La Amistad Friendship Park — North
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Buenos Aires is a gateway to La Amistad International Park Park (tel. 506/2771-3155), which provides superb wildlife-viewing, particularly of animals such as pumas and jaguars. The mountains around Buenos Aires are home to several indigenous tribes.
A dirt road that begins in Buenos Aires leads north 10 kilometers to the hamlet of Ujarrás, beyond which the boulder-strewn dirt road continues four kilometers to Balneario de Aguas Termales (aka Rocas Calientes), where thermal waters pour forth amid a rock landscapes.
Ujarrás is also a gateway to La Amistad International Park. A trail from Ujarrás crosses the Talamancas via Cerro Abolado and the valley of the Río Taparí, ending in the Hitoy-Cerere Biological Reserve on the Caribbean side. It’s a strenuous, multi-day endeavor. Do not attempt this hike without a local guide.
The Talamanca Association of Ecotourism and Conservation (ATEC, tel./fax 506/2750-0191 www.ateccr.org), based in Puerto Limón, on the Caribbean coast, offers 6- to 15-day guided Transcontinental Hikes ($750) from Ujarrás to the Caribbean side or vice versa.
Another dirt road that begins at the gas station at Brujo, 10 kilometers southeast of Buenos Aires, leads north to the Reserva Indígena Cabagra (Cabagra Indigenous Reserve). The gas tation’s Restaurante Brujo (tel. 506/2730-1645) serves an excellent buffet.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition