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Parque Nacional Palo Verde

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Avid birders won't want to miss Parque Nacional Palo Verde, where 279 avian species have been spotted. The diversity of the birds found here can be attributed to the fact that the park contains about a large variety of natural habitats - a low-altitude, tropical dry forest made up of wooded hills, salt- and freshwater lagoons, mangrove swamps, marshes and grasslands. Furthermore, a large part of the territory is flooded by heavy rains and overflow from the Tempisque and Bebedero rivers, which run along the edge of the park. Because the water drains slowly, the grasslands turn into swamps for months at a time, transforming the landscape of the park. Because these damp coastal areas are quite rare in Guanacaste and elsewhere in Costa Rica, Parque Nacional Palo Verde was included in the Ramsar Convention in 1992.

There is more in the park than wetlands and flood zones, however. Over 150 species of trees have been identified to date, including the palo verde (green wood), whose trunk, branches and leaves remain green year-round. Of course, the palo verde happens to be found mainly in the swampy parts of the park...

Parque Nacional Palo Verde, which covers an area of 16,804 hectares, was founded as an ecological reserve in April 1978 and became a national park on June 13, 1980.

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