Juan Castro Blanco National Park is also known as Parque de Aguas (the park of the waters) and protects mid-elevation wet forest and high altitude cloud forest on the slopes of three extinct volcano peaks, Porvenir (2,267 meters), Platanar (2,183 meters), and Viejo (2,060 meters).
Quick Facts Juan Castro Blanco National Park
The national park protects 14,285 hectares with a wide range of elevations range from 400 to 2267 meters (1312 to 7438 feet). The habitats represented here are cloud forest, tropical rainforest-lowland and tropical rainforest-upland. Juan Castro Blanco is also known as the park of the waters (Parque de Aguas) because of the number of important rivers that are born within the boundaries.
In the Region
Stop off at the incredible topiary garden in front of the town church in Zarcero where you will see bushes and shrubs shaped into elephants, archways and even an oxcart.
On your way towards Juan Castro Blanco you traverse the lower slopes of Poás Volcano which are covered with fruit farms and huge ornamental flower farms. Most of the roses, lillies and other flowers grown in this region are driven to Juan Santamaria airport in the central valley then shipped air-express to Miami where they are put on planes headed to all parts of the United States and Canada. You have probably seen some of them at your local florist.
Across the valley above Bajo del Toro is one of the most luxurious cloud forest lodges in Costa Rica. El Silencio has deluxe cabanas and protects a huge private forest reserve with excellent trails to spectacular waterfalls and a climate and ecology very similar to Juan Castro Blanco. For those (including frequent celebrities) who want the experience but don’t wan to rough it.
We stopped in at the processing station of one of these farms where they were happy to give us a spontaneous tour. You will probably never see more flowers in one spot.