Piedras Blancas National Park a hidden gem of Costa Rica

Piedras Blancas National Park is located in the southern Pacific Coast, more precisely in the southern part of Puntarenas Province, the Osa Peninsula right near Golfito and was established in 1991.

The park was initially built as an extension to Corcovado National Park to which is connected via a forest and biological corridor that ensures the diversity and the evolution of species.

Las Piedras Costa Rica is located right near the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge and because of the forest corridor that links it to Corcovado National Park, it ensures the ecological diversity in the Golfo Dulce.

The park has around 14.100 hectares and is one of the last untouched habitats where you can spot the elusive jaguars from Costa Rica.

This protected area includes not just the Costa Rica rainforest from this part of the country but also the northern Golfo Dulce bays and beaches.

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Piedras Blancas National Park Costa Rica Rainforest
Piedras Blancas Costa Rica National Park Rainforest

Getting to Piedras Blancas National Park

There are two easy ways to get to the park from San Jose, the capital city of the country:

  • By car
  • By plane

If you choose to drive from San Jose to the park you have to follow the Pan American highway to Palma Sur and go a little further to the south to the town of La Gamba.

 

Piedras Blancas National Park Sign Costa Rica
Piedras Blancas entrance sign to Costa Rica National Park

 

From this town located 20 miles from Palma Sur, you can easily reach the entrance to Piedras Blancas Costa Rica.

The car gives you not just the comfort of your home but also the mobility you need to explore this magnificent country.

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Or, if you don’t want to drive in a foreign country you can choose to take a plane from San Jose International Airport to Golfito or to Puerto Jimenez and from there you can arrange with your hotel a boat transfer to the villages near the park.

Las Piedras Costa Rica flora and fauna

The park is home to one of the most diverse plants and wildlife from the entire world, being one of the last places on earth where you can find such rich diversity.

It is considered to be richer in fauna and flora than many other parks from Costa Rica, including Corcovado National Park, an area described by National Geographic as “the most ecologically intense place on earth”.

There are thousands of rare plants, insects and animals living in these forests as well as a large number of reptiles and snakes.

 

Piedras Blancas National Park Costa Rica Kapok tree
National Park Piedras Blancas Costa Rica Kapok tree

 

Inside the protected area you can find hundreds of species of trees, epiphytes and herbs, some of them being in danger of extinction, while about other species researchers know very little.

These rich forests are also home to many types of fungi and lichen which are according to specialists the second most diverse species after insects.

Piedras Blancas National Park is also very rich in fauna with more than 140 species of mammals living inside the protected area, including native cats like the jaguar, puma, margay, ocelot and jaguarundi as well as all the four species of Costa Rican monkeys (white-faced capuchin, howler monkey, squirrel and spider monkeys) and more than 50 species of bats.

 

Jaguar Piedras Blancas National Park Costa Rica
Jaguar Piedras Blancas Costa Rica National Park

 

The park is also the meeting place for birds that come from South and North America and more than 350 species of birds have been identified in the area and this makes Golfo Dulce Retreat the best destination for bird watching.

Scarlet macaws, hummingbirds, crested guans, aracaris, herons, woodpeckers, antbirds, toucans, great curassows and the list could go on, as these are just some of the species that can be seen inside the park.

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Entrance fee and opening hours for Las Piedras Costa Rica

The park is open on a daily basis from 8 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon and the entrance fee is around 15 USD.
The entrance ranger station is located in the town of La Gamba which can be accessed by car on a paved road.

Piedras Blancas Costa Rica scenery

In this protected area, you can find one of the last remains of the Costa Rica rainforest, an evergreen habitat home to many species of animals, insects, plants and trees.

Hidden in the lush jungle you can find some very beautiful waterfalls and rivers that collect the rainwater and transport it into the sea.

 

Piedras Blancas Costa Rica
Piedras Blancas National Park Costa Rica Rainforest

 

Some stunning beaches and a beautiful coral reef located close to the shore are also included in this protected area.

In the marine area near the park, you may spot humpback whales and during a snorkelling tour, you may observe the diverse marine life that lives in the coral reef close to the shore.

Accommodation

It is a beautiful area with a lot of great accommodations out of which I would recommend:

Conclusion

One of the best-kept secrets of Costa Rica, Las Piedras is the richest protected area from the country, home to an impressive flora and fauna.

It is a place which should be visited on your Costa Rican holiday, especially if you plan to go to the southern Pacific Coast.

 

Plan your trip to this beautiful place: Logistical tips and tricks

Book your accommodation

We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance

We never leave home without World Nomads Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car

We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Rentalcars. com as they have free cancellation 24 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

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