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Best challenging hike 3.5 miles (5.5km) in Parque Nacional Barbilla


About 22km (14 miles) south of Siquirres, Parque Nacional Barbilla is not for the timid, as the hike is challenging and facilities are nonexistent. But if you want to follow untrodden trails and learn about the indigenous Cabécar people, it may be for you. The hike delves into the humid lowland forest, rich with wildlife and the rushing Río Danta, which tumbles over two magnificent waterfalls on your way.


The trail is muddy and steep with multiple river crossings. It also requires an indigenous guide, whose insights on the Barbilla area and the Cabécar culture are bound to be a highlight of the hike. Contact the Barbilla ranger station in advance to make arrangements for a guide.

Parque Nacional Barbilla is one segment of a newly developed thru-hike known as the Camino de Costa Rica. This epic coast-to-coast journey traverses the country, following rural roads and connecting small villages and indigenous communities. Lodging is available at simple guesthouses and with local families along the route. The goal is to give curious travelers a chance to visit lesser-seen cultures and communities in a mutually-beneficial and purposeful way.