Today we had the chance to go look at some property in a town called Cariari de Gaupiles. It’s about 2 hours east of San Jose, on the way to Puerto Limon. It was a gorgeous drive down the mountain, probably dropping us 3,500 feet. A good part of the drive took us through the Braulio Carrillo National Park. The park was set aside by Costa Rica back in 1978 in an effort to save some of the virgin rainforest. It contains several inactive volcanoes, as well as a huge variety of tropical animals.
The major part of the forest is cover by a primary forest, which contians about 6.000 plant species that represents half of the total species in the country. The manú, caoba, oak, caobilla and gavilan are very common.
You can also find the botarrama, the ceiba, the yos, the lorito and the ojoche, and other species that are in danger of extinction, like the nazareno, el jícaro, the palmito dulce and the súrtuba. In the highest parts of the park specific in the Barva Volcano area, the flora is characteristic of a cloudy forest, with species like the ciprecillo, candelillo, white oak and cedrillo.
As you might imagine, there is a ton of wildlife in the park too. You can see a rich variety of bird wildlife represented in almost 515 species between residents and migrations. From there you can observe the king of the zopilotes – the umbrella bird, in addition to the linnet and quetzal.
From the mammals species exists white-faced monkeys, the danta, the puma and jaguar, the saíno, the bear, the martilla, the cabro del monte, the guatusa and coyote. You’ll also find species in danger of extinction due to hunting, like the pavón and tepezcuinte. Frogs are very common in this area, such as the Bufa Holdridgei frog from the Barva Volcano area. And if you’re really unlucky, you’ll run into the matabuey, the biggest poisonous snake of the continent. (YIKES!)
One fun part of the national park that you see on the way to Guapiles as you’re driving through, is the meeting of the Rio Sucio and Rio Claro (the dirty river and the clean river). You can see a picture here that I uploaded.
If you’re not adventurous enough to get out on one of their many trails, you might enjoy the Aerial Tram located at the end of the protected area (towards Guapiles). This unique tram lets visitors travel in one of its twenty cable cars and to go through the forest’s canopy in order to spot flora and fauna that would otherwise be hidden from view. There is also a restaurant and a visitor’s center offered at the tram.
Though it might only be about 20 minutes out of San Jose before you are actually in the park, I think it took us about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on traffic) to get to the park entrance where the visitor’s center and trailheads were. It’s worth a visit if you’re going to be in the area!
No related posts.