Barra Honda National Park

The Barra Honda Peak is composed of ancient coral reefs that emerged as a result of a geological upheaval.
This limestone peak rises almost 300 meters high and dates back 60 million years.
The flat surface at the summit is pitted with holes of about 10 cms. in diameter and as big as several meters across.

A network of caves have been discovered at the peak, 19 of which have been explored to date.
The depths of the caves vary considerably. with the deepest. Santa Ana, descending 240 meters underground.
The most spectacular caves are "Terciopelo", "La Trampa" (The Trap) and "Santa Ana" where a profusion of stalagmites, stalactites, columns, pearls, chalk flowers and needles, helictites, popcorn, mushrooms. shark's teeth and other formations can be seen.

The park has an area of 2,295 hectares and the vegetation is mainly deciduous.
The wildlife is moderately varied. Some of the species that live in the park are: white-faced capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus), coyote (Canis ]atrans) common long-nosed armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). common racoon (Procyon lotor), white-nosed coati (Nasua nasua), southern opposum (Dideiphis marsupialis), Amazonian skunk (Conepatus semistria tus). magpie jay (Calocitta Formosa), orange fronted parakeet (Ara tinga canicularis) and the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura).

There are three unusually beautiful nature spots in the park. One is a look-out point on the southern edge of the summit which affords a magnificent view of the lower reaches of the peak and the southern part of the "Golfo de Nicoya" Gulf and another is "Los Mesones", a towering evergreen forest with the spectacular "La Cascada" waterfall.

Despite meticulous explorations of the caves, an unresolved mystery is that not one has been found with a sufficiently large underground reservoir to explain the abundance of water even during the long periods of drought.
This makes Barra Honda very important for the park and the water support of the nearby villages.

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Leatherback turtle baby heading for the sea

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