La Amistad International Park

La Amistad International Park, Osa Peninsula: Address, Phone Number, La Amistad International Park Reviews: 5/5

La Amistad International Park

La Amistad International Park
5
About
This World Heritage Site, straddling the boundary between Costa Rica and Panama, features great biodiversity and is the home to members of three Indian tribes.
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Susan D
Ithaca, NY32 contributions
La Amistad International Park & AsoProLA Community Hotel
Jan 2017 • Friends
If you make it to La Amistad International Park be sure, absolutely sure to stay at the AsoProLA Community Hotel (rustic cabins). As this community is truly working as a community to provide meaningful jobs for locals (e.g., using local wood, womens collective for handicrafts, growing sustainable organic diversified crops) while sustaining the environment. A local artist has helped design common areas of the hotel with amazing sculpted cement sitting areas, shaped faucets, staircases, etc. while embedding mosaic glass throughout. Local community ice creamery has this artist's whimsical touch as well. There is a store to purchase goods made by locals including coffee & now chocolate. Children of the founders of this association are carrying on the vision. If you are interested in sustainable communities that protect the environment---be sure to visit this place.
Written January 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Remi D
Paris, France5 contributions
How to visit this amazing remote place in Costa Rica
Feb 2016 • Couples
To end our 2 week stay in Costa Rica, we hesitated between visiting Chirripo and La Amistad. We chose La Amistad International Park and we don't regret it at all!!!

La Amistad International Park is the biggest park in Costa Rica but it is a very remote part of the Talamanca Range that spans across Costa Rica and Panama, with very little information on how to get there, what to do, etc... But if you are adventurous and like hiking, you must ABSOLUTELY go to La Amistad.

- Accomodation: ASOPROLA Community Center in Alta Mira / Biolley village. ASOPROLA is an association that acts as a community center for all the area around Alta Mira. ASOPROLA also runs a small hotel / restaurant for visitors. Nothing fancy but clean rooms and good typical food (20$ for dinner, accomodation and breakfast). Do not expect AC and WIFI here though. This is a base camp for exploring the region and discovering the rural life.

- How to get there: A 4X4 car is required to get to AltaMira. You reach AltaMira village after 20km of driving on a dirt road. You exi the paved road between Paso Real and San Vito at Quacimal (signs indicated La Amistad Park and Alta Mira). Could be done by bus but no info about that.

- Visiting La Amistad Park (10$ / day admission):
We did a 2-day hike in La Amistad Park with Scott, our very friendly local guide, entering at AltaMira Park Station. We walked 16 km to a mountain hut where we spent the night (Valle del Silencio). No electricy there but running water and bunk beds with foam mattress and a gas stove for cooking and making hot water (6$ / night). The mountain hut is at 2500 m so it is cold at night. Bring a sleeping bag and some hot clothes for the night.

We had an amazing experience walking from AltaMira to Valle del Silencio. You walk up through various types of habitats (prairies, secondary forest) until you reach the amazing cloud forests of La Amistad above 200m. Our guide was a great help to spot birds and animals. We saw a bunch of peccaris, a few quetzales, trogons, etc... AND a tapir (danta) just 5 meters away, standing right in front us on the trail. What an incredible experience to see this animal in this remote place, in dense cloud forest.

There are other small hikes to do around. It is also possible to do 3 day hikes to other summits around Alta Mira and the village itself is very interesting, with a lot a eco-friendly and rural development projects.

La Amistad is the best cloud forest experience for adventurous visitors and it is compatible with a relatively small budget.
Written February 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mara K
Leon, Nicaragua174 contributions
Very nice and not crowded N.P.
Jun 2014 • Friends
Together with our tour-guide Karen (melishka1234@hotmail.com) we drove to the 'Parque International La Amistad' (International Friendship Park). This enormous National Park is located in the South of Costa Rica and extends into Panama. One of entrances of this park is close to the town San Vito.

We hiked 1 hour to a beautiful and refreshing waterfall. There were many colorful butterflies, sparkling streams and sweet wild-berries around. We enjoyed the beautiful forest, the vivid colors of nature, the silence and the fresh air.

On our way back from the N.P. we stopped at an magic oasis called 'Aqua Caliente' (Hot Water). Surrounded by tropical trees, next to a big and sparkling river we discovered two natural tropical pools, filled with clear and warm thermal water.
Written June 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Howard_M
Seattle, WA8 contributions
My amazing week in La Amistad International Park (1997)
Mar 2013 • Solo
My visit was one of my life-changing experiences. La Amistad is actually an enormous park, encompassing two countries, and is not quite accurately described as being in the Osa Peninsula, although perhaps a part of it is. The park contains some of the most wild and unspoiled lands in western Panama and southeastern Costa Rica. I was able to hire an Panamanian guide who spoke both Spanish and a N'Gobe native dialect. The highlight of my trip was a series of nights we spent at indigenous people's villages in the Changinola Basin, now threatened by the construction of a dam. Thus, I feel I have had a precious glimpse of a vanishing world. My guide helped me negotiate these arrangements as we moved from village to village (the entire trip was very cheap). I completed this 10-day trip, walking from the Pacific side of the divide to the Carribean lowlands in 8 days, then treated my guide to two final days in Bocas. Although I was an experienced American backpacker, I could not possibly have attempted this without a guide who understood local conditions. I was saddened to see so much evidence of continuing deforestation and consumption of non-renewable resources even in this supposedly protective area.

This was one of my life's epic journeys. If you are interested in such a trip for yourself, write me. I have kept in contact with a few people in the area who can introduce you to guides. I was forced to say that the visit was in March 2013, when in fact it was in February 1997, but remains very vivid in my mind. I am probably one of the few gringos who have really gone deeply into this remote area. Even though my experiences are from the 1990s, I have a unique perspective to share and I've gone back to visit nearby areas and observe the changes in Panama since my journey.
Written February 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

fbxgrl
Anchorage, AK13 contributions
More than Beautiful!
Jan 2014 • Couples
Our visit to the park was amazing! Our guide, Pablo, took us on a hike in the early morning to view birds and natural wonders and we had an amazing time! The hike was wonderful, the forest was amazing, and our guide, Pablo, was a wealth of information! The park is an attraction that no one should ever miss! The beauty is spectacular. I will never forget our time up there. We can't wait to go back. If you are visiting Costa Rica, this is a place worth going!
Written January 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jaguardman
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica366 contributions
Off the beaten track and well worth the effort in Southern Costa Rica
(FYI: This review covers the Southern Costa Rica area of La Amistad International Park. Because the park is located in two countries, Trip Advisor has multiple reviews of this park, including one in the Bocas del Toro area of Panama.)

Located in Southern Costa Rica and Northern Panama, La Amistad (Friendship in English) represents one of the first attempts at park management between two countries. In 1983 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located along the Talamanca mountain range which contains the highest peaks of Costa Rica and Panama: the Cerro Chirripó at 3,819 m, and the more accessible high peak, Cerro de la Muerte (both in Costa Rica)

It is a rugged frontier well off the beaten tourist trail that offers the explorer an excellent chance to explore the untouched beauty, silence and wonder of nature. Most of the trails are unmarked and there are no lodges or hotels to speak of, so it's best to hire a guide and camp in the forest.

Compared to other parks around the world of similar size, La Amistad offers an abundance of biodiversity unequaled. Explorers will likely see a huge variety of flora and fauna - trees, plants and wildlife. Some biologist estimate that two thirds of all wildlife living in Costa Rica can be seen in La Amistad. Some of the animals explorers could see include cats (puma, jaguars, margays and ocelots), tapirs, anteaters, sloths, monkeys (spider, howler), peccaries, coaties, and more. La Amistad is a birders paradise with over 500 species sited including the resplendent quetzal, three-wattled bellbird and the endangered Harpy Eagle. The plant life is also superb and includes an abundance of ferns, trees and orchids.

Hiking, animal viewing and birding are the primary activities most explorers undertake in the park. You can expect warm days and cool/cold nights and some rain. Be prepared with good boots, warm clothes and rain gear. A good tent and sleeping bag are a must if you plan to camp in the forest. Binoculars are a huge help in spotting shy wildlife.

Because of the difficulty in accessing the park - usually by 4x4 car - it's best to spend a few days exploring the forest. Plan a day to enter the park, and two days to explore, and one more day to depart.

If camping is not your style, it is possible to overnight in the sparse dorm room at Ranger Station Pittier in Progresso, or arrange a homestay with lovely tico families in the Los Tables region. Local guides can provide more information on the later.
Written May 26, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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