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Santa Rosa

This park is the largest protected area of tropical dry forest in Costa Rica, and preserves "La Casona" an important house in the history of Costa Rica. This park hosts a camp site and one of Costa Rica's most popular surf breaks called Roca Bruja (Witch's Rock), and Ollie's Point further north.

Barbilla Corcovado Carara Barra Honda Barra Honda Brauillio Carriollo Brauillio Carrillo Cahuita Cahuita Carara Chirripo Chirripo Corcovado Diria Diria Guanacaste Guanacaste Irazu Volcano Isla del Coco Juan Castro Blanco Juan Castro Blanco Isla del Coco La Amistad La Amistad Irazu Volcano La Cangreja La Cangreja Los Quetzales Los Quetzales Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio Marino Ballena Marino Ballena Marino Las Baulas Marino Las Baulas Palo Verde Santa Rosa Piedras Blancas Tanpanti Turrialba Volcano Poas Volcano Tenorio Volcano Ricon del la Vieja Tortuguero Palo Verde Santa Rosa Tanpanti Piedras Blancas Tenorio Volcano Poas Volcano Tortuguero Rincon de la Vieja Turrialba Volcano


Santa Rosa National Park preserves two different values: the immense diversity and a key part of the history of Costa Rica.  In this park, you are going to find the largest area of dry forest including savannah, mangroves, marshlands and the typical deciduous forest.  Costa Rican History is also preserved in this park in “La Casona” (big house).  This house was the scenario of one of the greatest battles in the Costa Rican history during 1856.  Here, the people fought for the liberty of the country against the United States, who were trying to conquer Costa Rica and force them to join the slave states of the south.

The Santa Rosa National Park has several species of trees, including the Guanacaste tree (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), which is the national tree of Costa Rica, the huge Cenízaro (Samanea saman) the Cortéz Amarillo (Tabebuia chrysantha /Tabebuia ochracea), and the Acacia trees that have an interesting mutualism with ants. The fauna of the park is really diverse, because it includes animals of the dry forest (more than 250 species of birds, 22 sp of bats) as well as the species associated with the beach (crabs, sea snakes) including the beautiful sea turtles (olive ridley turtle-lora-, leatherback turtle-baula- and green turtle-verde-) that nest in the Nancite and Naranjo beaches. The Naranjo beach constitutes a nice place to swim,  a place to enjoy a wild beach, as well as a good spot for surfing. The Nancite beach requires a more challenging hike, but the reward after the effort is invaluable. This National Park, as well as Palo Verde National Park, is very vulnerable to fires during the dry season, which affects the regeneration of the forest and kills hundred of animals that cannot escape from fire.

Source: Boza, M. 1981. Los Parques Nacionales de Costa Rica. Incafo. 310 p.

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