Old Woman’s Corner: A Family-friendly Starter Rainforest.
TRC supports many conservation projects throughout the neotropics. We always welcome the intrepid visitor to the many projects that we help through your generous donations. Some of our land acquisition projects are fairly remote. We will gladly facilitate your visit to these sites and assist your contact with our sister NGOs at location.
For those wanting the rainforest experience without several days of travel by dug-out canoe and days of hiking by rough trail, there are alternatives. Easy to access and situated in the wild west of Costa Rica, El Rincon de la Vieja (lit. The Old Woman’s Corner) is a place to visit.
Less than one hour’s drive from Liberia International Airport in Guanacaste County, Costa Rica, lays a series of volcanic structures. Enshrouded in mist and filled with sounds of howler monkeys bellowing in the distance, this park offers an experience that doesn’t require you to be Indiana Jones.
The last stretch of road (approximately 15 km) required to access the park’s many trailheads can be a bit bumpy. The drive, however, is more than worth the hassle. A four wheel drive vehicle is advisable, especially during the rainy season.
There is a day use fee (around $20 per person) that goes towards maintaining the park. You can pay in US dollars or the local currency ‘colones’. There are a number of nearby ranch style accommodations that cater to the nature lover who doesn’t want to rough it. Trails range from an easy 3 km loops to trails that more strenuous 16 km all day ventures.
As a start, try the 3 hour loop trail that takes you past gurgling steam and mud vents. As you walk under the canopy of giant ficuses, you’ll see amazing buttress roots, clinging bromeliads and a lush understory of bamboos. White faced capuchin monkeys frequent the area as they jump from vine to vine. Philodendrons cling down from steep cliffs that rain down spectacular waterfalls.
You’ll likely come across several Coatis (a relative of the raccoon) and agoutis (a fairly large jungle rodent). Remember not to feed wildlife. Be respectful of nature and never try to pet any animal in the wild, no matter how friendly they may appear. Exercise common sense and you’ll take home a special memory and a new appreciation of this emerald forest.