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One of the things most talked about by visitors to Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, at Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in Costa Rica, are the hot springs. Beautiful and relaxing, the natural hot springs at the adventure eco-hotel flow from the largest volcano in northwest Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
“We enjoyed the hot springs, hiked to the waterfalls and were impressed by the surrounding nature,” wrote one guest on Hacienda Guachipelin’s TripAdvisor page. “We also visited the hot springs one morning – the hot springs were wonderful – we sat in pools on both sides of the river,” commented another guest.
Sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire – infamous for its profuse volcanic activity – Costa Rica has more than 200 volcanic formations. In Costa Rica’s northern Guanacaste plains, the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano is a massive 600,000-year-old geological wonder bridging the Continental Divide with nine volcanic cones. In and around the Rincón de la Vieja National Park, there are fumaroles, steam vents, bubbling volcanic mud pits, thermal springs and waterfalls.
Located very near the Las Pailas entrance to the national park, Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin has developed the hot springs at Rio Negro (“Black River”) with pools, trails, changing rooms, restrooms and lockers. The eco-hotel offers tours to the hot springs either by a fun horseback ride or by vehicle. Entrance is complimentary for hotel guests, or costs $15 for day visitors.
Surrounded by unique tropical dry forest, Rio Negro flows through seven man-made pools filled with steaming mineral-rich volcanic waters. Heated volcanic mud is available to smooth over your body like a spa “masque,” and after it dries, wash it off with cold river water before jumping back in the hot pools.
Only 13 miles from Liberia, Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin is one of the best places to stay in Guanacaste. The adventure park at Hacienda Guachipelin offers the best adventure tours in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Article by Shannon Farley
Four major waterfalls flow at Rincon de la Vieja by Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, and all of them have pools where you can swim in refreshing, pure water. Getting there is an adventure – either by hiking or horseback riding. Almost all waterfall tours from the Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Center last two to three hours, and are available between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Located near the Las Pailas entrance to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, the Oropéndola Waterfall plunges an impressive 82 feet (25 meters) in a beautiful canyon of the Rio Blanco (White River). The sparkling turquoise pool below makes for a refreshing swim.
How to get there: A 45-minute each-way horseback ride on a scenic trail, and short walk to the waterfall; or a 1.5 hour each-way scenic hike; or a 15-minute drive and short walk.
Two waterfalls cascade into a beautiful sky blue mineral water pool in this amphitheater canyon at Chorreras Waterfall. It is an excellent place for a cooling swim, or just to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
How to get there: A 25-minute each-way horseback ride on a scenic trail, and short walk to the waterfall; or a 45-minute each-way scenic hike on the same trail.
The 115-foot (35-meter) Victoria Waterfall on the Rio Negro (Black River) is where the river tubing trips start their adventure downriver. The surrounding canyon has unique vegetation and topography, and you can swim in the pool at the waterfall’s base.
How to get there: A 45-minute each-way horseback ride on a scenic trail, and a short, steep descent to the waterfall; or a one hour each-way scenic hike on the same trail.
The Cangreja Waterfall is located inside the Rincon de la Vieja National Park forest. Spilling 130 feet (40 meters) in a white ribbon of water out of the green forest, the waterfall forms a celestial blue pool at its base; its color comes from dissolved copper minerals from the volcano. The only way to get to this waterfall is by hiking 3 miles (5 km) into the national park; along the trail you might see wildlife like white-faced or howler monkeys, coatis, armadillos, Central American agoutis, iguanas, and birds like the Blue-crowned Motmot or the Emerald Toucanet.
How to get there: 15-minute drive to the national park entrance and then hiking.
One of the best times to visit Rincon de la Vieja is now in the green season (May to November) when the active volcano’s fumaroles and boiling mud pots are most active. The hiking is fantastic and Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin has the best Costa Rica adventure tours. Afterward, you can enjoy a warm volcanic mud bath and soak in Hacienda Guachipelin’s natural hot springs.
In green season, you can enjoy great Costa Rica travel deals at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 winner.
Article by Shannon Farley
The most visited National Park in Guanacaste is Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. Every year around 70.000 visitors enjoy the wonders of this national park.
The most visited trail in Rincon de la Vieja National Park is Las Pailas. The trail has a total distance of 3.5 km. The hike lasts around 2 hours.
The main reason to visit is the secondary volcanic activity, not to mention the waterfalls and the pristine rivers. The volcanic activity is manifested as mud volcanoes and fumaroles, a roaring little crater, hot springs, boiling mud pools, sulfur springs, lagoons full of boiling water. Other attractions are the 200 bird species, large mammals like the tapir, smaller mammals like howler monkeys, capuchin or white faced monkeys, spider monkeys, and more. Here are some recent pictures of the flora in the park.
Some important regulations to follow are:
The admission $10 per person. Las Pailas is open from Tuesday to Sunday. The entrance is open to visitors from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, but the parks closes at 5 pm.
The park was created by Law in October, 1973. Its has an extension is of 14.083.9 hectares. It is divided into two sectors: Santa Maria and Las Pailas.
There is a little convenience store at the park’s entrance. Things like bug spray, water, beer, ponchos, sunscreen, and snacks are sold. Free WIFI is also available. Very convenient to stay connected.
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is slowly becoming a renowned birdwatching destination. Hacienda Guachipelin has sponsored several bird counts. This year’s event will most likely take place in October.
Birds are now becoming another reason to visit the area.
Here we will share a bird list provided the naturalist guide Cesar Güell. Cesar is a professional guide graduated from a Costarrican official training program for naturalist guides. What Cesar most enjoys is to share his knowledge with visitors. He really enjoys a day full of nature in the park or in the surroundings. The bird count in the area exceeds the 200 mark, but Cesar in his past year has registered 65 birds in his own personal list. Come to Rincon de la Vieja and experience the wildlife of Costa Rica with Cesar.
|Bird list for Hacienda Guachipelin and Rincon de la Vieja National Park|
|Great Tinamou||Tinamus major|
|Thicket Tinamou||Crypturellus cinnamomeus|
|Slaty-breasted Tinamou||Crypturellus boucardi|
|Gray-headed Chachalaca||Ortalis cinereiceps|
|Crested Guan||Penelope purpurascens|
|Crested Bobwhite||Colinus cristatus|
|Neotropic Cormorant||Phalacrocorax brasilianus|
|Great Egret||Ardea alba|
|Cattle Egret||Bubulcus ibis|
|Green Heron||Butorides virescens|
|Black Vulture||Coragyps atratus|
|Turkey Vulture||Cathartes aura|
|White Hawk||Leucopternis albicollis|
|Roadside Hawk||Buteo magnirostris|
|Short-tailed Hawk||Buteo brachyurus|
|Crested Caracara||Caracara cheriway|
|Laughing Falcon||Herpetotheres cachinnans|
|American Kestrel||Falco sparverius|
|Gray-necked Wood-Rail||Aramides cajanea|
|Uniform Crake||Amaurolimnas concolor|
|Double-striped Thick-knee||Burhinus bistriatus|
|Red-billed Pigeon||Patagioenas flavirostris|
|White-winged Dove||Zenaida asiatica|
|Mourning Dove||Zenaida macroura|
|Inca Dove||Columbina inca|
|Gray-chested Dove||Leptotila cassini|
|Ruddy Quail-Dove||Geotrygon montana|
|Orange-fronted Parakeet||Aratinga canicularis|
|White-crowned Parrot||Pionus senilis|
|White-fronted Parrot||Amazona albifrons|
|Red-lored Parrot||Amazona autumnalis|
|Squirrel Cuckoo||Piaya cayana|
|Mangrove Cuckoo||Coccyzus minor|
|Lesser Ground-Cuckoo||Morococcyx erythropygius|
|Groove-billed Ani||Crotophaga sulcirostris|
|Pacific Screech-Owl||Megascops cooperi|
|Common Nighthawk||Chordeiles minor|
|Common Pauraque||Nyctidromus albicollis|
|Common Potoo||Nyctibius griseus|
|Northern Potoo||Nyctibius jamaicensis|
|White-collared Swift||Streptoprocne zonaris|
|Stripe-throated Hermit||Phaethornis striigularis|
|Canivet’s Emerald||Chlorostilbon canivetii|
|Blue-tailed Hummingbird||Amazilia cyanura|
|Steely-vented Hummingbird||Amazilia saucerrottei|
|Rufous-tailed Hummingbird||Amazilia tzacatl|
|Cinnamon Hummingbird||Amazilia rutila|
|Black-headed Trogon||Trogon melanocephalus|
|Violaceous Trogon||Trogon violaceus|
|Elegant Trogon||Trogon elegans|
|Orange-bellied Trogon||Trogon aurantiiventris|
|Slaty-tailed Trogon||Trogon massena|
|Tody Motmot||Hylomanes momotula|
|Blue-crowned Motmot||Momotus momota|
|Turquoise-browed Motmot||Eumomota superciliosa|
|Collared Aracari||Pteroglossus torquatus|
|Yellow-eared Toucanet||Selenidera spectabilis|
|Keel-billed Toucan||Ramphastos sulfuratus|
|Hoffmann’s Woodpecker||Melanerpes hoffmannii|
|Lineated Woodpecker||Dryocopus lineatus|
|Pale-billed Woodpecker||Campephilus guatemalensis|
|Ruddy Woodcreeper||Dendrocincla homochroa|
|Olivaceous Woodcreeper||Sittasomus griseicapillus|
|Ivory-billed Woodcreeper||Xiphorhynchus flavigaster|
|Streak-headed Woodcreeper||Lepidocolaptes souleyetii|
|Barred Antshrike||Thamnophilus doliatus|
|Spotted Antbird||Hylophylax naevioides|
|Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet||Camptostoma imberbe|
|Yellow-bellied Elaenia||Elaenia flavogaster|
|Ochre-bellied Flycatcher||Mionectes oleagineus|
|Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher||Poecilotriccus sylvia|
|Yellow-olive Flycatcher||Tolmomyias sulphurescens|
|Yellow-margined Flycatcher||Tolmomyias assimilis|
|Olive-sided Flycatcher||Contopus cooperi|
|Tropical Pewee||Contopus cinereus|
|Black Phoebe||Sayornis nigricans|
|Bright-rumped Attila||Attila spadiceus|
|Dusky-capped Flycatcher||Myiarchus tuberculifer|
|Nutting’s Flycatcher||Myiarchus nuttingi|
|Brown-crested Flycatcher||Myiarchus tyrannulus|
|Great Kiskadee||Pitangus sulphuratus|
|Boat-billed Flycatcher||Megarhynchus pitangua|
|Social Flycatcher||Myiozetetes similis|
|Streaked Flycatcher||Myiodynastes maculatus|
|Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher||Myiodynastes luteiventris|
|Piratic Flycatcher||Legatus leucophaius|
|Tropical Kingbird||Tyrannus melancholicus|
|Eastern Kingbird||Tyrannus tyrannus|
|Genera INCERTAE SEDIS|
|Masked Tityra||Tityra semifasciata|
|Three-wattled Bellbird||Procnias tricarunculatus|
|Long-tailed Manakin||Chiroxiphia linearis|
|Brown-capped Vireo||Vireo leucophrys|
|Red-eyed Vireo||Vireo olivaceus|
|Yellow-green Vireo||Vireo flavoviridis|
|Tawny-crowned Greenlet||Hylophilus ochraceiceps|
|Lesser Greenlet||Hylophilus decurtatus|
|Green Shrike-Vireo||Vireolanius pulchellus|
|White-throated Magpie-Jay||Calocitta formosa|
|Brown Jay||Cyanocorax morio|
|Rufous-naped Wren||Campylorhynchus rufinucha|
|Rufous-and-white Wren||Thryothorus rufalbus|
|Banded Wren||Thryothorus pleurostictus|
|Plain Wren||Thryothorus modestus|
|House Wren||Troglodytes aedon|
|Nightingale Wren||Microcerculus philomela|
|Long-billed Gnatwren||Ramphocaenus melanurus|
|White-lored Gnatcatcher||Polioptila albiloris|
|Tropical Gnatcatcher||Polioptila plumbea|
|Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush||Catharus mexicanus|
|Swainson’s Thrush||Catharus ustulatus|
|Clay-colored Robin||Turdus grayi|
|Yellow Warbler||Dendroica petechia|
|Gray-crowned Yellowthroat||Geothlypis poliocephala|
|Golden-crowned Warbler||Basileuterus culicivorus|
|Rufous-capped Warbler||Basileuterus rufifrons|
|Gray-headed Tanager||Eucometis penicillata|
|Red-crowned Ant-Tanager||Habia rubica|
|Red-throated Ant-Tanager||Habia fuscicauda|
|Blue-gray Tanager||Thraupis episcopus|
|Red-legged Honeycreeper||Cyanerpes cyaneus|
|Blue-black Grassquit||Volatinia jacarina|
|Olive Sparrow||Arremonops rufivirgatus|
|Stripe-headed Sparrow||Aimophila ruficauda|
|Botteri’s Sparrow||Aimophila botterii|
|Rusty Sparrow||Aimophila rufescens|
|Blue Grosbeak||Passerina caerulea|
|Eastern Meadowlark||Sturnella magna|
|Melodious Blackbird||Dives dives|
|Great-tailed Grackle||Quiscalus mexicanus|
|Baltimore Oriole||Icterus galbula|
|Scrub Euphonia||Euphonia affinis|
|Yellow-throated Euphonia||Euphonia hirundinacea|