||Last Updated: May 23rd, 2012 - 17:32:56
Costa Rica's Santa Rosa National Park
Area: Land - 38,656 hectares, (92,774 acres)
Water - 78,341 hectares, (188,018 acres)
Santa Rosa National Park is found in the province of Guanacaste, in the North Western Pacific of Costa Rica, 36 km north of Liberia. It is an area of dry tropical forest, which, contrary to popular belief, is actually richer in biodiversity than tropical rainforest. Santa Rosa is ecologically unique because dry tropical forest is rapidly diminishing in Costa Rica.
|Sant Rosa National Park|
Santa Rosa National Park was created in 1971 to commemorate and preserve the historical setting of the Battle of Santa Rosa (March 20, 1856) including the historical mansion and the stonewall corrals. Moreover, it protects the savannah and deciduous forest, marshlands, mangroves, and abundant Costa Rica animal life, including several endangered species. It also has lovely recreational beaches.
The hope is that together these two parks protect enough land to ensure sufficiently large habitats for wide-ranging species such as jaguars and mountain lions while simultaneously creating a biological corridor for birds and insects to make local seasonal migrations between the dry forest and the evergreen cloud and rain forests.
Santa Rosa National Park has shades of 10 different floral habitats namely the deciduous forests, oak forests, mangrove swamps, evergreen forests, mesquite-nacascol swamps, strongly deciduous hillside forests, the littoral woodland, besides the lightly forested savannah. The deciduous forests contain some 240 species of trees and shrubs; among them Costa Rica's National Tree, the Guanacaste or ear tree, gumbo-limbo and mayflower. In the evergreen forests the predominant species are locust, chicle, oak, tempisque and bitterwood.
The fauna is rich and diverse as well. More than 155 species of mammals have been identified, more than half of which are bats. For you bird watchers out there, there are also 253 species of birds, 100 of amphibians and reptiles, and over ten thousand types of insects, including some 3,140 species of butterflies and moths. The most conspicuous mammals are the howler, spider, and white-faced monkeys, nine-banded armadillo, white tailed deer, white-nosed coati, collared peccary, raccoon and the spiny pocket mouse, which is the most abundant of all. Some of the birds found include the magpie jay, orange-fronted parakeet, elegant trogan, rufous-naped wren, crested caracara, great curassow, common black hawk and long-tailed manakin.
|Battle of Santa Rosa|
The park has one of the best-developed camping facilities. Services include a historic center, natural trails, guides and camping areas.
Santa Rosa National Park Trails:
A challenging dirt road, which departs from the main area near the camp grounds, arrives at the beautiful Nancite and Naranjo beaches, both of which are major nesting grounds for the olive ridley, leatherback and pacific green sea turtles. Nancite is where the largest "arribadas" of olive ridley turtles in Tropical America come ashore. While the Naranjo beach is open to the public, and is excellent for surfing. Nancite beach requires special permits, particularly during the time the olive-ridley turtles are nesting.
Near the upper camping grounds, there is a short nature trail (Indio Desnudo) just before the Santa Rosa National Monument. This trail provides the best opportunities within the park to view wildlife, particularly in the early morning or late afternoon hours. Deer, howler, spider and white-faced monkeys, lizards and hawks are quite common. Light levels are low, but there are good photographic opportunities on this trail. There are several trails near the main office, as well as along the road heading south to the beach area. Trails are present around the beach area as well, many of which are located behind the estuary. Camping is permitted, however, only in the designated areas, not along any of the trails. Maps are available at the park office which do an adequate job of detailing the areas of interest.
The water level available throughout the upper campground area is potable. However, if you proceed to the beach area below, bring all the supplies necessary as it is common to have no water available at the lower campgrounds. Any water is utilized for bathing and cooking only.
Santa Rosa National Park: Getting There
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