Brauilio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica
Brauilio Carrillo National Park provides the scenic backdrop for a drive from San Jose to Limon on the Caribbean side. Your first sight of Brauilio Carrillo National Park comes after emerging from a tunnel through the top of a mountain. On the other side, the road winds and climbs through 80,000 acres of virgin forest. On the western edge, you can spy Volcan Barvas, also visible from San Jose.
It’s like emerging into a Lost World. A vast, emerald valley immediately appears on the right side of the road, the air streaked with wispy clouds and darting birds. Farther on, you will pass towering beneath cliffs of orange and yellow soil and rock. Now and then a trickle of crystal pure water streams down the face, forming miniature waterfalls along its course
A Drive-through Cloud Forest.
The scenery continues nonstop for miles and miles. There are several miradores, or lookout points for sightseeing, but a few tourists have been robbed at these in the past. The best place to stop and get out for a longer look is at the Visitors Center, about a mile past the toll booth. Pay the entrance fee, and you can hike along several trails that offer stunning vistas. It is always wet here, so wear the appropriate hiking shoes.
During Rainy Season, landslides may block the road, occasionally shutting it down entirely for a day or more. Check with your hotel first if planning to drive to the coast. It’s a mere 20-minute drive from San Jose, making this an entertaining and convenient day trip by car for the whole family. Several small but comfortable hotels are nearby, one within walking distance, for those who wish to linge
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