Nicoya, Entertainment

Celebrate 40 Years at Barra Honda National Park

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A variety of activities are being planned for March 22 and 23 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Barra Honda National Park, including a recreational cycling event on Sunday.

The park, with its main attraction of underground caverns, was officially formed on March 20, 1974. On Saturday, the 22nd, activities will begin at 9 a.m. in the facilities at the park entrance and will be free to the public.

As part of an effort to recover the park’s history, an exposition has been prepared, including guest speaker Julian Gonzalez, a spelunker espeleólogo from Spain, who was one of the first people to descend into the caverns in the early 1970s before the park was officially founded. Gonzalez was contacted by the Mountaineering Association of the University of Costa Rica to help them explore the caves since no one in Costa Rica at that time had much experience in spelunking, according to the park administrator, Dorian Mendez. 

In addition, typical dances will be performed, typical food will be sold, a clown will perform for kids, doing balloon tricks, and 40 children from the surrounding communities of Barra Honda, El Flor and Santa Ana will graduate from the park’s environmental education program. Saturday’s activities will conclude with a marimba dance at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, for the first time, cyclists will ride along the trails of Barra Honda as well as the roads of surrounding communities, completing a 35-kilometers route that begins in Santa Ana at 8:30 a.m. A shorter 25-kilometer option is also available. Registration costs 5000 colones and can be done the day of the event or beforehand in Nicoya cycle shops. Park admission is included in the registration fee.

Mendez said they hope to have between 150 and 200 people participate in the cycling event, including local and national cyclists. Some from Guanacaste and Alajuela have already confirmed.

To get to Barra Honda National Park from Nicoya, continue straight past the Burger King where the road turns to gravel and go about 12 kilometers (7 miles), following the brown national park signs. For more information, call 2659-1551.