The Las Pailas Trail is located in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, one of the most interesting places for hiking because it is the home to the active, 6217 foot high Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, and showcases the resulting geothermal activity, like geysers and fumerols scattered around the base. This 35,000 acre national park with its numerous trails twisting throughout the park is teeming with wildlife living within the tropical forest.
You will begin from Hacienda Guachipelin Lodge where you will meet your guide. From there you will go on an interesting 45 minute hike through the Lodge’s ranch and conservation areas. The changing landscapes of the beautiful dry tropical forest and savanna vegetation makes for an interesting hike and chance to see a wide variety of habitats. Your local guide will be sure to show you any visible wildlife within the area on the day of your visit. During this moderately hilly hike you will be granted many opportunities to take awesome photos of the volcano especially on a clear day.
Once you reach Rincon de la Vieja National Park you will hike the Las Pailas Trail that loops around 2.5 miles taking you to an area with almost other-worldly terrain. In the clearing of the forest lie interesting geothermal offshoots from the volcano: steamy fumerols, coffee-colored boiling water pools and bubbling grey mud, occasionally spurting upwards in a giant splash. No wonder this trail is called the Pailas “cauldrons” trail, as the bubbling earth mimics the bubbling cauldrons found in kitchen hearths years ago. Kids especially love to see this. These volcanic features are located far enough away from the trail that this remains a safe and fun hike for everyone.
Large groups of travelers frequent this park just to go birdwatching, to spot some of the 300 species of birds that live here. On your hike you might see other forms of wildlife that live here too, such as: iguanas, snakes, white-nosed coatis, collared peccaries and three species of monkeys: White Faced Capuchin, Spider and Howler monkeys. If you hear the sound of branches cracking or interesting animal noises, look up! It could be a Spider Monkey. You’ll know for sure if you hear a Howler Monkey as their bellow is quite loud despite their small size. Bring your camera or binoculars to get a closer look!
This half day tour includes a local guide and transportation only from Hacienda Guachipelin. Rincon de la Vieja National Park entrance fee, typically $15 USD, and transportation from other hotels are NOT included. Please wear hiking boots or running shoes, light clothing and hat. Bring along sunscreen, bug repellent and a bottle of water. Note: Rincon de la Vieja National Park is closed on Mondays.