The Palo Verde National park is located in the Guanacaste province in Costa Rica, it is between the Bebedero River and the Tempisque River, two of the important rivers of the North Pacific, because of the climate been very dry part of the year, it is located aproximatly 30 km south of Bagaces City, Guanacaste.
How to get there:
To get to Palo Verde National Park the best to do is take the Costanera Highway to Puntarenas, from there take the Interamericana Norte to Cañas first, and then Bagaces, Guanacaste, in Bagaces there is going to be a right turn which you need to take and about 30 km south after that there is going to be the entrance to Palo Verde National Park.
The closest airport to Palo Verde national Park is the Liberia International airport, or Daniel Oduber International airport, which is located 23 km north from Bagaces in the ruote 1 or Interamericana Highway.
What to find in Palo Verde National Park:
The Palo Verde National Park has the facilities to make the best of you visit to this wonderful place, there is potable water, electricity, camping area, rooming, and a nice network of trails with different difficulties and atracions.
Description of Palo Verde National Park:
More than 750 species of trees among there is the one that gives the name to this magic place: Palo Verde (Parkinsonia aculeata) or Horse bean, a thorny bush with light green leafs, brnaches and trunck and with delicate yellow flowers.
This national park has an extension of 18417 square hectars, and it is one of the biggest and most important biological sanctuaries of the country because of been located between two big rivers in the driest area of Costa Rica. In the rainy season this two rivers flood, and convened with the effect of the tide creates a combination of habitats, mangrove, marches, sabannas covert with grass,gallery forest and out of the influence of the water tropical dry forest. On the dry season the water drains by Bebedero and Tempisque Rivers living only some lagoons, which become focus for animals and thousands of birds.
The dry season, from December to March, is the best time to visit because flocks of birds tend to congregate in the remaining lagoons and the trees lose their leaves which help the visitor to have better views. On this lagoons there might be massive flocks of herons, egrets, ducks, and as numerous spoonbills, stork, ibis and many more of the 300 species of birds reported in Palo Verde National Park.
Because of the fact that this area can hold so many individual of different species of animals is that it was declared as RAMSAR place in 1991, which means that this an important wet land for the entire world. The wet lands, the main attraction of the park represent 60% of the protected area where resident and migratory birds coexist and share the sanctuary.
Important spots that need to be seen in Palo Verde National Park:
Isla Pajaros: with an extension of 2.3 square hectares, it is a nesting spot for at list thirteen species of birds, here there is the biggest colony of the black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), this island is located in the Tempisque River so is necessary to get a boat to make it there.
Palo Verde Lagoon: this is the best spot to watch the massive flocks of birds, as it is a permanent lagoon and have a bridge trail of 20 meters that allow visitors to go right in the lagoon.
Tempisque and Bebedero Rivers: the park has access and actually is limited by these two beautiful rivers, to Tempisque River by Chamorro Port and Bebedero River by Catalina sector.
Main Trails in Palo Verde National Park:
There is a big network of trail that can be hike by visitors, as the area in very flat most of them are easy, flat trails, as also some of them go to the lookout points, those may ba a bit harder. All the trails in Palo Verde National Park start from the main access road and make it back to this same road.
La Roca Trail: this is a trsil thst makes it to a high point where the view of most of the Palo Verde Lagoon, Tempisque River and the Nicoya Gulf are awesome, it is a 540 meters trail, it is short but have some difficulty going up hill.
Cerros Calisos: it is a more adventure trail which is 1460 meters long and it is pretty steep, at the higst points there are majestic view on the Guayacan and El Cactus look out points where there is chance to see all the Tempisque lowlands.
El Mapache Trail: this is more a forest trail, where there are different types of forest to be find, tropical dry forest, deciduous lowland forest and evergreen forest. El Mapache Trail is 710 meters long throw the forest.
La Venada Trail: it is a long trail that goes mostly by the forest and also goes on the edge of the Palo Verde Lagoon, nice mixed way, and surrounding La Roca Peak. It is one of the longest trails in the national park with 2100 meters legth.
El Querque Trail: querque comes from the Crested Caracara (Caracara cherriway), which is known like this in the north part of Costa Rica. This is a special trail to visit because here there in a nice spot of xerophile vegetation, which is adapted for the driest conditions, like cacti. This trail is 650 meters long.
La Jacana Bridge Trail: more than a trail this is a observation platform, which is 20 meters long and enters right in the middle of the Palo Verde lagoon, which allows some close view to the massive groups of birds.
Birdwatcing in Palo Verde National Park:
This area have over 300 species of birds reported, but as the most important spot are the wetlands in the park, this list will focus mostly on that.
- Neotropical Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
- Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
- Fulvous Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)
- American Wigeon (Anas americana)
- Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
- Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja)
- Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria)
- Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)
- Fufescent Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)
- Agami Heron (Agami agami)
- Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
- Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
- Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis)
- Yellow-breasted Crake (Porzona flaviventer)
- Double-striped Thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus)
- Orange-froanted Parakeet (Aratinga canicularis)
- Lesser Ground Cockoo (Morococcyx erythropygus)
- Canivets Emerald (Chlorostilbon canivetii)
- Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)
- Ivory-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster)
- Stub-tailed Spadebill (Platyrinchus cancrominus)
- White-lored Gnatcatcher (Polioptila albiloris)
- Banded Wren (Thryothorus pleurostictus)
- Stripe-headed Sparrow (Peucaea ruficauda)
- Scrub Euphonia (Euphonia affinis)