Looking for your next Costa Rican hiking challenge? Then head for the hills and underground caves of Barra Honda National Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Expect rocky terrain, winding trails, tough uphill treks and limestone cave exploration in this adrenalin pumping Costa Rica hiking adventure.
The Barra Honda National Park defines the arid beauty of the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, including medicinal plants, coatis, anteaters, raccoons, capuchin and howler monkeys. A hike to the top of the Barra Honda peak reveals an expansive panoramic view of the Guanacaste landscape, but it is perhaps the hidden depths that lie beneath the Barra Honda National Park that are the most intriguing.
A Costa Rican Hiking Adventure and Caving Experience
Beneath the 984 ft high Barra Honda Peak is complex maze of 42 limestone caverns filled with calcareous formations.Â Stalactites dramatically hang from the cave ceilings while stalagmites reach up from the ground. Once part of a coral reef from 60 million years ago, these limestone creations can be found throughout the network of caves.
The Barra Honda Caves of Costa Rica
â€˘Â The Nicoa Cavern is located at a depth of 98 feet and is the site where pre-Columbian human remains and artifacts
â€˘Â The Santa Ana Cave is the deepest, at around 790 feet, and is filled with limestone formations.
â€˘Â The Terciopelo Cave is named after the fateful snakes that were found at the bottom when it was first discovered.Â At nearly 200 feet in depth, this is considered to be one of the most accessible caverns in Barra Honda National Park.
â€˘Â La Trampa, or the â€śTrapâ€ť in English, can only be entered if you are attached to a harness. A 100 foot vertical entrance leads you into this 360 foot deep cavern.
â€˘Â The Bat Cave, also known as the Pozo Hediondo or â€śStink potâ€ť in English is home to a very large colony of bats that can be seen leaving their hideout in masses half an hour after sunset.
Costa Rica Hiking in Barra Honda National Park
â€˘Â Giving that these are some of the most complex caves in Costa Rica, a hiking tour can only be taken with a registered bilingual local guide
â€˘Â If you donâ€™t like enclosed spaces then avoid the caverns and stick to just trekking up to the Barra Honda Peak
â€˘Â Transportation is available from your Playa Flamingo, Playa Langosta, or Playa Conchal vacation rental property to the National Park
â€˘Â Stick to sipping your cocktail by the pool if you donâ€™t think you can handle more than a couple of hours of heavy-duty hiking in dry conditions
â€˘Â Lunch, snacks, bottled water, and fruit juice are included in the tour
â€˘Â Ensure you take comfortable hiking shoes, binoculars, camera, sun block, bug spray and a hat