Barra Honda National Park
It is located in the Guanacaste province, 22 Km northeast of the city of Nicoya and with an extension of 2.295.5 hectares. Barra Honda National Park was created by the Law No. 5558, on August 20, 1974. Barra Honda Peak, about 300 meters high, consists of limestones of reef type, that is to say, by ancient corals that emerged due to an overlifting caused by tectonic faults, developed about 60 million years ago.
These reef formations, where formed by blue and green calcareous algae, in addition to foraminifera, tiny marine protozoa cover by a calcareous shell, sponges and sea urchins.
Another important element of this area is its capacity as water reservoir for the populations that are located around it.
Barra Honda has a large system of caves independent one of other of which 19 have been explored. The Santa Ana cave reaches a deep of 240 meters, becoming one of the most profound. The most attractive and interesting are: the Velvet, the Tampa and the Santa Ana, with a profusion of stalagmites, stalactites, columns, pearls, flowers and gypsum needles, helicitas, popcorn, mushrooms, shark teeth and other formations.
The Velvet is the cave that contains the biggest amount of formations. One of these is called The Organo and has the feature to give different sounds when is softly hitted. The Trap is the one with the deepest abyss from the entrance to the first dall is a perfect vertical height of 52 meters. This cave also has the larger rooms that have been found, one of which is composed by white calcite that gives an effect of dazzling beauty. The Foul Well that owes its stench to the bat guano, it is the only one who has abundance of these mammals. In the Nicoa cave, were found many human remains in 1970 and later pre-columbian aboriginal artifacts.
The vegetation in the park is most deciduous, some of the most common species are: ron-ron, tempisque, jobo, nude indian, el poroporo, buzzard, soncoya, el guanacaste, el carao, el madroño y el monkey comb. The fauna is not very varied: white-faced monkey, coyote, cusuco or armadillo, deer, raccoon, coati, oposum, stinking fox, crested jay, zapayol or catano and the turkey vulture, are some species that can be watched in different areas of the park.
Park facilities and hours
The Barra Honda Ranger Station is open to the visitor attention from 8am to dusk, has potable water and restrooms. Advance reservations are required for spelunking. The caves are not open in the wet season due to the danger of flooding. There are hiking trails and scenic overlooks throughout the tropical dry forest park. There is camping area and four rustic cabins with bunks for six or eight each. For more information or reservations, call the SINAC-MINAE office ACG in Liberia Costa Rica at (506) 2666-0630. Climbing gear is available from the park rangers, who will guide you through the cave descent.
Our reception desk will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about these or other tours. Tours can be booked through our receptionists prior to or during your trip.
Go back to National Parks Tour Options