Palo Verde National Park
Size: 18,418 hectares.
Distance from San José: 240 kilometers.
Dry season: January through March.
Located 15 kilometers south of the city Bagaces, Palo Verde takes an area of wetlands and salt water and freshwater lagoons and marshes, habitat for the largest concentration of waterfowl in Costa Rica. Species that can be observed here belong Muscovy ducks, black-bellied whistling ducks, jabirus, herons, ibises, blue-winged teals and great blue herons. Nearly 300 bird species have been identified in this park, which is probably one of the best birding areas in Central America.
Other attractions include animals such as coyotes, peccaries, coatis, deer and monkeys. In addition, the Rio Tempisque features 36 navigable kilometers, observing the different landscapes and habitats of Palo Verde. Palo Verde park offers drinking water, outhouses, researcher accommodations, hiking trails and lookout points.
This park and refuge are part of the biogeographic unit known as “Tempisque Lowlands”. These flood plains are a mosaic of different habitats, which are divided by rivers and a series of limestone mountain peaks. The flat part is made from alluvial deposits, which originate from the Quaternay era that began a million years ago.
You must be very careful because Africanized honey bees have set a permanent resident of the park. Be sure to ask someone from the car before entering into any part of the park. There are some places that are off-limits because of the bee hazard.
The Palo Verde region is subject to vast, seasonal inundations. During the rainy season and due to the poor natural drainage system of plains, a cumulative effect of rain, tides and the overflowing of the Tempisque and Bebedero rivers flood the region. In some exceptional cases, the entire zone turns into an immense lake. Palo Verde is one of the regions with the greatest ecological variety in the country. There are more than 12, habitats, These are formed by the topography, soil conditions, natural damming that occurs in the rivers, and tidal action.
The Palo Verde area is subject to large seasonal flooding. During the rainy season and due to poor natural drainage of land, the cumulative effect of the rain, tides and the overflowing of Bebedero and Tempisque rivers flood the region. In some exceptional cases, the entire area turns into a giant lake. Palo Verde is one of the regions with the greatest ecological diversity of the country. There are more than 12, living spaces, these are the topography, soil conditions, natural congestion that occurs in the rivers, and tides formed.
In both wilderness areas 148 tree species have been identified. One of the most common, of which the park takes its name, the Palo Verde or horse bean. This shrub, green from the leaves to its branches, and part of her trunk growing in the swamps and other habitats. One of the largest trees the espave, silk cotton, spiny cedar, gonzalo alves, Panama wood and barrigon.
The natural network of waterways in Palo Verde provides the ideal conditions for the largest concentration of waterfowl and wading birds in Costa Rica and throughout Central America. From now on, from September to March pour hundreds of thousands of herons, storks, egrets, grebes, ibis, ducks and jacanas flock to the lakes and surrounding areas to feed and mate. In two wilderness areas, identification of 300 bird species, including land and water birds. There is also an important nesting site for the glossy ibis, anhinga, roseate spoonbills an endangered species, and nest in the forested areas of both the park and the refuge.
These forests are also home to the only population of scarlet macaws in the Dry Pacific. Palo Verde is a wilderness of great natural beauty, so much in the dry than in the rainy season, although the mosquitoes can occasionally cause a large amount of visitors the use of insect repellent. Among the natural spots that are worth a visit, the look-outs on Catalina and Guayacan peaks, two of the most spectacular in the region: the Tiger Cave (in the refuge) and the hollow stone (in the park), the magnificent limestone formations that are both caves and outright transfer gardens. Bocana and Lake (in the park), protecting the incredible number of birds all year long.
Habitats found in the park: lakes and freshwater and brackish water marshes, black mangrove grasslands, mangroves, rough-leaf tree grassland, thorn scrub, lowland deciduous forest, hillside forest, lowland forest, savannah woodland, evergreen forest and swamp forest.
Birds can be found here: herons, storks (Wood Stork), egrets, grebes, ibis, ducks (Black-bellied tree duck) and Jacana, Blue-winged Teal, jabiru, scarlet macaw.
Animals found in the park: howler monkeys, white-nosed coatis, white-faced capuchin monkeys, white-tailed deer, coyotes, Mexican tree porcupine, tree squirrel, crocodiles up to five meters long and Pacific sharpnose sharks have been seen in the Tempisque River.