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Rincon de la Vieja, whose name “old woman’s corner” comes from an indigenous legend about a reclusive medicine woman, is the largest of Costa Rica’s volcanoes. The Las Pailas Sector of the National Park provides an intriguing and exotic mixture of geothermal features and the unique flora and fauna of the high dry tropical forest.
Rincon de la Vieja encompasses a variety of ecosystems due to differing altitudes, rainfall and the effect of volcanic eruptions. Flora includes a large population of the Costa Rican national flower, the Guaria Morada orchid, as well as the national tree, the Guanacaste, and others such as Strangler Figs, Tropical Cedars, Naked Indian trees and Copeys. Some 300 species of birds have been identified in the park, among them the turkey-like Crested Guan, the Motmot with its tick-tock tail wag and the Emerald Toucanet. The park is also home to deer, coatis, peccaries, skunks, coyotes, pumas, armadillos, tayras, agoutis, pacas, sloths, monkeys, anteaters and rattlesnakes.