Palo Verde National Park covers an area of over 45,000 acres, much of the Tempisque Conservation area which includes the valley and the river. This national park is one of the most important in the country because it contains one of the most endangered ecosystems in C. America – tropical dry forest. Tropical dry forest are now less than .1% of their original size and it is crucial to protect these lands as they are home to thousands of birds and other animals and plants.
In this area alone, over 250,000 thousands birds flock here to migrate and there are 15 different kinds of habitats from mangroves to swamps. During rainy season the river overflows which creates the perfect habitat for thousands of animals to spent their winter months.
If you want to see wildlife in northern Guanacaste, visiting Palo Verde National Park is a top choice. Check out our guide for tips on visiting.
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Palo Verde National Park Boat Tour
They have found over 250 different species of bees in this area which is a quarter of the entire bee species and the Rio Tempisque has the largest amount of crocodiles in Costa Rica. These facts alone rightly name it as one of the most diverse biological sites in Costa Rica. You can imagine the birdwatching and animal watching is one of a kind!
The best way to experience the national park is by taking a boat tour down the river to go wildlife watching. Rio Tempisque is fairly large and they take you all throughout to see the various wildlife in the park.
The boat ride lasts a couple hours and we saw so many different types of birds such as storks, iguanas, lizards, the white face monkeys, and crocodiles!
The Palo Verde National Park usually adds a visit to the Guatil indigenous village to check out some of their famous pottery. You can watch one of their pottery-makers make their clay pots and they explain to you the type of paint they use and how they burn it. They also sell their pottery which makes for a nice souvenir.
Directions and Location
From Playas del Coco: Head towards Liberia toward Bagaces on Inter Americana highway. Turn onto the main road across from Bagaces and continue for about 28 km to the biological station. The road is a little rocky but passable all year round. A 4×4 is not absolutely necessary.
Entrance Fee/Park Hours
Palo Verde National Park entrance fee is $10 per person. The tour can cost from $60-$80 depending on the tour company and if you get the lunch. The lunch is an extra $13 per person.
What To Bring
For the Palo Verde National Park boat ride, definitely your camera! DSLR would be perfect for this trip to capture those great shots and bring the big zoom lens. A light jacket (during rainy season in case), binoculars if you have one to get a close up view, a wildlife field guide if you want, sunscreen and bug repellent.
If you don’t have transportation and need recommendations for a tour company, feel free to contact us.
Want to read about other national parks in Costa Rica? Here you go!