Braulio Carrillo National Park was established in the late seventies to protect miles of various kinds of forests. The now almost 50,000 hectares also comprise two volcanoes: Barva and Cacho Negro. The park was named after a man who, just shy of 200 years ago, was two times Head of State of Costa Rica.
This park can be easily visited from San José (one hour away by car) if you’re staying in the capital. Also, as a stopover before continuing your trip to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The park is also a two-hours drive from the town of La Fortuna.
Inside Braulio Carrillo National Park, visitors have two stations. First, the Quebrada Gonzalez Station, from where you can start one of three hiking trails: Las Palmas, El Ceibo, and Botarrama. This last one is also the longest of the three, and if you choose to take it, you can have a grasp of the Río Sucio (Dirty River). The second station is called Barva Station and presents tourists with four more trails to further explore the park.
Another exotic and unique way to visit Braulio Carrillo is through an aerial tram that exists on the eastern side of the park. It’s sort of a cable-car circuit that takes visitors through different heights of the rainforest. Only lucky ones will be able to spot sloths along the way, but the fun is guaranteed nonetheless. The tram is included in many tours to Braulio Carrillo.
Whether you decide to hike it, take the tram or both, you’ll discover plenty of flora and fauna inside the park. Braulio Carrillo features more than five hundred species of birds, thousands of plant species, many mammals, and reptiles.
Braulio Carrillo National Park provides a fun experience for everyone, and it’s very close to San José. If you are around, you’d better not miss it.