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Piedras Blancas National Park

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Piedras Blancas National Park, located in the Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica, is a pristine haven for biodiversity and nature enthusiasts. Created in 1991, this verdant park provides a singular view of the several ecosystems that characterize Costa Rica’s natural splendor. Piedras Blancas National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone eager to explore the wonders of Central America, thanks to its lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes.

Overview of Piedras Blancas National Park

With an area of approximately 34,642 acres, Piedras Blancas National Park is recognized for being home to some of the world’s most diverse wildlife populations; scientists at the University of Vienna now estimate that the biodiversity of the area is on par with or even higher than that of Corcovado National Park, which National Geographic has dubbed “the most ecologically intense place on earth.”

The park’s terrain includes primary and secondary rainforests, mangroves, and coastal habitats, making it an extremely ecologically diverse region in Costa Rica. It is an integral part of the Osa Conservation Area, which is devoted to protecting the nation’s natural heritage and acts as a refuge for many endangered species.

Location, Hours, and Cost

Piedras Blancas National Park is situated on the Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica’s Puntarenas Province, near the border with Panama. The park is adjacent to the Golfo Dulce, a tropical fjord known for its calm, warm waters. The nearest town to the park is Golfito, which serves as a gateway for visitors.

The park’s remote location enhances its appeal as an unspoiled natural wonder, far from the more touristy areas of Costa Rica and it is located only 8.5 km (5 miles) away from Golfito National Wildlife Refuge, another fantastic natural gem close by.
The park is open to visitors year-round, typically from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Entrance fees for Piedras Blancas National Park are reasonable, with costs usually around $11 USD for international visitors. In order to preserve the park’s natural beauty for future generations, these fees assist in funding conservation and maintenance projects inside the park.

Things to Do in Piedras Blancas National Park

Piedras Blancas National Park offers numerous activities for outdoor enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. Some of these are:


Hiking and Wildlife Watching

The deep, pristine forest of Piedras Blancas National Park offers wild paths that vary in difficulty making it a great place to go jungle hiking. Visitors can encounter a wide array of fauna, since more than 140 species of mammals live in the park, including all four species of monkeys present in Costa Rica (howler monkey spider, white-faced capuchin, and squirrel monkey) and five species of native cats (puma, ocelot, margay, jaguar, and jaguarundi). There are over 350 distinct bird species, 53 kinds of bats, and 100 varieties of amphibians and reptiles.


Bird Watching

With its rich avian diversity, Piedras Blancas is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The park is home to several rare and endemic species, such as the scarlet macaw, honeycreepers, great curassows, the black-cheeked ant tanager, and many more. Guided bird-watching tours are available for those looking to enhance their experience and learn more about the local birdlife.


Marine Activities

Visitors can enjoy a variety of maritime activities due to the proximity to the Golfo Dulce. Popular activities in the park include kayaking, snorkeling, and fishing, which provide an opportunity to see marine life like dolphins, sea turtles, and colorful fish as well as to explore the coastal ecosystems.


Guided Tours

It is strongly advised to take one of the informative, locally-led guided tours to have a greater understanding of the park’s nature and history. These tours can provide valuable information about the park’s flora and fauna, and its conservation initiatives.
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Best Time to Visit and What to Bring

The best time to visit Piedras Blancas National Park is during the dry season, taking place from December to April. The weather is usually dry and bright throughout this time of year, which makes it perfect for outdoor activities. Nonetheless, despite the increased rainfall, the park’s rainforests are breathtaking all year round, and the rainy season (May to November) brings with them an abundance of foliage and vivid wildlife activity.

Visitors to Piedras Blancas National Park should come prepared to fully enjoy the park’s natural beauty, the most important items we advise you to bring with you are:

  • Breathable attire as the climate is warm and humid.
  • Rain gear.
  • Sturdy hiking boots.
  • Reusable water bottles to lessen your impact on the environment and keep you hydrated.
  • Binoculars if you want to do bird-watching and wildlife observation in detail.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Camera
Piedras Blancas National Park in Costa Rica offers visitors incredible biodiversity and stunning landscapes protected through many conservation efforts. It’s a must-visit refuge where you can experience mother nature in all its splendor.

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Other Attractions

After you have visited volcanoes and national parks you may want to observe (or cool off in) some of the many beautiful waterfalls while in Costa Rica. Be sure to view our full list of things to do in Costa Rica to ensure you’re experiencing all of the main attractions while on your vacation.
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