Palo Verde National Park
Palo Verde National Park, located in Guanacaste province between the Bebedero and Tempisque River near the Gulf of Nicoya, is considered one of the sites with greatest ecological diversity in Costa Rica, comprising more than 13 different habitats, including mangrove and swampy forests, salty and freshwater marshes, evergreen forests, deciduous forests, lowland and limestone forests and secondary forest. The last remnants of seasonal and transitional dry forests of the Neo-tropics are found within the national park, and it comprises one of the few protected areas in Costa Rica where rocky formations and lowlands forests interact with extensive seasonal wetlands. The Parque Nacional Palo Verde, whose name derives from the horsebean shrub that retains a bright green color all year long, protects 42 acres of land in the heart of the driest region of Costa Rica. The park has three well-maintained trails that lead through the tropical forest and marshland to lookout points over the lagoons and to limestone caves and large waterholes where a diversity of birds and animals gather to drink and cool down. Dry season from January to May is the best time of the year to visit this national park: the washboard dirt road that takes to the park is in a better condition and the deciduous trees make bird-watching easier. During this season, you may even watch the playful scarlet macaws since the park shelters the only permanent colony of scarlet macaws in the dry tropics.
Birds are the biggest attraction at Palo Verde National Park. More than 300 bird species have been recorded in the area, including the endangered great curassows. The largest population of wading birds and waterfowl in Central America (at least 250,000) flock to Palo Verde in fall and winter every year. During the rainy season in Costa Rica, the arid plains of the park become extensive marshes with the floodwaters of the Rio Tempisque, which constitute a perfect home for the migrant flocks. Many of the resident tropical bird species nest on a small mangrove island called Isla de Pájaros (Bird Island), located in the middle of the Rio Tempisque. The isolated island provides a safe breeding place for Cattle Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Green-backed Herons, Anhingas, and Great Egrets. The island is also home to the nation's largest colony of black-crowned night herons. Other birds you can expect to see in the park include White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Black-necked Stilt, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Snail Kite, American Widgeon, Northern Shoveler, Blue-winged Teal, and Jabiru Storks, the largest storks in the world. We provide daily guided birding excursions to Palo Verde from Liberia, Tamarindo, Flamingo and Coco beaches.
Palo Verde National Park protects many species of mammals such as howler monkeys, white-nosed coatis, white-tailed deer, capuchin monkeys, and collared peccaries. The park is also home to plump crocodiles that wallow pleasantly on the muddy riverbanks. The river banks are also lined with many archaeological sites of which fourteen have been identified within the Palo Verde area. We offer a one-day exciting trip to Palo Verde National Park where you will have the opportunity to enjoy all its natural attractions and gain cultural awareness and respect. On our boat tour, guides will be there offering you interesting information, answering any questions, and helping you spot animals and birds. Contact us and experience a pleasurable day that includes typical folk dances and music performed by locals, traditional sugar cane processing, lunch and bonding with communities as you learn about their ancient-Chorotega pottery techniques. Let us show you all the wonders Palo Verde has to offer.