Palo Verde National Park has a uniquely dichotomous character. It’s simultaneously a spectacular wetlands and one of the best examples of tropical dry forests remaining anywhere in the world. This dual nature is a result of the Río Tempisque flooding over land located in a relatively arid climate region.
The park, like many in Costa Rica's system consists largely of reclaimed pastureland. Fortunately, in the case of Palo Verde, the haciendas that preceded the park were somewhat different than the clear-cut ranches of the volcanic highlands. The underlying limestone, and the drier climate of the region gave rise to native forests where trees were sparser and there was more grass and forage in the natural ecosystem. Clear-cutting was not always necessary to ranching, and the park escaped it's tenure as pasture with less damage than most.