Parque Nacional Barra Honda Caverns
Parque Nacional Barra Honda Caverns information
You can only explore the caves with a guide from the Asociación de Guías Ecologistas de Barra Honda, which can be arranged at the ranger station. A guide charges about US$36 per person, US$52 for two, not including park admission. The descent involves ladders and ropes, so you should be reasonably fit and must be at least 12 years old.
The only cave with regular access to the public is the 41m-deep La Terciopelo, which has the most speleothems – calcite figures that rise and fall in the cave’s interior. The best known of these is El Órgano, which produces several notes when lightly struck. Scientists and visitors must obtain permits to enter other caves. These include Santa Ana, the deepest at 161m; Trampa (Trap), 110m deep with a vertical 52m drop; Nicoya, where early human remains were found; and Pozo Hediondo, or Fetid Pit. It's a cave, not a cavern, famous for its more than 5000 resident bats which create mountainous piles of guano. Walk the 2km from the park gate to the cavern's mouth or opt for a ride in a 4x4. Tours to the caverns on foot last about four hours. Only groups of five people or less can enter the caverns and they cannot be entered after 1pm.