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Guanacaste

The way to the headquarters is either from Nicoya - Pueblo Viejo - Nacome Park or by the Tempisque ferry - Puerto Moreno - Quebrada Honda - Nacaome Park.

Barra Honda National Park (2,295 hectares) protects networks of caves, stands of tropical dry forest, land undergoing regeneration and headwaters in the limstone peaks of Barra Honda, Quebrada Honda and Corralillo in Nicoya Canton.

Barra Honda Peak is made up of deposits of reef-tipe limestone, which were ancient islets from the Micene Era and which have been elevated 300 mts above the sediment-filled plains of the river Tempisque. The rain that falls over the limestone rock forms small circular holes called "dolines". The wate, charged with carbonic acid, is held in the pools and slowly filters through fissures or faults to the inside of the rock where it disolves calcareous meterial in one place and deposits it in another. Over thousands of years this gives rise to underground waterways that form caves with chambers or vaulted ceilings. the surface of these ceilings is hung with stalagtites, and stalagtites grow from the floor. When they meet they form columns, curtains and other strikingly beautiful formations.

The number of caves discovered on Barra Honda Peak is 42 until now. The most spectacular are Tercicopelo, Pozo Hediondo, with numerous bats, and Nicoa, where pre-Columbian human remains, artifacts and jewelry have been found. Santa Ana is unusual for its unique and numerous stalagtites, columns, pearls, flowers, chalk needles, mushrooms and other shaapes of weird beauty.

When visiting the caves, it must be remembered that many are inhabited by bats infected with rabies or the "Histoplasma capsulatum" spore that lodges in the lungs and can be fatal. Wildlife at the Park is sparce, however it shelters white tailed deer, racoon, white-nosed coaties, Southern opossums, Amazon skunks, turkey vultures, coyotes, magpie jays and orange-fronted parakeets.

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