The park is located in Guanacaste Province, in the La Cruz canton, only 35 kilometers from Liberia City which is the main city of the province.
How to get there:
The principal access to Santa Rosa National Park is by the Interamaricana Highway, 35 kilometers from Liberia, taking the way to the Costa Rica – Nicaragua border. Part of the road is in bad condition so is better to go on the dry season or have a 4x4 vehicle. There is buses going out every day, they make it only to the entrance, so is better to let the driver know your destination.
The closest airport in all Guanacaste province is named Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, better known as Liberia Airport, is located 12 Km west of the city of Liberia.
What to find in Santa Rosa National Park:
In the main area of this national park there is all the basics services like potable water, toilets, rooming, camping, all this in the ranger station as well as trails and information, this not to mention all the natural surroundings, forest and wildlife, and an important piece of Costa Rica history, La Casona.
Santa Rosa National Park at a glance:
This national park preserves the most sigficant sample of tropical dry forest of central America, ecosystem with recognizable difference from the rainy season, when everything is very green and tropical, to the dry season when everything turns dry.
The extension of this national park is ok 38000 square hectare in land and 43000 square hectare in the sea, on which there is a nice mixture of ecosystems, between this the easiest to recognize one is big extensions of grassland, mainly covert with jaragua glass, coming from Africa, in the middle of this massive extensions emerging appear big Ear Threes (Costa Rica national three), call like this because of the earlike fruit. As well there are big extensions of thorny forest where agave and cacti occur; also close to the shore mangrove forest.
Santa Rosa national Park is also a very important historical place of Costa Rica, this was the scene of the battle against the filibusters in defense of the national sovereith, the present casona is a reconstruction of the old one which was damage by fire in 2001.
Main Trails in Santa Rosa National Park:
Indio Desnudo Trail: The name of this trail comes from a typical tree of the area the translation of the name is “naked indian” because of the pilling skin of the tree. This is a trail open to all public, it is a loop that starts and ends in the ranger station, it has a length of 0,8 km, that is like a 30 minutes walk, the highest part of the trail is 270 meters above sea level. It is a easy short trail with an interpretation of the forest, great opportunity to know a little more about this ecosystem and interact with the flora and fauna of the Tropical Dry Forest.
Carbonal Trail: For this trail is necessary to have permission from the rangers, because is a more restricted trail on which they allow only certain amount of people, is more for ecotourism and is a low impact trail, it is long trail of 6 km, which is approximately a 2 hours hike, the highest point that this trail have is only 3 meters above sea level . Carbonal trail is a lineal trail coming back the same way, and it makes it to the Limbo Lagoon, on this trail the main attraction is the beautiful Tropical Dry Forest, amazing rock formations, and the mangrove forest.
Los Patos Trail: This is a trail open to all public, it is a natural trail that is lineal, coming back the same way and it is to make it to the Cañon El Tigre. Great trail to get a panoramic view, beautiful Tropical Dry Forest, excellent birdwatching area because of the seasonal creek in the way. This trail is 3 km long, so approximately 1 hour hike, and the highest point is al 270 meters above sea level.
Birding in Santa Rosa National Park:
This is a great bird watching spot in the country because of the nice mixture mixture of ecosystems and the presence of a very unique one: the Tropical Dry Forest. Some of the most important birds of Santa Rosa National Park:
- Thicket Tinamou (Crypturellus cinnamomeus)
- Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)
- Plain-breasted Ground Dove (Colombina minuta)
- Orange fronted Parakeet (Aratinga canicuaris)
- White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons)
- Lesser Ground Cuckoo (Morococcyx erythropygus)
- Pacific Screech Owl (Megascops cooperi)
- Northern Pottoo (Nyctibius jamaicensis)
- Canivets Emerald (Chlorostilbon assimilis)
- Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila)
- Elegant Trogon (Trogon elegans)
- Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)
- Turquoise browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)
- Ivory billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster)
- Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)
- White-lored Gnatcatcher (Polioptila albiloris)
- Rufous- napped Wren (Campylorynchus rufinucha)
- Banded Wren (Thryothorus pleurostictus)
- Olive Sparrow (Arremonops rufivirgatus)
- Stripe-headed sparrow (Peacaea ruficauda)
- Spot-breasted Oriole (Icterus pectoralis)
- Streak-backed Oriole (Icterus pustulatus)
- Scrub Euphonia (Euphonia affinis)