Santa Rosa National Park

"witch's rock"

Santa Rosa National Park is a breathtaking natural reserve located in the northwestern province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica. The park is famous for its diverse ecosystems, ranging from dry tropical forest to wetlands and pristine beaches. It covers an area of approximately 50,000 acres, making it one of the largest parks in the country. Established in 1971, Santa Rosa National Park is recognized as the birthplace of Costa Rican conservation efforts and is home to several endangered species of flora and fauna. The park offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica, explore its rich cultural heritage, and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and camping.

Things to do:
Playa Naranjo
Playa Naranjo is well-known for having some of the best surfing waves in the country and is home to the famous witches’ rock. Be advised that the waves in Playa Naranjo are only for experts. The beach is normally empty giving untouched vibes and is surrounded by mangroves. The trail to Playa Naranjo is an 8km long journey from the Santa Rosa station and can only be accessed by 4×4 cars during the dry season or walking.

There are several trails in the Santa Rosa sector that take you through spectacular jungle and pristine waterfalls. Some of the most popular trails include the Indio Naced trail and the Los Patos trail.

Murcielago islands
The Murcielago islands are extremely good spots for experienced scuba divers as is it considered one of the top three places for diving in Costa Rica. In here you can easily see bull sharks and many other species of fish that live around the island’s reefs and underwater caves. The only way to get to the islands is by boat and you can rent a boat ride that is about one hour long.


Plan your visit

Hours and Entrance fee:
Santa Rosa national park is open daily from 8am to 3:30pm unless you plan to camp overnight. The entrance fee for non-residents is $15 USD and $5 USD for children. For residents and nationals the fee is ¢1100 colones and ¢500 for children. You can purchase your tickets online in the SINAC official website.

Santa Rosa National Park offers several options for visitors looking to stay overnight. There are two campgrounds within the park, which are open to visitors year-round. The price for the camping right is $4 USD per night per person and you need the entry ticket as well. The campgrounds offer basic facilities such as showers, toilets, and fire pits. There are also several hotels and lodges located outside the park but still close ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts.

How to get there:
Renting a 4×4 car is the best recommended option since many trails to the beaches are only accessible by 4×4 cars and are far away from the park’s entrance. Also no buses make the journey to inside the park so unless you’r willing to walk for hours, renting a car is the most viable option. Taking a taxi to the Santa Rosa national park entrance from another town in Guanacaste like Playas del Coco is an option but it can be somewhat expensive and you would still have to walk a lot to get to the main attractions inside the park.



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