Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja

Northwestern Costa Rica

Given its proximity to Liberia, this park (about 160 sq km) feels surprisingly uncrowded and remote. Named after the steamy main attraction – the active Volcán Rincón de la Vieja (1895m) – the park includes several other peaks in the same volcanic range, including Volcán Santa María (1916m). The park exhales geothermal energy, with multihued fumaroles, hot springs, bubbling pailas (mud pots) and a young, feisty volcancito (small volcano); all can be visited on foot along well-maintained, but sometimes steep, trails.

Most visitors to the park are here for the hot springs, where you can soak to the sound of howler monkeys overhead. Many of the springs are reported to have therapeutic properties. Several lodges just outside the park provide access and arrange tours. You can also book transportation and tours from Liberia.

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