The first destination is Liberia, the largest city in NW Costa Rica. There are hourly buses to Liberia from San Jose from the terminal at Calle 24 and Avenida 5.
Liberia now has a major airport. Call SANSA at (Int) 221-9414 for information.
There is public transportation available to the trailhead from Liberia. Small tourist buses leave from several inexpensive hotels south of the town square in Liberia. Two of the hotels are Hotel Liberia and La Posada de Tope. Transport cost $10 a person and leaves Liberia at 7 AM and leaves the trailhead at 4 PM arriving back at Liberia at 5 PM.
Lush vegitation on the slopes of Rincon de la Vieja.
Keep in mind that the rangers close this trail during really windy weather (quite common in January and February), so be prepared for that. The summit area is usually cloudy and rainy (and can be cold) as well.
The trail begins at the ranger station and is well marked. It runs along a ridge next to the Rio Colorado climbing at a realativly gentle grade. At the trail junction, turn right. The trail to the left goes to the Cascada Escondito. There is another junction at the timberline (1450 meters elevation). There is water neaby for camping. The trail to the right is the shortest route to Rincon de la Vieja, the trail to the left goes to the summit of Volcan Von Seebach. Trails are marked with stone cairns, but can be difficult to find in the constant rainy weather that is normal for the area. If you are lucky enough to have good weather, then you should have a great view of the active craters. The one way distance to the summit from the trailhead is 8 kms.
Tree on Rincon de la Vieja.
A compass is absolutly mandatory because of poor weather. Also take adequate rain gear and a jacket. A good pair of boots is needed as well.
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