Palo Verde National Park is located on the banks of the Tempisque River, in the Nicoya Peninsula. It is one of the best parks for Bird Watching and observing a whole array of wildlife and tropical fauna. It is the meeting area of the largest concentration of aquatic and migratory birds of the Central American Pacific Coast. The lowlands are covered by hills and rivers and the whole area is transformed into huge wetlands during the rainy season. There are so many birds that at times it is almost overwhelming! This is the birdwatchers’ paradise.
When to go to Palo Verde National Park
The best time to go is during the dry season from January to April. There is little water at this time of year in Guanacaste and the birds all gather by the marshes and waterholes. During the dry season, there is less vegetation, making it easier to spot the birds. Palo Verde National Park gets very full during the rainy season with at least 250,000 congregating there, which is actually quite astonishing, thus many people think that it’s the best time to go, however, it is definitely better to go during the months of the dry season. There are multiple tours that can be organized for your trip and arrangements for lodgings too.
The Flora and Fauna of Palo Verde National Park
Palo Verde National Park is not only a magnificent bird sanctuary; it is also an important refuge for one of the last remainders of the deciduous dry forests of the Neotropics. Once upon a time, the tropical dry forests covered most of the Pacific side of Central America, today, little remains. This is the driest part of Costa Rica and with little rain water, the bushes shed their leaves to save water and the photosynthesis takes place on the trunks of the tree thus they are green due to the coloration of the chlorophyll. During the dry season many trees are in bloom and boast brilliant yellow, pink and red flowers, this is truly enchanting!
Palo Verde is part of the Tempisque Conservation Area. This area includes the Caballero Wildlife Refuge, Barra Honda National Park, and the Lomas Barbudal Biological Reserve. These protected areas surpass 73,000 hectares and over fifteen different habitats making it one of Costa Rica’s most diverse areas; see 55 species of reptiles and amphibians, 75 species of mammals of which armadillos, monkeys, deer, coatis, and peccaries. Tempisque River has the largest concentration of crocodiles in the country.
Palo Verde National Park is famous as the home to the largest population of the rare and fascinating Jaguarundi, a tiny wild cat, that is often smaller than the familiar domestic cat. Don’t let their small stature fool you, these wild animals and can be ferocious! Look, but don’t touch! The incredible abundance of fauna is home to myriads of insects too; it is estimated that it is home to no less than 250 species of bees and that makes out a quarter of the world’s bees! You will see many colorful butterflies too, amongst the flowers and the many birds. Palo Verde National Park is not only the best place for Bird Watching; it is a haven for wildlife and vegetation.
How to Get to Palo Verde National Park
If you are driving, take the road to Liberia, then on to Bagaces that is actually 26 km South of Liberia. You will pass a dry forest and rice and sugar cane fields until you reach the entrance of the Palo Verde National Park. The entrance of the Barbudal Reserve is about 5 km before the Palo Verde National Park entrance. By bus, take the Rosaria bus in Nicoya, get off in Puerto Humo and from there the locals take you on the Tempisque River to the Chamorro dock. If you wish to take a Tour to Isla de Pajaros or on the Bebedero River. There are boats at the Tempisque bridge that can take you there. Palo Verde’s ranger station has a camping site equipped with showers and bathrooms. There are also cabins equipped with bunk beds.
What to See
Over 250,00 species of birds, plus mammals, amphibians and reptiles
How to Get There and Where to Stay
By car or by bus The station Ranger has camping facilities and some equipped cabins.
When to Go
In the dry season, Between December and April, is best to visit Palo Verde National Park.
This amazing park is part of many other National Parks in Costa Rica.