La Cangreja National Park
La Cangreja’s history started early in the 80s when it became a protected area. Biologists came to study in the protected area because this was the last area of virgin forest in the county of Puriscal.
One of those biologists, Quirico Jimenez, discovered two endemic species of plants, meaning they can only be found here in La Cangreja. By this time the drinking water for Mastatal, San Miguel, and Fila del Aguacate was coming from La Cangreja.
All of these reasons lead to La Cangreja changing from a protected zone to national park. It is the first National Park in the San Jose province.
La Cangreja is rich in biodiversity and provides habitat for many species, like White-Faced Capuchin monkeys, Kinkajous, Coatis, Paca, Armadillos, Wild Turkeys, many snakes (predominantly the Fer-de-Lance).
It also provides habitat for many different types of frogs, like the Red-Eyed Tree Frog and Black and Green Poison Dart Frog. It is rich in bird species, like toucans, hawks, and hummingbirds.
There are both guided and unguided hiking opportunities in La Cangreja. The park entrance is on the road towards Zapaton. At this entrance there are hiking opportunities where you do not need a guide.
These trails are only 2-3 hours and not strenuous. A guide is necessary to climb to the peak of La Cangreja. It is a strenuous hike with dense forest growth, but at the peak it opens up with a full view of the valley and the Pacific Ocean. For more information on this guided hike click here.