The Costa Rica Gold Museum has an extraordinary collection of gold objects that reflect the worldview, social structure, and the gold of the pre-Columbian people of Costarrican territory.
The exhibition consists of 1600 pieces of pre-Columbian gold dating from 500 to 1500 AD. The introductory area interprets the cultural evolution of pre-Columbian cultures. This space also shows the development of metallurgy in Costa Rica, its stages and styles.
At the exhibition of gold pieces the visitors can appreciate the different uses and meanings of the gold.
This is a great place to visit while in San Jose and to learn about the Costarrican past cultures.
For ticket information visit www.museosdelbancocentral.org
Take advantage of this special offer. Every year, for the months of September and October, Hacienda Guachipelin brings the Green Season Special.
This special promo lets you stay at our hotel for a special rate of $36 per person. This rate includes a full breakfast buffet, free admission to Rio Negro Hot springs and an 8 am morning tour to the Serpentarium.
Hacienda Guachipelin is conveniently located at the entrance of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park. Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is active and it has lots of activity, primary and secondary. Rincon de la Vieja is also known as the Yellowstone of Costa Rica. Specially for all of its secondary volcanic activity. Fumaroles, vapor vents, boiling mud pots and boiling springs are just part of the beauties that guest will enjoy.
Animal life is another important part of the tour. There are more than 200 birds in the area, 3 types of monkeys, and large mammals like the tapir.
Hacienda Guachipelin offers transportation services to and from the International airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. It has 50 rooms and nice swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar. Every night there is marimba music played by local musicians.
Come and enjoy nature and culture with us at Hacienda Guachipelin, for just $36 per person.
This is a very special week in Costa Rica. We celebrate the 2nd of August the day of our Saint Patron “La Virgen de los Angeles“.
Costa Rica is very Catholic. As a matter of fact, Costa Rica is declared Catholic by its constitution.
The leyend about the Virgin say that on August 2 of 1635, a small stone sculpture was found on top of a stone by Juana Pereira. She was a poor mestizo lady that every morning woke up to collect fire wood. With great joy Juana picked up the treasure, never imagining that five times more would be found in the same place. The image disappeared from drawers, chests, and even the parish tabernacle, to return to the rock where she had been found. Then everyone understood that the Virgin wanted a place of prayer there where he could give his love to the humble and the poor.
In August, the Basilica is subject of an extensive pilgrimage and visitation. About 1.5 million believers throughout the country and many from out of the country join the celebration. Lots of them do a 22 kilometer walk to the basilica during the Romeria.
La Virgen de los Angeles was declared patroness of the Americas by Pope John Paul II. The Sanctuary is located in the community of Los Angeles in Cartago.
Many miracles have occurred through the intercession of the Virgin. Read this article that illustrates
I lace up my boots and clip snake-gators around my shins. I pull my machete from the leather sheath and whet it across the sharpener as the sky shifts from pale orange to blue. The iguana that lives in the roof, discontented with my noise; shuffles above me, his long toes scratching the tin. I glance over at the field bags and go through a mental check list of the equipment to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything: datasheets, compass, soil samplers, flagging, ziplocks, sharpies, caliper, DBH tape. Check, check, check. My research assistant, Juan, and I load the field equipment into the car and head down the bumpy dirt road.
I am in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and it is nearing the end of the dry season. It hasn’t rained since November. Occasionally a wispy cloud will dampen the sun’s strength and I’ll look up, confused. The dry season feels like a washed-out photo; everything is overly bright and I squint in search of contrast. My car’s dash board is covered in a thick film of dust from driving on farm roads. Waves of dusk billow up from the roads and pass through the window in sets so consistent a surfer could set her watch by it.
Guanacaste province gleaned it’s named from the wide-canopied dry forest tree with seedpods shaped like ears. Guanacaste is one of the larger provinces in Costa Rica, bordered on the north by Nicaragua and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. I am here studying tropical dry forests; one of the earths most endangered ecosystems.
For part of the year in Costa Rica, moisture-laden warm air flows off the Caribbean Ocean. The warm air pushes up against Costa Rica’s volcanic spine, cooling as it rises, until it reaches the dew point and rain falls on the windward slope, creating a rain shadow on the other side of the mountain. The leeward slope, then, is haunted by intense dry winds. During the other half of the year, the winds come off the Pacific Ocean, bringing the rains. Tropical dry forest fauna and flora have evolved to cope with the strong seasonality to the rainfall.
When I arrived last September, the forest was as green as a summer garden. Leaves broad, full, verdant. The drought-deciduous trees species began to lose their leaves when the rains stopped. Now in April, a mountaintop view looks not unlike a temperate winter landscape—if you replace the thin-needed pines with broad-leaf evergreens, subtract the snow, and spin the thermostat up to 95 degrees F. Okay, so they are quite different: no coat required. Also, many TDF trees flower during the dry season so, amidst the mostly nude forest, bouquets of yellow, pink, purple dot the landscape.
The car windows are wide open and the wind rolls through carrying a campfire smell. The air often smells burnt during the dry season, especially in the last couple months. Before people settled in Guanacaste, the main source of fire would have been lightning—in the wet season. People have introduced a fire regime that peaks in the driest months. I drive out of the trees and notice the smoke on the road ahead. The dry, reedy pasture grass on farms on either side of the road is aflame. I have worked on both of these farms. I can see a few trees burning and a wall of hazy smoke across the asphalt. My car hits the smoke and it swirls off the car in tornados.
TDF have been disproportionately settled because it has relatively nutrient-rich soils and a climate favorable for growing crops and raising livestock. And if you’ve ever lived in a tropical rain forest or cloud forest—you’ll know that even freshly laundered T-shirts, folded and put away in a clean dresser begin to smell like the musty back corner of a forgotten part of your garage within a few days. It’s no wonder people preferred sunshine.
I glance in the rearview mirror and can still see the smoke lifting from the fire we passed. Although management patterns are changing, some people still use fire to “clean” pasture. They burn pastures to clear out early forest successional growth and entice new pasture grass to sprout for hungry livestock. Also, crops like sugar cane are burned after the harvest to remove crop residues. Landowners can apply for a burn permit with the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment but illegal burns are common. Regardless of the source or legality of the burn, once a fire escapes, landowners face another problem; there are not enough resources to fight forest fires on private farms. There are fire fighters. Area de Conservación de Guanacaste (ACG), with upwards of 290,000 acres of land, has a trained team firefighters that are kept busy protecting both the immense park and bordering forests on private farms. City fire fighters, on the other hand, must focus their efforts on fires that encroach upon buildings, towns, and roads. Basically, there are not enough resources to fight all the fires on private farms. If the landowner has employees and equipment, they will often fight the fires. But, frequently, the private forests just burn. I drive past the road that runs up the flanks of Rincón de la Vieja volcano. When I was hiking there last week, I stopped at a lookout point and counted seven fires. They looked like industrial smokestacks scattered in the forested landscape.
Guanacaste is in the middle of a forest transition. In the 1970s and 1980s deforestation rates were high, but beginning in the mid-1980s Guanacaste has had high rates of forest regeneration. Importantly, the overwhelming majority of that regeneration has occurred on private lands. What I’m trying to find out is who owns these regenerating forests and how ownership might influence the ecology and management.
I am interested in coupled human-natural systems—intrigued by the links between society and environment. Here in Guanacaste I am looking at how tree biodiversity and carbon storage are influenced by socioeconomic variables such as land ownership. I am interested in how the choices landowners make could influence forest regeneration processes. For example, ranchers retain certain tree species on their lands for the shade or fruit provided for their cattle. Landowners often select particular species such as indio desnudo (Bursura simaruba) to use as live fence posts—fences made of living trees connected by lines of barbed-wire. Indio desnudo is a great live fence post tree because it resprouts so easily: You can cut off a branch, plunk it in the ground and, viola, you’ll get a tree. Landowners may also be more likely to remove ‘weedy’, fast growing species from their pastures and retain valuable timber species such as mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). These choices may influence the forest biodiversity and carbon stocks in private forests. After completing forest inventory plots on private farms, I will compare my data to a dataset from public forests collected by my adviser. We will use these datasets to test the hypotheses that private forests contain less biodiversity and carbon stocks than public secondary forest of similar ages and soil conditions.
Juan and I arrive at our new farm site. I stop briefly to talk with the farm manger; he is sitting atop a big tractor outfitted with a water container to fight the fires that are on the upper border of the property. Juan and I will work on the lower border of the property to avoid the fires. We drive to the lower part of the property and Juan hops out to struggle with the gate—five wrist-thick branches strung together with barbed-wire. The car lumbers down the road through the pasture and we arrive at a patch of forest. In the forest plot today, we will identify tree species to assess tree biodiversity. For carbon estimates, we’ll measure tree diameter at 1.3 m take species-specific wood density samples to plug into allometric equations. Within the plot, we will also collect soil samples to assess soil physical and chemical properties. We heft on our backpacks and swing the field bags over our shoulders. I rope the machete around my waist in case I need to give the spiked bromeliads in the forest plot a haircut.
PRIMEROS CONTACTOS CON LA NATURALEZA Y APROVECHAMIENTO DEL ESPACIO
El hotel hacienda Guachipelín, ubicado en las faldas del volcán Rincón de la Vieja, se caracteriza por ser un lugar paradisiaco, lleno de recursos naturales de gran importancia y disfrute en la actualidad. No obstante, lo que no nos detenemos a pensar cuando observamos tales maravillas naturales es ¿cómo fue el lugar hace más de 2500 años? Y ¿quiénes habitaron el mismo?.
Algunas investigaciones realizadas en la provincia de Guanacaste nos indican que la primera incursión de habitantes extranjeros por motivo de migraciones a la zona se puedo haber dado entre el 800 o 900 después de Cristo (Doris Stone, 1966; Salgado y Zambrana, 1994; Guerrero y Solís: 1997; y otros); sin embargo, en los terrenos del Hotel Hacienda Guachipelín y zonas aledañas, ya podemos determinar evidencia material datada desde el 500 antes de Cristo; lo que nos indica la gran importancia del lugar en términos patrimoniales para el estudio de las comunidades ancestrales. Además, de la existencia de un pueblo autóctono (corobicies u otros) anterior a la incursión de foráneos mesoamericanos posiblemente provenientes de Chiapas México (chorotegas, nicaraos y otros).
Entre los sitios arqueológicos que se han estudiado hasta la actualidad encontramos mayoritariamente cementerios asociados a depósitos de cantos rodados o rocas de origen volcánico, acumulados a forma de túmulos funerarios o rondelas (círculo de rocas) y asociados o aislados de sitios de diversos tamaños.
Como nos imaginamos, los pueblos precolombinos ya desde esas fechas, tenían un apego muy estrecho con la naturaleza, ya que la misma les provenía de alimentos para la supervivencia, materias primas para la confección de herramientas u artefactos producidos para distintos fines.
De aquí la importancia del espacio natural, que actualmente observamos en el lugar, tomando en cuenta que el mismo fue habitado y aprovechado por nuestros antecesores precolombinos, que nos dieron las bases para formar la sociedad que somos actualmente.
Priscilla Molina Muñoz
Guerrero, Juan Vicente y Felipe Solís. 1997. Los Pueblos Antiguos de la Zona Cañas-Liberia. Museo Nacional de Costa Rica MNCR; San José, Costa Rica.
Salgado, Silvia y Jorge Zambrana. 1994. Sector Norte de Gran Nicoya: Nuevos datos en la Provincia de Granada, Pacífico de Nicaragua. En: Vínculos 18-19 (1-2): 173- 189. Revista del Museo Nacional de Antropología del Museo Nacional de Costa Rica MNCR; San José, Costa Rica.
Stone, Doris.1966. Algunas Culturas y Migraciones Pre-Colombinas vistas a través de ciertos Objetos Arqueológicos de la Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica. En: Boletín 23: 1- 12. Asociación Amigos del Museo; San José, Costa Rica.
Hacienda Guachipelin has a new exhibit !!!
Worldwide, there are about 2700 species of snakes, which live different habitats and climates. They are found in deserts, in the tropics and near the Arctic Circle, including the ocean. In Costa Rica, there are about 137 species of which 22 are poisonous.
Our exhibition has 9 stations. It has 23 species of snakes of which 11 are poisonous or represent any danger to humans. We also have 6 species of frogs that represent the different strata of the forest of Costa Rica. There are also 2 basilisks species: the species of Pacific, with a brown and species from the Caribbean with an emerald color.
Within the facility there is a beautiful Butterfly Garden. There are displayed three major families of butterflies that live in Costa Rica: Pieridae, Papilionidae and Nimphalidae.
It starts 150 meters from the hotel, on the way to the viewpoint of the ranch, through a beautiful trail. This is in the middle of the rainforest. From there you look at the Rincon de la Vieja volcano in the middle of a wide variety of trees and flowers. Walk with the beautiful melody of nature and the beautiful singing of a variety of birds.
In the stations of serpentarium the following species are found:
- 1st Station 3 snakes
Oxybelis fulgidus, Green vinesnake.
Pseustes poecilonotus, Northern bird snake.
Oxybelis aeneus, Brown vine snake.
- 2nd Station 3 snakes
Trimorphodon biscutatus, Lyresnake.
Spilotes pullatus, Oriole snak.
Masticophis mentovarios , Neotropical cachwip.
- 3rd Station 3 snakes
Clelia clelia, Mussarana.
Micrurus nigrocintus, Central América Coral snake.
Lampropeltis triangulum, False coral.
- 4th Station 3 snakes
Corallus annulatus, Annulated Boa.
Atropoides Nummifer, Jumping pit viper.
Crotallus durissus, Neotropical ratllesnake.
- 5th Station 5 species
Bothrops asper, Fer de lance.
Porthidium ophryomegas , Slender hognosed pit viper.
Porthidium nasatum Hognosed pit viper.
Cerrophidion godmani, God mans mountain pit viper.
Corytophanes cristatus, Helmeted basilik.
- 6th station 2 species
Basiliscus plumifrons, Jesus christ basilisk.
Boa constrictor, Becker.
- 7th station 3 snakes
Bothriechis schelegelli, Eyelash palm pit viper
Bothriechis lateralis, Striped palm pit viper.
Lachaesis stenophrys, Bushmaster.
- 8th Station Frogs
Dendrobates aratus, Green and black poison dark frog.
Leptodactylus saveii, Bullfrog central America
Ophaga pumillio, Blue jeans frog.
- 9th Station Frogs
Agalychnis callidryas, Red eyes leaf frog.
Centrolenella Prosoblepon, Esmerald glass frog.
Smillisca phaeota Masked tree frog.
Fror those visiting Costa Rica and need to exchange money, we want to give a few tips:
If you are bringing canadian dollars you can visit Scotia Bank in diferent parts of the country. You will get got exchange rate for your dollars.
If you are bringing US dollars you can visit BAC San Jose all throught the country.
Banks give you the best exchange rate. The worst exchange rate is the airport exchange office, then the next are the hotels and restaurants. So it is better to pay in cash of by credit card, but paying at the price that the items are charged, in local or foreign currency, so that you do not loose on the exchange rate. Always make sure to ask about the rate that establishments exchange your money.
If you like horses I strongly recommend the whole day horseback riding you can do here at Hacienda Guachipelin. You don’t have to be good on horseback riding to do this tour!
I do my internship here at Hacienda Guachipelin and works with the horses every day, and this tour is my favorite because you get to see the best sides of Guanacaste Costa Rica. You get to see everything from dry jungle to rain forest. You get the chance to ride in rivers, up on hills and around the area of other farms. Maybe the monkeys jump over your head as you ride in the forest. You will probably see a lot of beautiful birds and other animals.
The adventure tour starts at 8 am and the ride goes to Oropéndola witch is a big and beautiful waterfall where you got the opportunity to jump from the cliffs and swim in the clear water.
After the visit to Oropéndola you get up on the horses again and start the ride to Rio Negro hot springs, when we are arriving at Rio Negro you get to see the beautiful hot springs where you get painted in mud from the volcano. You can sit and relax in the hot springs where the water comes directly from the volcano. There are different pools with different degrees in it, so you can chose the one that fits you best. After the relax at the hot springs you start to ride again.
More bathing and refreshing surprises will be discovered under the day.
The 2011 Costa Rica EcoPhoto Challenge will taking place this year from August 13th to August 20th. This unique event will be sponsored by EcoGuide Costa Rica and X-Ray Magazine.
The event will include underwater shooting in oceans, mountains, volcanoes, and jungles of Costa Rica. The highlights include the Natural Park in Guanacaste and touring the steamy summit of Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, while underwater bull sharks, reef sharks, and other large fish. More information on the event can be obtained through the official website http://www.ecoweekcostarica.com/ .
EcoWeek Costa Rica is an annual Celebration of the Environment and Culture of Costa Rica. Throughout the week from August the 13th to August 19th, Costa Rica will celebrate its environment with a series of events and activities for both nationals and visiting tourist.
|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|