Piedras Blancas National Park in Costa Rica
Found across the Gulf of Sweetness (Golfo Dulce) from Corcovado National Park, Piedras Blancas National Park in Costa Rica is teeming with wildlife.
Snakes, snakes, snakes…oh and lots of migratory birds can be found in the dense underbrush and treetop canopies of Piedras Blancas National Park. The park is home to many types of wildlife, but numerous visitors to Piedras Blancas have noted that snakes are prolific. The park is also an important stopping off point for a plethora of birds migrating south for the winter. From the high altitude evergreen forests to the stunning beaches and uninhabited bays, this 15,200 hectares (37,506 acres including land and sea) national park is a magnificent place with waterfalls and pristine river watersheds to boot.
A large number of differing species call Piedras Blancas National Park home, at least for a time in the winter if not for their entire lives. There are 360 different species of birds such as the white hawk, the two-colored toucan, scarlet macaws, quetzals and the short-beaked pigeon in Piedras Blancas. Some mammals to be found in the park include howler, white-faced, spider and squirrel monkeys; the raccoon, the coati, the paca, the jaguar, peccaries, Central American agoutis and ocelots.
The forest is primarily tropical rainforest close to the shores of Golfo Dulce. Moving further inland the elevation changes the make-up of the park’s botanical inhabitants. The park is home to more than 500 tree species, mosses, epiphyte plants and a large variety of ferns. Some of the trees to be found in Piedras Blancas include the wild cashew, the ceiba (reaches up to 70 meters in height), the shortleaf fig, the javillo, the golden fruit and the red guacimo.
Piedras Blancas has an elongated rainy season for Costa Rica, and travelling to the park in the wet season from May to February might be more complicated than in the dry months of March and April. A four wheel drive vehicle is recommended. Some of the cities that can be found in the area include Golfito, Piedras Blancas and Ciudad Neilly, and the domestic airlines of Nature Air and Sansa Air both fly to Golfito. What you might want to bring with you for the trip could consist of hiking boots (made with thick rubber for the snakes), a flashlight, insect repellant, sunscreen, a swim suit, snorkel, flippers, scuba gear, a mask, binoculars and a camera.
Location: Piedras Blancas National Park
Items to bring: hiking boots, a flashlight, insect repellant, sunscreen, a swim suit, snorkel, flippers, scuba gear, a mask, binoculars, a camera
Species of fauna: the white hawk, the two-colored toucan, scarlet macaws, quetzals, the short-beaked pigeon, howler, white-faced, spider and squirrel monkeys; the raccoon, the coati, the paca, the jaguar, peccaries, Central American agoutis, ocelots
Species of flora: the wild cashew, the ceiba (reaches up to 70 meters in height), the shortleaf fig, the javillo, the golden fruit, the red guacimo
Cities nearby: Golfito, Piedras Blancas, Ciudad Neilly
Ways to get here: plane, rental car, private shuttle, tour bus