North Pacific Coast Places

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Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Getting Here and Around

There are two park entrances on the volcano's southern slope: the less-traveled one at Hacienda Santa María on the road leading northeast from Liberia (one hour), where there is camping available; and the one at Las Pailas, past Curubandé off the Pan-American Highway. To get to Las Pailas entrance from Liberia, take the first entrance road 5 km (3 miles) northwest of Liberia off the Pan-American Highway. The turnoff is easy to miss—follow signs for Hacienda Guachipelín or the town of Curubandé. It's a very rough 23-km (14-mile) dirt road, enveloped in white dust, and you have to pay a small toll (about $1.50). The Santa María entrance is 25 km (15 miles) northeast of Liberia along the Colonia Blanca route, which follows the course of the Río Liberia. The turnoff from the Pan-American Highway to the hotels on the western slope of the volcano is 12 km (7 miles) northwest of Liberia, turning right at the road signed for Cañas Dulces. A 4WD vehicle is recommended, though not essential, for all these slow and bone-rattling rides.

La Posada del Tope Tours. There is no bus service to Rincón de la Vieja, but La Posada del Tope Tours arranges shuttle van transportation to the park entrance for $20 round-trip per person, leaving Liberia at 7 am and returning from the park at 4 pm. This agency is also the only place where you can buy tickets for the Tica bus heading north to Nicaragua. C. Real between Avdas. 2 and 4, 150 m south of cathedral entrance, Downtown, Liberia. 2666–3876.

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