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Braulio Carrillo National Park

National Parks

Braulio Carrillo was declared a National Park on April 15th, 1978. This park has 47.582 ha. and is the most extensive in the central area of the country.

Braulio Carrillo National Park is administrated by the Conservation Area of the Central Mountain Range, because it protects the hydraulic resources that provide water to the entire Central Valley.

Braulio Carillo includes many parks with volcano origins, such as the Barva Volcano, Cerro Cacho Negro and Zurqui.

There are two different stations in the park: Quebrada Gonzalez (along the highway) and the Barva Volcano (4 km from Sacramento, in Heredia).

Braulio Carrillo National Park was given its name in honor to Braulio Carrillo, the third head of state who governed Costa Rica from 1835-1837 and 1838-1842. Carrillo promoted the cultivation of coffee plantations and the export of this product into Europe; which is the main reason why he conceived the connection between the Central Valley and the Caribbean region of Costa Rica. During the administration of Tomas Guardia, another cobblestone road was built from Paracito de Moravia to the Honduras and Sucio rivers.

In 1977, the San Jose - Guapiles highway construction was started and by 1978, this park was declared primarily to pre-empt settlements of the zone with steep slopes, high mountains, heavy forests and diverse fauna.
The Braulio Carrillo National Park is covered with great density of forest and a botanical diversity. The primary forest has about 6.000 species of plants, half of Costa Rica’s plant species. Visitors can admire the manu, caoba, roble, caobilla, gavilan, among others, and trees like the botarrama, ceiba, yos, lorito and ojoche.

Braulio Carrillo National Park has a diverse fauna with more than 500 species of resident and migratory animals. Species like the king vulture, three wattle bird and the resplendent quetzal are commonly seen. Mammals as the white faced monkey, mantled howler, tapir, puma, jaguar, deer, anteater and the coyote also live in this National Park.

The Quebrada Gonzalez sector is located 2 km east from the Sucio River. This bridge has an elevation of 500 meters and it is known as perfect place for studying and observing plants and animals. It has a trail that goes from the station to the forest. The Sucio River is very important and dominant due to its volcanic minerals, which produce a unique color in its water.

The Barva Volcano sector is made of volcanic massif throughout 100 square km. Since the volcano’s eruption of 1772, there are few gas vents, thermal springs and lakes with volcanic origin, like Laguna Barva and Laguna Copey.

Braulio Carrillo National Park was created to protect natural and cultural resources; therefore it is not permitted to remove any rocks, animals or plants from the area. The park has a big staff available to help and provide information to visitors. It is important to stay inside the marked trails and keep the park clean.

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