Guanacaste is one of the most popular of the seven provinces in Costa Rica (CR) and as such is a favourite destination for local and international visitors. Located in the far northwest corner of CR, Guanacaste's geographical features are diverse and exotic. Pristine beaches stretch for miles along its west shore. The jungles allow travellers to witness a huge variety of wild life including jaguars, four species of howler monkeys, parrots, toucans. Add to this 14 active volcanoes and you have the reasons why ecotourism is Costa Rica's biggest income producer.
While the country has only about 0.1% of the world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. Around 25% of the country's land area is in protected national parks and protected areas, the largest percentage of protected areas in the world. Costa Rica has successfully managed to diminish deforestation from some of the worst rates in the world from 1973 to 1989, to almost zero by 2005. It is a world leader in environmental stewardship with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2021.
Image taken from Google images
The Rincón de la Vieja Volcano is set within the Rincón de la Vieja National Park, which spans over 34,000 acres (12,759 ha) and helps protect both montane forests and dwarf cloud forests. Trails extend from the Santa Maria ranger station and wind through the park, passing hot springs and waterfalls along the way. Mammals within the park include sloths, tapirs, kinkajous, pumas, jaguar, and both howler and spider monkeys.
Historically, hikers could climb to the crater and guides experienced in wildlife, birdwatching, geology and other interests are available.
As of September 22, 2011, access to the crater is no longer available due to the eruption of September 16 where volcanic ash and mud rose over 120 feet from the regular crater lagoon.
Several lodges, resorts and hotels in the area offer hiking, forest canopy tours, horseback riding, river-rafting, all-terrain-vehicle riding and wall-climbing.
Information taken from Wikipedia
And you don't need to boil the water. Unlike many Central American countries the drinking water pretty well everywhere is clean and potable. We were in a condo for 5 weeks and ate out in various places all over Guanacaste. In many cases we just drank tap water, filled our water bottles with tap water, used ice in our drinks and washed the vegetables under tap water. However, if you're the least bit worried there are plenty of local stores "SODAS" and super markets ( marcados) where you can buy bottled water.
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