Created in 1973, this rather large national park,
14,083.9 hectares, is centered around the old, but
still quite active, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. This
mountain reaches 1,916 meters above sea level and
has nine eruptive points, one the active crater and
the others, extinct older craters. Just to the South
of the main crater there is a beautiful, clear water
lake. The volcano has a number of active fumerols
and every few years lanches great clouds of gas and
At the foot of the volcano there is are two areas,
Las Pailas(low pans for cooking or boiling
things) and Las Hornillas (little ovens) respectively.
These areas have springs that produce streams of very
hot water and others that produce boiling, sulfurous
mud. The are a number of little mud "volcanos".
The park has many varied habitants. These change with
elevation, land inclination and the effects of eruptions.
The lower reaches of the volcano has dense forest.
Above 1,400 meters one sees dense, low, tangled shrub-like
forest, sometimes reffered to as "elfin forest". The
top of the cone is mainly ash and scoria with little
vegetation, although the "poor man's umbrella" (Gunnera
insignis) is common there.
In some areas copey trees (Clusia major) form
almost pure stands and there some felines, tapirs
and wild turkey are fairly numerous.