Juan Castro Blanco National Park

How was it formed?

For the inhabitants of the area of Quesada, in the early 60, declined to see the channel of rivers and their headwaters supplied water for the drought period was presented, it made them think about and they had cleared which was the future that awaited them. The idea of protecting the top of the hill Platanar initiative bears fruit years later and it would be the first step in a series of achievements.
It was not until January 19, 1968 through Act No. 4052, issued by the City of San Carlos, stated that the top of the National Forest Hill Platanar with an area of 2500 hectares.

Then, on June 26, 1975, according to Executive Order No. 4965-A provides the Forest Reserve Juan Castro Blanco this year October 28 was extended area, according to Executive Order No. 5837, to 13,700 hectares.
Thirteen years later was again amended by Decree No. 18763-MIRENEM on February 6, 1989, changed its management category of Reserve Forest Protected Zone
Again be amended, by movements of communities against mining and deforestation to produce 09-Jun-1992 is declared a National Park. Under Law No. 7297, with an extension de14.458has,
For water and biological significance in 2003 it changed its name to Water National Park Juan Castro Blanco (Decree # 8392, published on 03 December 2003).

March 19, 2006 is declared the official definition (Amojonamiento) National park that is grabbing the first country to have its boundaries defined the field as a whole.
The Association (APANAJUCA )works to defend the Water National Park Juan Castro Blanco. It requested that a National Park is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on January 28, 2008.


Parque Nacional del Agua is a site of international importance under the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. It is an integral part of the 1100km ² Biological Corridor San Juan-La Selva is part of the 207 km ² Biological Corridor Park National Water-Biological Reserve Alberto Manuel Brenes, and a portion with the Protected Zone The chayote, Private Reserve of Nectandra, The Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve the basins of the Rivers: The Old Goldfinch, Tapezco, Espino, San Lorenzo and La Balsa, Corridor Partner environmental sector south of the San Juan River

The Park is the second place at national level in aquifer recharge and is located within the body of the tenth largest freshwater on the planet. At present one of the greatest assets to which this area is the water, provides the resources to generate over 160,000 megawatts, more than 12% of national production, benefit from drinking water more than one hundred fifty (150) communities located in its vicinity. That territory holds a high potential for agricultural production, while only in the top of the Old River subbasin, generate 13% of milk production in Costa Rica. Taking into account all the livestock and agribusiness zones of high and low, it is the area’s most important social problems. Also retains its forests in endemic species as the Burmeistera Quercifolia of the family of campanuláceas. As is known, the humidity is an important factor in an endemic region and has a high percentage PNAJCB

It is part of the recent nomination of the Biosphere Reserve “Water and Peace” which is located in the northern zone, and that strengthens the management of the vast basin of the Rio San Juan. This nomination was made part of the global network of Biosphere Reserves. This park is one of the eight core areas that make up the biosphere reserve, which preserves the biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. This park also takes great importance to become one of the main lung supplying fresh air to the region Huetar North and Central Valley Despite all these qualities of the park is very sad to admit that all this wonderful, only a 4% of the land in the park belong to the state, the remaining 96% it is in private hands.

Location and climate

Water National Park Juan Castro Blanco (PNAJCB) is north of the country, with an average altitude between 900 and 2267 meters above the sea, between the geographic coordinates 10 ° 10 ‘and 10 ° 20’ north latitude and 84 ° 15 ‘and 84 ° 25 ‘west longitude, in the foothills of the Central Volcanic Cordillera. It is located in Alajuela province east of Ciudad Quesada, tempered his Baria average depending on the height of its location, ranging from 16 ° to 22 ° Celsius on average

The wáter national park Juan castro blanco (PNAJCB) has more than 25 hits in its periphery, one of the region and considered the most important, as it can be more easily enter the attractions of scenic vistas from the heart of the park as Poso Verde, Old Volcano among other landscapes, access is the sector of San José de Sucre Mountain District Quesada, which is working in coordination with the Plan of the Planning Unit of the Northern Plains Tourist ICT, the City of San Carlos, the MOPT, the Committee on Roads in the community, the Association of Development of Sucre, Association for Sustainable Development San José de la Montaña, Chamber of Commerce Industry and Tourism, Coopelesca the Minae, Apanajuca Agency for sustainable development Huetar northern region of the Special Economic Zone and other stakeholders to transform the main entrance to the protected forest area.

Life Zones

This National Park has five areas of life:

Very wet tropical forest to pre-transition (BMH-TP) with un.2.20% of the area, high rainfall that characterizes the site, which ranges in 4000 and 6000 mm average anual
Wet forest premontane (BMH-P), transition to rain, with 0.20% of the area, range of precipitation is quite large between 2000 and 4000 mm. Average anual.
Rainforest premontane (bp-P) with 39.66% of the area and is characterized by the presence of bioclimates rain with annual rainfall exceeding 4000 mm. As far as the flora is concerned, this sector is covered by dense evergreen forests, of medium height, with abundant epiphytes and a high biodiversity.
Low montane rainforest (bp-MB with a 53.20% of the area. With excessive rainfall and high humidity, precipitation range is between 4,000 and 8,000 mm. It is characteristic of a bp-MB evergreen forest, which varies in height between low and intermediate level, with two layers of trees. The canopy for the most are between 25 and 30 meters in height. The trees are low, solid, often twisted, dark, rough bark . The branches are thick, sinuous, and relatively short. The glasses are small and bushy. Shrimp are rare. The understory, which is often dense with trees 10 to 20 meters tall, the stems are thin, sinuous or straight crown with small, twisted branches, similar to brushes. The bark is smooth, thin and mostly dark. At this level there are usually shoots at the base of the trunk. The level is very dense shrub, 1.5 to 3 meters tall, often with flattened clusters of small leaves. The ground level has good coverage of ferns, sedges, delicate creeping vines and patches of moss. epiphytes (orchids, Bromeliaceae, and Plants of Araceae Gesneriáceas) are common in the moss covering the trunks and branches. Melastomatáceas The Ericaceae are epiphytes and bushes abound. Sometimes there are large sheets of vines, but the large vines are rare.
Very humid low montane forest (BMH-MB) with 4.74% of the area.


While some are more difficult to observe that these might be some others: Puma, Jaguar, manigordo, yaguarundi, ocelot, sloth of the two and three toes, bats and mice, other mammals are present: porcupine, coyote, fox , pizotes, armadillo, tolomuco, hammers, peccary, squirrel, rabbit, weasel, raccoon, taltuza, topillo, anteater, Danta, Guatuso, paca, skunk, deer, monkey congo, monkey-faced, among others.


By topography and moisture are many bodies of water which are used by local and migratory waterfowl, only in the upper part of the Old River have been observed over one hundred bird species, among species shows the most beautiful quetzal, Trogon collarejo, toucan beak rainbow Rualdo, lapa verde, and a variety of hummingbirds, eagles penachuda. Within the group of songbirds found the goldfinch, yigüirro Chorcha, among others.

Reptiles and Amphibians

It has been reported partial inventories of reptiles (44) and amphibians (32) but it is known that the number of species is larger, and with input from the different studies performed it expects the current numbers will be more accurate

The protected area is irregular, with slopes of 10% to 100%, the landscape is predominantly mountainous, with hills and foothills whose heights vary between 500 and 2339 meters, its maximum height Cerro Pelon. Many of its rivers have deep canyons and waterfalls of great beauty. The set of characteristics of the park makes it one of the most endemic country, while at least one of the sites studied by lack of resources and personnel.


It is a volcanic region has a large variety of them, the most commonly encountered are: pyrite, arsenic pyrite, sulfur, gold, silver galena, milky quartz, fossils.


The geomorphology of the area is poly gene, consisting basically of heterogeneous volcanic rocks that have been affected by erosion, tectonics and volcanism that prevails in the region.
Other structures that have this unit of volcanic origin and very affected by erosive phenomena are known as boiler erosion as:
Chocosuela: rocky escarpments are also edging boiler and a significant number of failures.
Geomorphic features of the region are heavily influenced by this volcanic activity,
Platanar volcano: volcanic complex is the first of the Cordillera Central is a strato-volcano located about 8 km from Ciudad Quesada.
Porvenir Volcano: Located at 3km south of Platanar volcano with its summit rising to 2267 meters above sea level. It is a strato-volcano whose top edge has a boiler and its interior is a cone of low elevation of about 10 to 40 meters in height with a crater about 150 meters in diameter. Several lava flows that descended from the volcanic apparatus, the structure of the volcano to be affected by several shortcomings, including a truncated cone in E sector called “Falla Porvenir Volcano.” We have no records of volcanic activity.

The protected area has a high mineral potential, evidenced by the fact that between 1970 and 1996 there were over 80 formal requests to the Section of Geology and Mining exploration and exploitation of deposits of various minerals found in Water National Park Juan Castro Blanco (PNAJCB).


Tenure in the area of study, promotion and marketing,
Water National Park Juan Castro Blanco has an organization that ensures their protection and that leads to permanently protect this area of life is greater APANAJUCA apanajuca@costarricense.cr to reports from other institutions.