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Santa Rosa National Park and Santa Elena ( Murcielago )

This area is definitely a region you should explore if you are interested in seeing virgin beaches, unexplored tropical dry forests, vast plains, valleys, mangrove forests and steep mountains that meet the ocean. The area itself includes the Santa Rosa National park, the Santa Elena Peninsula ( including the Murcielago Secto ) the Bat islands ort Islas Murcielago and finally Bahia Junquillal. Santa Rosa National Park itself has an importance because of its past. The Santa Rosa Casona ( Farm House ) is were one of Costa Rica most infamous and well known battles took place against William Walker and the Filibusters almost 2 centuries ago. So visiting the Casona is a visit well worth the time. Also, in Santa Rosa, near the Casona, you can explore the last portion of tropical virgin dry forest in all of Central America, with large trees, abundant wildlife and incredible unparalleled natural beauty. Another highlight worth visiting from Santa Risa is Witch`s Rock, or Roca Bruja or Playa Naranjo. This awesome beach is famous for its gigantic rock that stands out amidst the rest of the beach. The beach is absolutely virgin and untouched by man, with two estuaries inhabited by many birds, crocodiles and mammals all year round. The beach is also one of the world`s premier surfing spots, famous for its tubes and barrels. From Santa Rosa, you can also walk over to Nancite Beach ( North ), which is famous worldwide for the hundreds of sea turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs. Other yet more distance destinations you can visit from Santa Rosa is Laguna Respinge, a natural fresh water lagoon located adjacent to eh ocean, in front of the Murcielago Islands. The other entrance of explore Santa Elena Peninsula is from Cuajiniquil, a cozy and authentic rural fishing village and coastal community located at the northern entrance of the Peninsula. From here, you can explore the Murcielago Islands, a group of protected islands located in front of the Peninsula. These islands are famous for its world class scuba diving, with pristine water and great visibility almost all year round, and an abundance of sea wildlife including large populations of Bull Sharks, Eagle Rays and Whale Sharks. The Islands itself can also be visited with previous permits, and on the main islands, you can explore the different trails on foot, leading to cliffs, little hills, valleys and a cozy secluded beach on its West End. On mainland, other highlights to be explored is Bahia Santa Elena, a small bay within the Santa Elena Peninsula. Snorkeling here is probably among the best in Costa Rica. Large schools of fish, incredible visibility and unparalleled nature and wildlife beauty surroundings create a unique natural framework. Further North, either driving ( if Dry Season ) or by boat, the visitor can explore Playa Blanca, a beautiful white sand beach with mangroves, estuaries and incredible wildlife. The entire Santa Elena Peninsula is has a steep mountain range and ridges up to 800 meters in altitude, which creates an even more dramatic scenery, with steep descending mountains meeting the wild and untouched Pacific Ocean. Out of the Park, further north, there is Bahia Junquillal, a private tropical dry forest reserve that includes a set un gorgeous beaches, abundant tropical forests and wildlife. We highly highly recommend this destination if you wish to explore Guanacaste in its raw and untouched state.

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