Hiking in Heredia: Bosque Caricias los Leones
Costa Rica is a country full of rainforests with animals like monkeys and the temperature is always about 30 degree Celsius. Wait, really? Well, not everywhere. Especially the region and the mountains in the Valle Central are not really tropical. During the landing at the airport in Alajuela, you already have a great view at the mountains around it. Especially this region has a very variable climate, with a lot of rain and lower temperatures. Here you have some beautiful reserves, where you can go hiking or enjoy a picknick. One of them is the Bosque Caricias los Leones near the town San Isidro de Heredia. How to go there? You can go there by car from San José, Heredia or Alajuela easily. If you want to go there by public bus, you`ll firstly have to take a bus from Heredia Centre to San Isidro. The station is in front of the Manuel María Gutiérrez Park. The bus drivers will give you all the information and if you ask them, they also notify you, when you have to get off. From San Isidro you can take an Uber or go by feet. It´s about 5 kilometres in each direction and the trail is very steep, but you have beautiful view at the mountains and this street is not busy. At the entrance, I immediately met the guide, who sold me my ticket and showed me the map: There are a lot of short trails all around the park, but you can connect them to a hike of approximately 5 kilometres. It´s really easy to find the trail and getting lost is nearly impossible because of all the signs along the trails. During my hike, I was sometimes deeply in the wood and everything around me was just green, but there were also parts from where I had great views at the mountains and the forest around me. During my visit, a boy was filming his music video there and the air was filled by slow saxophone music. There is also the possibility to camp there but it might be super cold. There is a public bathroom, where you can refill your bottles, but I haven’t seen someone who sold food, so bring snacks with you. Because of the changing weather I also highly recommend a rain jacket, just in case. If you want to go there, make sure, that you will have finished your hike at midday. Especially in the rainy season it might start raining after lunchtime heavily.