We went on a trip to Barra Honda to discover the most important caves in the country, an incredible place with the best view of the Gulf of Nicoya and its mountains … So take a walk to this epic National Park!
How to get there?
Go towards Guanacaste in route 1 when you reach the intersection in Limonal (where the giant bull is), turn left for about 25 minutes until you see the sign for Barra Honda National Park where you have to turn right and continue for about 15 more minutes.
What to bring?
Fresh clothes, trail tennis shoes, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent, sunscreen, couple of bottles of water, fruits and snacks and an excellent attitude.
¢ 1000 per person general admission
¢ 11000 per person for the guided tour to the Terciopelo cavern.
For this trip we arrived separately, Tavo and Karla left at 6:00 a.m. from san Jose and I (Trejos) at 7:30 a.m., so we met at the entrance of the National Park at almost 9 in the morning. We arrived at the parking lot and went to the little window where we paid the entrance and the guide took us to the cavern. (If you have a 4 × 4 car it is an advantage since you can save 2kms of ascent until you get to the parking lot where the trail really starts) otherwise, you have to walk 2km ascend to start.
The guide named Joel got in the car with us, super nice dude, he was telling us on the way about what we were going to do and general information about the Park and its history. We arrived at the parking lot, get our stuff out and started walking towards the Terciopelo Cavern, on the road (which is all under the shade) we saw coatis, white-faced monkeys, woodpeckers, flowering yellow bark trees and many plants peculiar to the area. We lasted about 45 minutes along the path (mostly flat) until we reached the entrance to the cavern, where we had a small picnic to avoid starving underground and then went to get the safety harness to go down.
To enter the cave you have to go down a vertical metal staircase that at first may freak you out, but on the way, the emotion starts to fade as you get down. One by one we reached the floor of the cavern and traveled all corners, on average the tour takes almost an hour and it is worth it since this place that seems from another planet. Joel our guide told us that the mountain that covers the national park was at some point under the sea, and this explains the reason for its reef formations abundant in calcium and other minerals which are linked to the longevity of older adults in the area.
Then we climbed back up the stairs and as it was almost noon we ate another snack and continued to the viewpoint that is about 10 minutes from the cavern. To get there, you have to climb up a path until you get to the place with the best view of all of Nicoya, then this is where we took the best photos of the trip.
After this, we went back nonstop to the parking lot where we left the car and went down the mountain to find a place to have lunch as God intended …. and then back home.