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General information


The Tapanti National Park is located in the district of Orosi, in Paraiso of Cartago, northeast from the Talamanca Mountain Range, in the massif of Cerro de la Muerte, 48 km from San Jose.
Conservation Area:
La Amistad – Pacific Conservation Area (ACLA-P)
58.500 hectares
Monday through Sunday: from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The visitors have access to the Monument all year long. Dry season: January through April
When to go?

Dry season: January through April

Conatct information
Regional Office:
(00506) 2206-5615
(00506) 2571-1781
Send mail
Web Page:
Visit Wen Page
Camping permissions:
General information
Tapanti is covered by an impressive very humid primary forest, where you can find many oak trees and rivers. It is located in an isolated area that has different altitudes that range from 1.220 to 2.560 meters above sea level, which result in great biodiversity.

The Tapanti National Park protects a great variety of ecosystems like moors, peats, swamps, savannahs with no trees, alder forests and high-altitude cloud forests with oak trees. The park has these life zones: pre-montane very humid forest, pre-montane pluvial forest, low montane pluvial forest, montane pluvial forest and subalpine moor.

It has more than 150 rivers due to the combination of its topography with high indexes of rainfall, allowing the formation of some waterfalls. The Rio Grande de Orosi crosses the park, which is very important for hydroelectric power generation and the supply of drinking water. The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) operates a dam in this territory.
The park is part of the Biosphere’s Reserve and is a World Heritage Site. It is a huge biological corridor perfect for the migration of species along with other national parks and reserves like La Amistad International Park.

This is one of the places in the country where it rains the most, with an average rainfall higher than 6.500 mm per year (it has reached the 8.000 mm). The average annual temperature is 20şC in the sections of El Humo and Pejiballe, and 6şC in the Cerro de la Muerte (3.491 meters above sea level).
It rains the most from May to October.

The Tapanti National Park has a rich and typical flora of Costa Rica. In this area, some processes that lead to the formation of new species from ones that already existed take place (speciation), so there are many endemic species.

It has five different life zones: very humid pre-montane forest, pre-montane pluvial forest, low montane pluvial forest, montane forest and subalpine pluvial moor (limited ecosystem and unique in Central America), which has a flower species named cańuela (Chusquea sp.).

There are tree species like the magnolia, the burio, the pink ira (Ocotea austinii), the alder, the miconia tree, the papayillo, the quebracho and the sombrilla de pobre (“beggar’s umbrella”, Gunnera insignis). There are also shortleaf figs, nance trees, oak trees, 47 types of bromeliads, 77 kinds of orchids and mosses, and 220 species of ferns.

There are around 45 different species of mammals, with some of them endangered or with reduced populations, such as the tapir, the paca, felids like the ocelot, the jaguarundi and the margay, the mountain goat, the mountain rabbit, the kinkajou, the raccoon, the coati, the white-faced monkey and the Central American agouti.

You can find about 260 species of birds, like quetzals, hawks, falcons, guans, goldfinches, hummingbirds, parrots, mountain hens, tanagers, golden orioles, warblers, ban-tailed pigeons, ducks, house sparrows, toucans and climbers.
There are 28 types of reptiles, like lizards, the basiliscus lizard, the parrot snake, the eyelash viper, the Picado’s jumping pitviper and the green vine snake (Oxybelis fulgidus).

You can also find more than 32 kinds of amphibians among frogs, toads and salamanders (some of which are endemic species).

There are many different types of insects in the park, where you can find colorful butterflies and moths, like the white witch moth (Thysania agrippina), which is the largest butterfly in America. You can see as well beetles, wasps and crickets.

Services and facilities on the Park
Tapanti section
Park rangers’ booth
Information office
Visitor center
Picnic areas
Panoramic views
Parking lot
Drinking water
Places where you can swim
First-aid stand
Water sources
La Esperanza del Guarco Biological Station: has space for 15 people, water, restrooms, showers and electricity. It is managed by the INBio (National Biodiversity Institute).

Inside the Park:
Mountain biking
Walking through the cloud forest and the rainforest
Swimming in the Rio Macho

Outside the Park
Visiting other national parks and nearby forest and native reserves
Visiting the CATIE Botanic Garden
Visiting the Lankester Botanic Garden
Visiting the Guayabo Monument
Rafting and kayaking in the Rio Pacuare
Taking the Coffee Tour

  • Recomendations
  • Interesting data
Tips para el viajero
Access recommendations
The schedule of the park is every day from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
The visitors have access to the Monument all year long.
The road is in good conditions so it’s suitable for any type of vehicle, and has access all year long.

General recommendations inside the park
It’s better if you can buy a map of the park in the visitor center because it shows the ideal spots for swimming in the Rio Grande de Orosi.
In case you need any help, go to the park rangers, they will be more than glad to assist you.

Clothes and accessories recommendations
Bring umbrella and raincoat.
Bring mosquito repellent, sunscreen and hat or cap.
Bring comfortable clothes and shoes, ideal for walking.
Bring bathing suit in case you would like to bathe in the Rio Grande de Orosi.

Stay recommendations
There are no places to stay, camp or cook inside the park. La Esperanza del Guarco Biological Station has space for 15 people.

Food recommendations
There are restaurants in Orosi and in Cartago.

Recommendations for a responsible tourist
Do not get near the electric transmission towers.
Please do not litter; pick up the garbage and throw it away properly.
Loud noises are not allowed (stereos, speakers, etc.) as they may disturb the peace and calmness of the park and its animals.
Please keep inside the marked trails.
Please take care of the signs, they are meant to help you out and provide useful information.
You cannot enter the park under the effects of alcohol. Drinking alcoholic beverages is also forbidden.
Pets are not allowed.
Do not take with you any plants or other natural resources from the park.

Recommendations with the animals
Some of the animals may be hard to find because of different reasons, like the fact that they're night creatures, their reproductive or migratory behavior and the forest's density.

Recommendations with the river
You can bathe in the Rio Macho; its water is very clear but also very cold.
Be careful if it rains; check the water level of the river and the objects it carries before crossing it. High rainfall can loosen the soil, and large amounts of muddy water can wash away everything on their path. You should ask the park rangers if the river flow has increased.
Swimming in the Rio Orosi is a choice the visitors have; the park will not be responsible for accidents or problems that may occur.

Datos interesantes
Datos interesantes:
The park is divided in two sections:
1. Tapanti: established in April 23rd, 1992, and has public access.
2. Cerro de la Muerte massif: established in January 14th, 2000.

Tapanti section
Main trail: it is 4 km long and starts at the administration. It takes you to the spot where the trails begin, heading southeast.

Arboles Caidos natural trail: it is 2 km long and has a semi-circular shape. It goes through the forest and is a little more difficult than the other trails.

Oropendola trail: it is 1.2 km long and has restrooms, drinking water, parking lot and a shelter. This trail connects with the Pantanoso trail.

Pantanoso trail: it goes through an area that is ideal for swimming in the Rio Grande de Orosi.

La Pava trail: it is 400 meters long and has picnic tables and drinking water. It goes in direction to the Rio Grande de Orosi.

La Catarata trail: it is 500 meters long and has a viewpoint that offers a panoramic view of the entire park. It also has parking lot, drinking water and restrooms. From here you can see the waterfalls El Salto and Palmitas.

Meaning of the name
The native word “tapanti” has several meanings, such as:
Tapir and “stream that comes from the sky”

como llegar?
How to get there?
You must take a bus from San Jose to Cartago, and when you get to Cartago, take another bus to Orosi and Rio Macho.
Lumaca (Street 5, Ave. 10)
From San Jose to Cartago:
Sunday through Thursday: from 5:00am to 11:00pm (every 10 minutes)
Fridays and Saturdays: from 5:00am to 12:00mn every 10 minutes and from 12:00mn to 5:00am every 30 minutes.
From Cartago to San Jose:
Sunday through Thursday: from 5:00am to 11:00pm (every 10 minutes)
Fridays and Saturdays: from 5:00am to 12:00mn every 10 minutes and from 12:00mn to 5:00am every 30 minutes.
Office phone number: (506) 2537-2320
In Cartago
Auto transportes Mata (south side of the Ruins of Cartago’s church)
From Cartago to Orosi and Rio Macho:
Every day
From Rio Macho to Cartago:
Every day
Office phone number: (506) 2533-1916
IMPORTANT: You must get off at the stop of Rio Macho and from here walk 9 km until you get to Tapanti.

From San Jose, take the route #2 in direction to Cartago, heading south, and then take the exit that will lead you to the route #10. Keep going through the towns of Paraiso, Orosi, and Rio Macho, finally reaching Tapanti. The road has access all year long and is in good conditions so it’s suitable for any type of vehicle.

Other kind of transportation


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Comments See all comments

Ruth Serrano.
Costa Rica

Mi costa rricaˇˇ
Porque mucho verde? simple y sencillamente por que es el gran y rico atractivo de nuestra tierra es un sin numero de especies y vegetacion que llena de vida mis ojos y mis pulmones con aire tan puro como el que encontre en tapanti......

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