Costa Rica has recently declared the Miravalles Volcano National Park-Jorge Manuel Dengo the country’s 29th national park.

The new addition, located in the north-western region of Guanacaste, is one of Costa Rica’s hidden gems – it is nearly 5,000 hectares and features some of Costa Rica’s biggest geothermal fields. Costa Rica’s protected areas now encompass more than 25% of its land mass, more than any other country in the world.

The new National Park, previously called Miravalles Volcano Protected Area, gets its name from environmentalist Jorge Manuel Dengo Obregón, one of the country’s greatest environmentalists and a big player in the creation of national parks in Costa Rica. Jorge Manuel Dengo (1918-2012) was the founder of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), vice-president of Costa Rica (1986-1990), foreign trade minister (1982-1986) and an expert in natural disasters.

Miravalles Volcano National Park-Jorge Manuel Dengo

The naming change from Protected Area to National Park is based on the area’s biophysical features, natural resources and potential for environmental research and education. Jaguars, big cats, ocelots, cougars and tapirs are some of the species that can be found in the National Park, whose sights are dominated by Miravalles Volcano. Standing at 6,654 feet, it is the tallest volcano in the Guanacaste mountain range and generates an abundance of geothermal energy. This is why the thermal hot springs are one of the most popular attractions is the area of the park.

To read more about Costa Rica’s national parks and the country’s numerous other attractions read our Essential Costa Rica Travel Guide.

Guanacaste is one of Costa Rica’s most popular regions – 30 miles away from Liberia International Airport. Positioned in the north-western corner of the country and featuring a tropical yet dry climate, the region presents a diverse geography and boasts many of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches. By day, visitors can challenge themselves with a surf lesson in Playa Junquillal and cool off under Llanos de Cortez Waterfall before enjoying the active nightlife in Tamarindo.

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