There is plenty of wildlife in the park. In the caves, there are bats, blindfish, salamanders, frogs, spiders, and other cave dwelling insects. Above ground, there are deer, kinkajous, skunks, coatis, armadillos, capuchin monkeys, and howler monkeys. There are several species of reptiles including iguanas and snakes such as rattlesnakes, terciopelo, and boas. Birds that inhabit the park include parakeets, red-lored parrots, magpie-jay, and roadside hawks.
Barra Honda is managed by the government of Costa Rica. It is open daily between the hours of 08:00 - 16:00. There is a ranger station at the park with public restrooms. The entrance fee to the park is $12 per person. There are no overnight facilities in the park. Most visitors stay in hotels in Samara, Tamarindo, or Flamingo.
More about Barra Honda Park
A visit to the caves begins with either descending down a tall ladder or with a nearly 60 foot rappel down into Terciopelo Cave. The caves house stalactites and stalagmites as well as other mineral deposit formations. In total, there are 42 caves, only 19 of which have been surveyed.
In addition to the cave tours and nature hikes, Barra Honda National Park offers visitors an opportunity to climb a 2 mile long trail known as the Los Laureles trail that will lead you to Barra Honda summit - a location that presents breathtaking views over the Gulf of Nicoya and surrounding countryside.
At a glance
Region: Nicoya Peninsula, Northwest Costa Rica
Closest town: Nicoya
Size in hectares: 2,300 (5,683 acres)
Year established: 1974
Elevation in meters: 100 – 442 (328 – 1,450 feet)
Private managed: no
Government managed: yes
Rangers station: yes
Overnight facilities: no
Public restrooms: yes
Entrance fee: $12pp
Hours: 08:00 - 16:00
Hiking trails: yes (and spelunking)
Boat tours: no
Average temperature range in Fahrenheit: 70 - 90
Average yearly precipitation in millimeters: 1,600 (63 inches)
Habitat: tropical dry forest, caves
How to get there
From San Jose, take Rt. 27 west to and past Puntarenas. When you reach Rt. 1, take it northwest until you reach Limonal. Turn left on Rt. 18 southwest and follow to the Tempisque Bridge. From there continue12 kilometers and then turn right, following signs to Barra Honda.
Weather and packing
Barra Honda National Park is located in a climate zone that is hot and dry for most of the year. During the day, temperatures often exceed 90 degrees (above ground) and the upper 70s at night. The park receives an average of 1,600 mm or 63 inches of rain per year. The driest months are December through August.
Visitors should pack shorts, tee shirts, appropriate shoes, rain gear, sun block, and insect repellent. Click here for more packing ideas.
Fun Fact: The Barra Honda caves are limestone caves which were created when this area was under the sea millions of years ago.