To access the park it is better to enter via San José de la Montaña. In route, there are footpaths that take you to the summit of the volcano; the journey there and back would take around 5 or 6 hours. One of the footpaths is close to 9 Km from Paso Llano (Porrosatí), and goes down to Sacramento, almost everyone leaves from Sacramento, which is 5 Km from Paso Llano. Nearby there is a forest post. Sometimes the forest rangers offer guided excursions of 4 Km to the highest point of the mountain. The footpath that goes up to Sacramento to the summit of Barva is well signposted. The footpaths that go to the north of the volcano go into the plains and are more difficult to find as are the signposts. It is possible to walk along some paths that are immersed in exuberant vegetation, that cross the park up to La Selva, close to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí; the excursion lasts four days. It is an adventure for experienced trekkers, with knowledge in map and compass reading. Barva has one of the best view points to see quetzals. There are several lakes close to the summit; the largest being the Danta, the Barva and the Copey, with diameters of 500, 70 and 40 meters. Camping is permitted although there are no facilities. The forest rangers have built platforms where you can pitch tents: one close to the crater and the other close to the Barva Lake. Temperatures can drop to several degrees below zero.
Café Britt Farm Ph (506) 2261-0707. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org E-mail: email@example.com www.cafebritt.com. Organized guided coffee tours with bilingual presentations explaining the history of Costa Rican coffee, excursions 25 US$ opening hours are from 9:00 a.m, 11:00 a.m, and 3:00 p.m. The bus collects tourists from hotels.
El INBio Ph (506) 2507-8100, fax (506) 2507-8274. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.inbio.ac.cr . Located in Santo Domingo de Heredia, this non profit establishment was founded in 1989 to promote the knowledge of species and conservation. There are several clearly signposted footpaths, a restaurant, souvenir store, library, video room, photocopier and internet access. Prices are between 8/ 12/ 15 US$, open from 7:30 a.m to 4:00 p.m.
Museo de Cultura Popular Ph (506) 2260-1619, entry fee 1.15 US$, open daily from 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Located in Santa Lucia de Barva, 1.5 Km to the south east of Barva. It is situated in a rural century old house, restored with artifacts that reflect the Costa Rican rural life at the end of the XIX century. Towards the west and the north of Barva, there are buses that arrive in the localities of San Pedro de Barva and Santa Bárbara.
Located in 1 Km to the north of Barva, the road is divided into two routes. The right way goes to San José de la Montaña, 5 Km to the north of Barva, situated in a pleasant spot at 1.550 meters of altitude on the southern lateral of the volcano. From there, there are three buses that leave daily to Sacramento; from this route there is a footpath that goes up to the Barva Volcano, one of the attractions of the Braulio Carrillo National Park.
San Rafael de Heredia
3 Km to the northeast of Heredia situated in San Rafael de Heredia, from which a road of 8km leads towards the northern direction of Monte de la Cruz. The village offers good views of the mountains, the central plateau and San José, is a good place to go on foot excursions. The private reserves of Bosque de la Hoja, El Chompipe, Cerro Dantas and Jaguarundi are recommended places to visit.
Club Campestre El Castillo Ph (506) 2267-7111/ 2267-7114. E-mail: email@example.com. It is a private club only for members with a swimming pool, sauna, ice skating rink, and restaurant and picnic area. Only members are allowed to camp.
Where to sleep
Finca Rosa Blanca Ph (506) 2269-9392, fax (506) 2269-9555. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.fincarosablanca.com. Single 175/ 274 US$, Double 198/ 297 US$, single bed 35 US$, all include breakfast. Children from 3 to 12 years pay half. With 9 suites, there is also track to go on foot and horse ride to the waterfall and some small hot spring pools. A room: with tower and a 360 ºC view, which you get to on shell staircase made out of only one trunk. The bathroom is painted imitating the tropical forest, and has an artificial waterfall. The other rooms are different. There is an outside swimming pool, a games room, library, restaurant and bar for guests.
San José de la Montaña
A few kilometers to the north and at the greatest height, you will find several rural and comfortable hotels. The area is known for its beauty. The main activities are footpath excursions and bird watching. There are three daily buses (from Heredia to Sacramento) that pass close by these establishments, these also offer transfers. You can also take a taxi from San José de la Montaña.
Where to sleep
Las Ardillas Resort Ph (506) 2260-2172. Double with breakfast 60 US$. There are 7 cabins, a house with a chimney, kitchen and an area for two to four people, as well as another 7 in the annex.
Las Milenas Cabins. There is a restaurant, a health spa that offers therapeutic services: a professional massage that costs 30 US$, and mud treatments 20 US$.
Hotel El Cipresal Ph (506) 2237-4466, fax (506) 2237-7239. Single/ double with bathroom 40/ 50 US$. There are 24 standard rooms with terrace, chimney, television and bathroom with hot water. It has a swimming pool, sauna, restaurant and they also hire horses.
Cibeles Chalet Cabins Ph (506) 2260-3176/ 2261-3528. E-mail: email@example.com. Located 1.5 Km from the Universidad Nacional. There are 6 rooms, bathrooms with hot water, dining room, minibar, hairdryer, Cable TV, cooker and parking. The 13 US$ do not have a kitchen, 15 US$ only one has a kitchen and the 17 US$ is a mini – suite.
E & B Bar Montaña and Cabins Ph (506) 2267-6702. It is located in B° Los Ángeles de Heredia, there are two cabins, a private bathroom with hot water, kitchen with dining room, parking, bar and restaurant, prices depend on the amount of people.
Boungavillea Ph (506) 2244-1415, fax (506) 2244-1313. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.boungainvillea.co.cr. Single/Double 79/ 88, junior suite 116 US$. It is situated on a wide extension of land with orchards, restaurant, swimming pool and a tennis court. Free transportation for guests from San José. They also organize tours and offer car rental. The 83 rooms and suites have a balcony with views of the surrounding mountains and San José, a television room with cable and a direct phone line. Six rooms are suitable for the disabled.