Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica

Braulio Carrillo National Park is located just 30km northeast of the capital on Costa Rica and offers visitors hikes along spectacular jungle trails.

The Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica is located about 40 minutes by car northeast of the country's capital San José in the province of Heredia. The 45,000 hectare jungle is also called the lungs of San José. No wonder. 84% of the vegetation consists of lush tropical rainforest.


The national park was founded in 1978 and named after the third Costa Rican president Braulio Carrillo.

On the road in Braulio Carrillo National Park

Unusually, highway Route No. 32 runs through the middle of the National Park, dividing it into two separate sectors that are not connected by paths. These have their own entrances: the Quebrada Gonzáles sector and the Volcan Barva sector, named after the sleeping giant of the National Park.

As soon as you have left the busy traffic route, you will find yourself in another world after only a few minutes. 500 species of birds and 70 species of snakes are native to the national park, and over 135 species of mammals. The largest include jaguar, tapir, anteater and puma.

There are no guided tours offered on site, but due to the optimally signposted hiking trails, the so-called "senderos", the Braulio Carrillo National Park is extremely easy to explore on your own.

Places of interest in Braulio Carrillo National Park

The biggest attraction in the national park is the jungle itself. The hiking trails lead past foaming rivers, deep gorges, thundering waterfalls, misty forests with lianas, giant ferns and trees with gigantic leaves (called the "sunshades of the poor" by the locals). In between, butterflies flutter and various animals screech - in short: pure rainforest feeling!

Barva Volcano

The main attraction of the second sector, the Barva volcano, reaches a height of 2,900 metres and has been inactive for thousands of years. Three different crater lakes can be visited in its massif. A hike to the top will also take you through the different heights of vegetation. Once you reach the summit, you can also camp - when the rainforest emerges from the mist early in the morning and the air is wonderfully clear, you will know why you have climbed the imposing mountain.

Due to the higher altitude of this sector, several layers of clothing are recommended here. From May to November, heavy rain showers are not uncommon, especially in the afternoons, while the driest and sunniest month is March. Barva is not the only dormant mountain of fire, however. There are also Cerro Chompipe, Cerro Cacho Negro and Cerros las Tres Marías.


Rainforest Aerial Tram

A ride on the Rainforest Aerial Tram is certainly a unique experience. In small dark green gondolas, passengers float through the dense foliage of the rainforest at a height of 50 metres for 2.5 km and can meet the exotic forest animals eye to eye in the lush treetops - and all this in a completely environmentally friendly way! If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of the colourful bird of the gods, the quetzal. Reservations for the gondola ride are not required.