The Costa Rican Times continues its best unknown places in Costa Rica to visit when you are travel to the land of Pura Vida. I have been down in Costa Rica a while and had never heard of this to experience the beauty of the country.
Costa Rica’s Barra Honda area is home to one of the last tropical dry forests in the world! Found where the Nicoya Peninsula meets the mainland, the Tempisque Basin is an attraction very different than the nearby rain and cloud forests. This protected area is founded on limestone and full of small mountains and caves.
Nature enthusiasts, hikers, eco-tourists, spelunkers, and mountain climbers would love a visit to these protected caves and trails. The most famous feature of this national park of Costa Rica is the 40 limestone caverns with vertical entrances. That means the entrances are on the top and visitors climb down into them! The Barra Honda caves are in pretty good condition but you are required to go with a guide and prior permission from the parks service.
The caves range from a few feet to 780 feet deep! Until they were thoroughly explored in the 60s, the caves were believed to be volcanic because of the sound made by the bats exiting. The caves are open only during the dry season due to their potential to flood in the wet season.
The trails you will use to access the Barra Honda caverns provide a great opportunity to explore a rare habitat. You can find capuchin monkeys and cactus next to each other! There are some strange trees which flower only after dropping all their leaves! There are some species only found here such as the blind salamanders which evolved due to the complete darkness in below ground caves.
For those traveling on a budget there is the option of staying inside the national park, in the main ranger station. You must arrive before 8:30 or it will be locked. There are also cabinas and a camping area for you to stay overnight and enjoy a second day in the mystical Barra Honda park and caves!
By Kerry La