Hot springs and three volcanoes can be counted among the attractions at Juan Castro Blanco National Park in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Juan Castro Blanco National Park is a sizeable park at 35,000 acres centrally located in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica. Despite its size, Juan Castro is not frequently picked by tourists in Costa Rica probably due to the popularity of some of the other parks nearby. This plays well to the sect of people that wish to avoid the crowds that regularly gather at more prevalent destinations, and the park has plenty to offer its visitors with the volcanoes Platanar, Porvenir and El Viejo as well as hot springs and lots of hiking trails.
Just because Juan Castro Blanco National Park isn’t profuse with Homo sapien visitors doesn’t mean that there aren’t many other species of both flora and fauna flourishing on the park grounds and in the ether about the park. The park is filled top to bottom with animals in the highland forests and the river basins. Some of what you can expect to see in Juan Castro Blanco National Park includes bats, tapirs, coyotes, white-faced monkeys, peccaries, jaguarundis, anteaters, mountain goats, armadillos and pacas.
Juan Castro Blanco is a tiered rainforest preserve, meaning that it covers various areas and types of forests. There are quite a few varied ecosystems operating in Juan Castro. These inconstant plains of existence consist of very humid tropical-pre-montane transitional forest, very humid pre-montane-pluvial transitional forest, pre-montane pluvial forest, low montane pluvial forest and low montane very humid forest. Basically, this lends itself to a varied selection of animals and, especially, plants living in Juan Castro. Some of these plant species include aguacatillo, the balsa, laurel trees, epiphytes, parasites, mosses, palm trees, ferns, orchids, clusias and bromeliads.
The park can be reached via the city of Quesada, and is close to Zarcero and San Jose de la Montana. For the trip you may want to bring binoculars, a camera, hiking boots, sunscreen, a backpack and a water bottle. The best time of the year to head into Juan Castro Blanco National Park is during the dry season from December to May. If you happen to go in the rainy season, you’ll want to do so in a four wheel drive vehicle. You might want to take an ATV whether it is the rainy season or not.
Location: Juan Castro Blanco National Park
Items to bring: binoculars, a camera, hiking boots, sunscreen, a backpack, a water bottle
Species of fauna: bats, tapirs, coyotes, white-faced monkeys, peccaries, jaguarundis, anteaters, mountain goats, armadillos, pacas
Species of flora: aguacatillo, the balsa, laurel trees, epiphytes, parasites, mosses, palm trees, ferns, orchids, clusias, bromeliads
Cities nearby: Quesada, Zarcero, Laguna, Alfaro Ruiz, San Jose de la Montana
Ways to get here:rental car (4WD), Taxi, Private Shuttle, Tour Bus