Barra Honda National Park

Nicoya, Costa Rica

©Sue & Ray, Toucan Maps

The area of the Tempisque Basin where the Nicoya Peninsula joins the mainland has a foundation of relatively soft limestone. Water has cut extensive caves through Cerro Barra Honda and the other small mountains creating the best know feature of this National Park. However, the park also has well maintained hiking trails. The protected tropical dry forest (though mostly secondary) within its borders is some of the last in the world, and very different from the rain and cloud forests that attract many ecological tourists to Costa Rica.

The Caverns
The soda straws, pearls, roses, needles, cave grapes, curtains, terraces, stalactites, stalagmites and other calcareous formations of the more than 40 limestone caverns are the main attraction at Barra Honda National Park. The caves are all in relatively good condition because their vertical entrances are difficult to negotiate. This is also why you need climbing gear, a guide, and permission from the Parks service in advance to enter them.

The caves range from a few feet to over 780 feet (240 meters) deep. Pozo Hediondo (Fetid Pit) Cave was named for the aroma of the guano deposited by thousands of resident bats. Until the caverns were discovered and explored in the late sixties, many belived that Cerro Barra Honda was a volcano because of the roaring sounds made by the bats as they departed the caverns en masse, and the fumes from the caves they occupied.

Amenities & Features

Recommended Near Barra Honda National Park

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Nearby Activities & Attractions

Nearby Hotels & Lodges

OTS Palo Verde Lodge
La Amistad Lodge

The nearest town is Nicoya, 14.2 km away and Airstrip Islita airport is 36.7 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 Barra Honda National Park are latitude 10.1868, longitude -85.3318. (exact GPS coordinates are accurate to within a few meters, gps data labeled approximate is within a few hundred meters)