A volcanic rainforest
There are seven marked hiking trails in the park that vary in terms of terrain, length and level of difficulty. One of the most spectacular trails is the Sendero de las Cataratas — ‘waterfall trail’ — that covers around 18 kilometres and takes you along various waterfalls. Plan to spend the entire day hiking. Along the path, you encounter a wide range of bird species, such as hummingbirds, toucans, peacocks and parrots. Of the mammals that live in the park, monkeys are the easiest to spot but, with a little luck, you may also get to see wild boar, coatis (similar to a raccoon, only with a long snout), skunks, sloths, anteaters and armadillos.
Although the trail to the crater of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano is often closed due to the risk of eruption, it is clear that this is an active volcanic area: many trails take you past hissing fumaroles and bubbling mud pools. A nice added touch is that, in many cases, after a long hike, you can bathe in a soothing hot spring or cool off in a refreshing river.
Rio Negro Tubing Adventure
You can also admire the natural wealth of the park while floating in a large inner tube, like five kilometres of rapids in the Rio Negro, a fast-flowing river. This Rio Negro Tubing Adventure is supervised by guides and takes you on a number of spectacular rapids (class 2 and 3). In the calmer parts of the river, there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and sounds of the rainforest. The tours depart from Hacienda Guachipelín and ‘adventurers’ are transported to the starting point of the rapids by horse.