Diria Park in the province of Guanacaste is close enough to the beaches for a day trip, yet far enough into the jungle to get a good amount of hiking done.
The lower elevations of Diria National Park is what is often referred to as a dry tropical forest, but the higher elevations of the park are humid. There are many different species of plants and animals in Diria, and of the animals there are deer, howler monkeys, anteaters, white-faced capuchins, iguanas, giant blue morpho butterflies, peccary and more than 130 different kinds of birds that can be seen. The animal life of Diria is substantial, but the real focal point that piques the interest of most biologists or ecologically minded people is the plant life.
There are a number of species of plants in Diria National Park that cannot be seen in many other places in the world, because these plants are only found on the Nicoya Peninsula in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Plants such as the Pitcairnia Bromeliad and the Stenocereus cactus are only found in this part of the world. There are also a number of tree species that are quite rare in Diria.
Another great feature of Diria National Park is that there aren’t large swaths of tourists in the area. Many people opt to go to some of the other parks with a stronger reputation. Monteverde, Rincon de la Vieja and Arenal attract a lot of attention thus making Diria an overlooked and somewhat underrated locale for an excursion. A day trip to the area would be well worth it for the experience of having the forest paths to yourself alone, and yet there are still a number of other good reasons to visit Diria.
Towns nearest to Diria National Park include Santa Cruz and Nicoya, and are the best points from which to procure provisions for the trip. Diria can be reaches in a number of ways consisting of a rental vehicle, taxi or mini bus, but if you are going to rent a vehicle, four wheel drive is recommended. Some of the things you may want to bring with you include hiking boots, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellant, binoculars, rain gear, long pants, shorts and a camera. You can adjust the list as the season permits.
Location: Diria National Park
Items to bring: hiking boots, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellant, binoculars, rain gear, long pants, shorts, a camera
Species of fauna: deer, howler monkeys, anteaters, white-faced capuchins, iguanas, giant blue morpho butterflies, peccary, more than 130 species of birds
Species of flora: Pitcairnia Bromeliad, the Stenocereus cactus
Cities/towns nearby: Santa Cruz, Nicoya
Ways to get here: rental car (4×4), taxi, mini bus