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“eh, nothing special” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Santa Rosa National Park

Santa Rosa National Park
Book In Advance
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US$150.00*
and up
Witch's Rock and Ollie's Point Surf Boat Trip
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Attraction details
Owner description: This park was established to protect the site of the Battle of Santa Rosa in 1856.
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“eh, nothing special”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2014

we did a small hike to a 'lookout' on the south side of the park
the lookout was just over a gulch with only trees...nothing special
maybe if we had made it all the way down to the surfer spot it would have been more stunning...
though we did see our first monkey there...ironically right above the sign cautioning for monkeys.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank HasleyPack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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57 reviews from our community

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Lexington, Kentucky
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Easily the worst part of an amazing month-long vacation”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

We'd heard great things about the park, so we decided to go camping for a few nights. We took the bus from Monteverde to Liberia, and from Liberia right to the park entrance. Now, to make a long story short, if you're at the bus station in Liberia and the taxi driver offers to drive you the 30 minutes to Playa Blanca for $30, take it.

Now for the long story... We get off the bus at around 2pm (the last bus in and out for the park for the day). We get to the park entrance and right off the bat the park ranger charges us $12 per person per night. That's not what we'd read on several websites, but whatever. We pay for one night because we can find hostels for that price or cheaper, but we were already there and there was no way back to town that night. Then we ask where the first camp site was, and very apologetically the park ranger says that just now they ran out of free maps, but we could buy one. Fuming, we leave the station and just start walking to the campsite.

We started walking and after about two miles a nice park ranger picked us up and took us to the campsite with an ominous "If I hadn't turned around and gotten you, you would have died out here". We laughed it off.

The campsite was nothing fancy, we saw one deer and some big bugs, the "potable" water made us sick as dogs, and the shower/bathroom facilities were overrun with wasps.

We got the h*ll out of there the next day, walking the full way back and headed straight to Tamarindo beach. Talking to a native at our hostel who'd spent his fair share of time in national parks, we learn three things. First, the park rangers most definitely ripped us off. Second, the hike to the first campsite is not 6 miles as they advertise, but 8. Third, the reason the park closes at 4pm is because the large jungle cats sunbathe on the main road in the afternoons and there had been attacks in the past.

We could have been killed by jungle cats and the park ranger at the front office thought it would be best to get as much money as he could out of us first. Maybe we should have figured that there would be dangerous animals on the road and maybe we should have expected to be ripped off, but even beyond all of that, this was easily the worst experience I had in Costa Rica.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
10 Thank Paige H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Santa Rosa National Park”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

My husband and I came to this area to visit the national parks. We don't have a car ourselves and so we hired a guide to take us into the forest reserve. Our guide Carlos was great and he spent the whole day with us, which was way more than we expected. The park itself isn't as busy as many other parks and it's pretty accessible in terms of nice walking trails and no steep inclines. It is a dry forest and very different from the rainforest ecology of Monteverde. This area I'd supposed to be amazing for birding, at the right time of year. But, we did get to see a beautiful trogon! Overall, this park seems to be overlooked but it was quite a lovely walk and there is a breathtaking viewpoint of Witch's Rock, but it is a rough road and a long drive.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank TravelReviews411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
River Edge, New Jersey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Waste of time”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

Total waste of time,,,,roads inside the park are nasty,,,.pretty much impassable,,,,its a shame there is not adequate funding to make areas more accessible,,,I'm sure there are amazing things to see if you could get to them without the use of an off road vehicle,,,we made it a ways with a Hyundai Tucson, but soon feared for its life and turned back. Signage and amenities are poor at best.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Bill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
71 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Tourist trap”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2014

You can't actually access the beach directly by car, you have to park your car at the information center and then a 12km hike through the forest is waiting for you, with large portions under a blazing sun and a bad signage. As a result we got lost and considering the park closes at 4pm we had to turn back without seeing what we expected. With a $10 per person entry fee I felt ripped off.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Eric B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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