The Trails in the National Parks in Costa Rica are classified !

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Not all trails in national parks are equal. In some, the physical requirement may be higher, to the point of needing mountaineering equipment . In others, the infrastructure allows the entry of wheelchairs or walkers .

For that reason, the Ministry of Environment in Costa Rica ( Minae ) issued a guideline that will classify the paths into five categories according to criteria of accessibility, physical requirements and facilities for visitors.

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“In the Minae we were convinced that we must further differentiate the quality of the services offered by Costa Rica ecotourism ” , justified the Environment Minister René Castro.

In this way , and from tomorrow , this guideline applies to nine national parks : Tapantí , Santa Rosa , Cape Blanco, Braulio Carrillo National Monument Guava and Tenorio volcanoes , Poas , Irazu and Rincon de la Vieja, all in Costa Rica.

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In this sense , if you visit the Rincon de la Vieja volcano can choose between three types of paths : Gaff is in the category while Pailas Challenge is intermediate and the road to the crater holds the highest category (Expert ) involving accompanying professional guides and equipment.

Meanwhile, Carara National Park is the only class with a path opportunities , as this facilitates access to wheelchairs and walkers .

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According to Castro, in the medium term , it will create universal trails in Manuel Antonio and the Tenorio volcano .

Ecotourism in Costa Rica . In total , we classified 29 trails. To do this, we took into account criteria such as distance and topography , facilities such as stairs , railings and lighting , as well as access to toilets and drinking water intakes .

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Natural factors were also considered , including rainfall, temperature and volcanic gases . Also , were aspects of services such as provision of equipment ( coats , canes and lights ), availability of tour guides, lodging or camping areas and signage .

Based on these criteria , five categories were established which will be reflected in the regulations for public use.

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The first category , called Opportunity , brings universal access trails .

For Family category , these are high traffic trails . Have facilities for all age groups , the physical requirement to scroll through them is low and have vigilance.

At the intermediate level trails are designed to be in contact with nature . They have little infrastructure and the physical requirement to scroll through them is medium.

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The fourth category is Challenge , these are the paths for those who like to hike a certain technical level and thus prove their fitness . To scan , you must have the appropriate clothing and safety equipment .

The last category is expert , which provides trails for adventurers and hence their journey involves a level of risk. May be traveled in the company of a professional guide , it also requires proper equipment and tools mountaineering.

” This will be supplemented later , with a change of rates and times according to the type of trail ,” said Castro .

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Minae This guideline is part of a project to improve the management and infrastructure of 10 national parks in Costa Rica, which finances the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB ) with $ 20 million.