Santa Rosa National Park was created in 1971 to commemorate and preserve the historical setting of the Battle of Santa Rosa (March 20, 1856), including the historical mansion and the stonewall corrals. The 38,674 hectares park, which covers most of the Santa Elena Peninsula, is part of a mosaic of ecologically interdependent parks and reserves—the 110,000-hectare Guanacaste.
The park is divided into two sections: the accessible Santa Rosa Sector to the south (1, 37 km north of Liberia) and the Murciélago Sector (10 km farther north, via Cuajiniquil), separated by a swathe of privately owned land.
Along Costa Rica’s Interamerican Highway, about 19.3 Km past the entrance to Santa Rosa Sector, turn left towards the town of Cuajiniquil. Turn left again (SW) and continue on dirt road about 6,4 Km to the Murcielagos Station. Since this road is often inaccessible, it is best to stop at Santa Rosa Station ahead of time to inquire about road conditions throughout the park.
The park protects fragments of tropical dry forest, including mangrove swamp, savanna, and oak forests. It’s home to many different species of flora and fauna, such as coyotes, peccaries, tapirs white-tailed deer; coatimundis; howler, spider, and white-faced monkeys; and anteaters, more than 250 bird species and 115 mammal species (half of them bats, including two vampire species) and many sea and land turtles. During the wet season, the land is as green as emeralds and wildlife disperses. During the dry season, however, wildlife congregates at watering holes where they’re easily spotted. Jaguars, margays, ocelots, pumas, and jaguarundis also live in the region, but are rarely seen.
Driving Directions to Santa Rosa National Park
Traveling to the Santa Rosa sector from San Jose, take the Interamerican highway to Liberia and continue on the Interamerican highway about 32 km until you get to Potrerillos. The entrance to Santa Rosa Sector is on the left, 9.6 Km past Potrerillos.