PHOTO: You never know what you’ll see at Palo Verde National Park in Costa Rica (Photo via Facebook)
Costa Rica has a seemingly endless assortment of natural wonders and incredible sights to keep visitors entranced for every moment of their stay. Indeed, this coastal rainforest nation has plenty of amazing experiences to offer, especially for those who love the great outdoors, nature, and all of the creatures with whom we share this planet.
One highlight we think should definitely be included in the agenda of everyone planning a trip to Costa Rica is a journey through Palo Verde National Park.
You will need to trek a little bit off the beaten path to arrive at this quiet hideaway of Mother Nature – although you could stay in luxury at JW Marriott Guanacaste resort – while visiting – but it is worth the effort.
Upon your arrival at Palo Verde you will find yourself in a sort of green utopia—a remote, serene environment that serves as a sanctuary for birds who migrate here from all over the region.
Palo Verde National Park is striking in part because it has a unique contrast of environmental characteristics. On the one hand, it is sort of a haven for the birds that flock here. Yet at the same time, it can almost have a sort of mystical feeling to it—as if it’s been hidden away quietly in the background while more high-profile attractions in other parts of Costa Rica get all of the attention.
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The atmosphere you will discover when you reach this park will depend on the timing of your visit. During the dry months, the park is extremely parched, reaching drought conditions. Since most of the park is barren during this period, the river basin serves as a sort of oasis where the birds gravitate, and where the only thriving flora and vegetation can be found.
In the spring, though, the area makes a remarkable transformation. That’s when the rains arrive, and suddenly it’s as if everything comes back to life. The trees become lush and full again, and everything is green and thriving. This constant alternating cycle is what allows Palo Verde National Park to achieve an interesting dual personality as both wetlands and a tropical dry forest.
With so many species of rare and unusual birds drawn to this location, the park is considered a must-see destination for bird watchers traveling to Costa Rica. It also would be a very interesting locale for nature lovers, or those who enjoy studying the environment or the various climates found on earth. Scientists, ecologists and botanists all find fascinating things to study and discover here. But it can also be appealing to the casual visitor who strives to find new and exciting places to explore that aren’t the most obvious tourist meccas. The striking landscape can also make for a terrific backdrop for eye-catching photos.
While the park and surrounding areas are great places to mountain bike for those who are up to the physical challenge, touring the region by boat is also a good option, as it gives you a way to observe the birds as they congregate around the water.