebach, along the north side. Based upon desire, time and weather conditions you may wish to hike to the top edge of the crater or stop here. It takes one hour and involves a steep ascent. Looking inside, from along the top edge of the crater, there is vertical 30 meter hole, filled with steaming acidic water.

Returning from the crater, you can take a detour along a different path for a dip in a gorgeous rainforest river containing natural mineral hot springs - a perfect way to end your adventure.

Before setting out, remember to pack snacks, plenty of water, a light coat for the rain and a change of clothes to accommodate the weather.

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