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HomeNewsExploring Costa Rica: Hiking in Rincón de la Vieja Volcano Pailas Sector

Exploring Costa Rica: Hiking in Rincón de la Vieja Volcano Pailas Sector

Rincón de la Vieja National Park is one of Guanacaste’s gems. This Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is truly magnificent.

The Pailas Sector in Rincón de la Vieja National Park allows visitors to observe a volcanic activity such as fumaroles, boiling water lagoons, and mud ponds. In addition, tourists can also see different ecosystems and impressive landscapes, waterfalls, regenerating grasslands, and primary forests.

This National Park has natural trails, slightly modified paths, and sections adapted to allow accessibility for people with special mobility needs. All routes offer excellent chances of spotting birds, mammals, and reptiles.

It’s important to note that this area protects important hydrographic basins since the volcanic massif is part of the watershed between the Caribbean and the Pacific in the northwestern part of the country.

The Trails

Rincón de la Vieja has a wide range of trails with different difficulty levels. The varied ecosystems and the possibility of admiring such a great volcano make these hikes unique.

Las Pailas Loop Trail

Las Pailas Loop Trail is the most accessible one. It has 3km and can be completed in 2 hours.

Walking along this path, tourists can see fumaroles, mud pools, water pools, and a fumarolic lagoon while passing through wooded areas, waterfalls, and streams. There are also several open areas where hikers can see the transition from dry forest to the rainforest.

It’s worth highlighting that it’s imperative to comply with safety standards, as volcanic structures can reach temperatures between 78 °C to 106 °C.

The trail has a section accessible for wheelchairs and people with reduced mobility and is suitable for people of all ages.

Waterfall Trail

The Waterfall trail is considered medium to high difficulty. However, the journey is absolutely worth it: two beautiful waterfalls await.

La Cangreja waterfall is 5 km away (10 km total round trip), and Escondida waterfall is 4.3 km away (8.6 km round trip). The estimated time to get to each waterfall is 4-5 hours roundtrip.

During the hike, sightseers will have to go up and down some slopes and traverse pastures where the temperature can be higher, which is why appropriate hydration is essential.

The trajectory to the Escondida Waterfall is of great difficulty due to the uphill climb. In fact, most of the path is uphill, in open terrain with no shade, and very windy in the summer months.

Access to this trail is permitted from 8:00 am until noon during the dry season (December-April). During the rainy season (May-November), it may be regulated by the sector’s administration in case of heavy rains.

Rincón de la Vieja is a must 2023!

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