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Rincon de la Vieja National Park by Hacienda Guachipelin Grows

Nearly 5,000 acres more dry tropical forest and wildlife habitats are now protected in the newly expanded Rincon de la Vieja National Park by Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin.

Article by Shannon Farley

The Rincon de la Vieja National Park next to Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin has expanded and now protects nearly 5,000 acres more dry tropical forest and wildlife habitats in this part of the renowned Guanacaste Conservation Area.

Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado and the Environmental Minister, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, signed a decree earlier this month – on June 5 in honor of World Environment Day – for the expansion.

Adding 4,650 acres (1,882 hectares), Rincon de la Vieja National Park grew from an area of 35,336 acres (14,300 hectares) to 39,987 acres (16,182 hectares). The extension incorporates four areas adjacent to the park that had been named a National Natural Heritage.

Located in the northwest province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the huge Guanacaste Conservation Area integrates marine and coastal ecosystems, dry tropical forest, tropical rainforest and tropical cloud forest, where approximately 235,000 species (65 percent of the estimated species in Costa Rica) reside. It encompasses the national parks of Rincon de la Vieja, Santa Rosa and Guanacaste along with the Bahía Junquillal Wildlife Refuge and the Horizontes Forestry Station. The protected area was declared a World Natural Heritage site in 1999 by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Founded in May 1974, the Rincon de la Vieja National Park surrounds the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, one of six active volcanoes in Costa Rica. The park’s Las Pailas and Santa Maria sectors are very popular with tourists who come to experience the dry tropical forest – one of the rarest ecosystems in the Americas – and to see plentiful wildlife. Bird watching and enjoying natural volcanic hot springs also are favorite activities.

Expanding the Rincon de la Vieja National Park helps consolidate ecosystems, secure wildlife migration corridors and protect vital drainage basins which source 32 rivers.

The Las Pailas sector of Rincon de la Vieja National Park, with its excellent hiking trails and waterfalls, is located 10 minutes from Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin. The award-winning Rincon de la Vieja hotel offers guided tours in the national park, fantastic hot springs and a natural spa.