Rincon de la Vieja Volcano Costa Rica
The name of Rincon de la Vieja volcano is deeply rooted in legend. Stories say there was once an indian princess, by the name of Curabanda, who fell in love with a young man, named Mixcoac, from an enemy tribe. The girl's father disapproved and threw the boy into a volcano crater. Heartbroken she decided to live on the side of this volcano where later she gave birth to Mixcoac's child who she threw into the volcano so he could meet his father. Until the end of her days she lived at the volcano and became a healer. Locals began to refer to her home at the volcano as 'Rincon de le Vieja,' which means 'Old Woman's Corner'. Rincon de la Vieja volcano also known as the 'Colossus of Guanacaste' sits inside a 14,083 hectares national park with the same name, just 25km outside of Liberia, which is touristically speaking the most important city in our Guanacaste province. This unique volcano displays an incredibly varied vegetation due to the multitude of altitudes and climates found along its slopes.
Rincon de la Vieja volcano is one of the several active volcanoes found in Costa Rica. A constant dispute surrounds the veracity of the first recorded eruption, certain sources place it in the year of 1765 and others claim it occurred in 1851. There have been 16 major eruptions to date, the latest being in February of 1998. For the most part Rincon de la Vieja volcano spews gasses and ash. Rincon de la Vieja volcano is a combination of volcanic vents, fumaroles and hot springs that are thought to have been created thousands of years ago. There are numerous craters at the volcano but the main crater is active and filled with a bubbling, 1640 ft wide acidic crater lake. The two most famous craters are Santa Maria (the highest) and Von Seebach (culprit of most historic eruptions). Remaining crates are in an erosive degradation stage. Rincon de la Vieja volcano humbly stands at 6,286 ft. and covers 400 square kilometers of terrain. There are various indications that Rincon de la Vieja volcano features considerable geothermic energy reserves, such as boiling mud pits and hot water pools discovered on its slopes. An estimated potential quotes at least 140 megawatts. Due to the location of the volcano within the boundaries of a protected area, drilling permits are extremely limited.
Climbing the Rincon de la Vieja volcano is quite an adventure, the trail is 8km from the ranger station, the initial 6km of the climb slope gently through two types of forests, the last 2km boast a fifty-degree slope. The weather can become quite foggy and its easy to get lost, so make sure you have a guide. Along the way you will discover different habitats, different altitudes and tons of wildlife. The landscape is adorned with lagoons, miniature mud volcanoes, hot springs, stem vents and hydrographic basins. Rincon de la Vieja volcano is home to 257 bird species, endless insect species, squirrels, butterflies, just to name a few of the wonderful specimens you are sure to glimpse. Rincon de la Vieja volcano is known as the place in Costa Rica with the largest wild purple orchid population, the country's national flower. Come experience the unusual variation of terrain and climate, watch wildlife interact with their environment and feel closer to nature when you reach the top of Rincon de la Vieja volcano