Braulio Carrillo National Park

Santa Clara, Costa Rica

©Sue & Ray, Toucan Maps

As you head east from San José on the Guápiles Highway the Zurquí tunnel transports you from the modern world into the rainforest and cloud forest of Braulio Carrillo National Park.

The two most important features of Braulio Carrillo National Park are ironically opposed in some ways. One is the huge expanse of virgin forest, and the other is the highway that gives easy access.

It is difficult at first from a conservation perspective to consider a major highway an attraction, but in the case of Braulio Carrillo National Park it clearly is. The highway is the reason that this area was protected (see established).

Even without leaving your car, the views are breathtaking, and one can\'t help but feel moved to try to conserve areas like this after traveling through. It\'s one of the busiest highways in Costa Rica, but if you walk a hundred yards to either side you are enveloped in another time.

Braulio Carrillo National Park covers 47500 hectares. Elevations range from 36 to 2900 meters (118 to 9514 feet). The habitats represented here are cloud forest, margin/edge, regenerating, tropical rainforest-lowland, tropical rainforest-upland

Braulio Carrillo is named after the third president of Costa Rica who proposed the Guápiles Highway from San José to the Caribbean in the early 1800\'s to allow Pacific slope coffee growers to ship to Europe without circling around South America. Over 150 years later when construction began, environmentalists were concerned that easy access would lead to deforestation. They used the value of the region as a watershed to leverage the establishing the National Park in 1978. The original area has come to be know the Zurquí sector since the addition of the 31,400 acre (12,700 hectare) northern Barva sector in 1986.

Amenities & Features

Recommended Near Braulio Carrillo National Park

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Nearby Activities & Attractions

Nearby Hotels & Lodges

Rara Avis
Peace Lodge

The nearest town is Santa Clara, 10.7 km away and Terminal Tobias Bolaños Airport airport is 34.8 km.

Please note that distances for nearby hotels, attractions, activites & other points of interest are in a straight line. Distances by road may be significantly longer!

The approximate gps map coordinates of Braulio Carrillo National Park are latitude 10.2404, longitude -84.0031. (exact GPS coordinates are accurate to within a few meters, gps data labeled approximate is within a few hundred meters)