Rio Grande im Nationalpark la CangrejaThe National Park La Cangreja

Valle central, Puriscal

Area de Conservacion Pacifico Central

The National Park La Cangreja, with an extension of 2,520 hectares in the western Central Valley, was declared a National Park on May 6th 2002, making it one of the youngest National Parks of Costa Rica. The park is located in the region Puriscal and forms one of the main areas of tropical moist forests, in a very biologically diverse area.

Urwald in Costa Rica

Located here are some endemic plant species that are protected. The forest shows a typical transition forest between tropical rainforest and dry forest. Numerous rivers, streams, and waterfalls are located in the very attractive jungle area.

Particularly noteworthy is the Rio Negro is the Quebrada Grande, beautiful jungle rivers that offers many possibilities for swimming. The eponymous "Cerro La Cangreja" is an acute thimble sparsely vegetated rock that can also be climbed by athletic visitors.

Endemic species: Plinia puriscalensis and ayenia mastatalensis. Rare species: Cebus cappucinus (Capuchin), tinamous major (a strange type of duck), Dendrobates auratus (Gold Woodcreeper, a black-green, poisonous toad, poison dart frog), Agalychnis callidryas (red-eyed frog) and the endangered red macaw (lapa roja ). The National Park Cangreja represents a very important approach for the lapa roja.

map of Puriscal, Costa Rica


Its strange name "Cangreja" (in english Crab) comes from a 1305 m high rock that resembles a crab, when seen from the air. The valleys on the sides can be interpreted as its legs the legs.

In addition, the Indians tell in their legends that a huge crab has reigned here a long time ago and has blocked the access to the sea to the inhabitants of the forests. This condition lasted for a long time, until a warrior cut off a leg of the Crab in a battle. The injured Crab, in its anger, turned itself into a stone.


Province of San Jose, Cantón: Puriscal, Distritos: Mercedes Sur and Chires

Climate: Tropical forest in the rainy season from May to November and dry season from December to March. The annual rainfall varies from 2000 to 4200 mm.


Trekking in Costa Rica

The National Park La Cangreja is ideal for tours and excursions on your own, if you are traveling by car.
A good starting point for a day trip is the Central Valley (from Santa Ana it takes you about 1 hour to get there), or the central Pacific. We are happy to advise you and provide you with more information.


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