Cacao Biological Station

Ficus sp. in Cerro Cacao


Things to see


Room and board


Other services

How to get here

Cacao Biological Station is open 24 hours a day with attention to the public between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm

Things to see

Rain forest

Cloud forest of the pacific

Ascent to the top of Cerro Cacao

View of Lake Nicaragua, the pacific coast and the lowlands of Santa Rosa.



El Pedregal

Room and board

The Biological Station has rooms and a laboratory that can be used by groups or courses. For more information please contact (506) 695-5598.


Name of Trail:

Cerro Cacao


 Characterización of the segment: Mountaineering Mountaineering
Type of trail: Lineal Lineal
Things to see: Rain and cloud forest. Bird watching, insects, walk through the forests, panoramic views. Trail through forest crossing several streams.
Total distance:

2 Kms.

12 Km.


3 hours

4 hours

Highest point:

1663.9 m

1100 m

Starting point: East of the laboratory Station at Cacao
Arrival point: Top of Cacao Volcano Maritza Biological Station
Description of the site: This is a tough trail that has steep slopes and requires very good physical condition. The trail ends in the top of the mountain close to a forest that presents dwarf vegetation. This trail crosses forested areas between Cacao and Maritza. It has steep slopes and several rivers to cross.
 Regulations: No extraction of plants, animals or others, no littering. Area with lots of clouds. If it has rained cross the rivers carefully, being aware of water level and dirtiness.

Other trails:

Pedregal: This trail leads to a fire lookout station where you can observe the dry forest of the ACG.

Los Naranjos: This 1 km trail leads from the site where you leave the cars to the biological station through primary forest.

How to get here

Cacao can be reached by driving 9 km east from Potrerillos on the Interamerican Highway (where it is crossed by the Rio Tempisquito) to the town of Quebrada Grande (called Garcia Flamenco on old maps). Potrerillos lies 25 km north of Liberia. Take the gravel road out of the north corner of Quebrada Grande (heading east toward the small town of Dos Ríos on the Caribbean side of the ACG). 1 km out of town take the first (only) dirt road north (left), which continues 3 km north to the tiny bridge over the Río Gongora, which is the southern boundary of the ACG.

From here, the access is only by 4-wheel drive vehicles, and some portions of the road can be impassibly slippery for periods during the rainy season. Continue north on a primitive track across open (gradually regenerating) pastures, through several gates, to the road end at Los Naranjos (900 m, Rio San Josecito), where the unbroken forest begins up the southwest slope of Vólcan Cacao. From Los Naranjos, the broad trail winds through primary intermediate elevation rainforest (Los Arenales) for about 1 km to the Cacao Biological Station (CBS) at 1000 m elevation, on the uphill side of a 20 ha pasture cut out of the forest (and destined to remain pasture). Heavy objects are transported from Los Naranjos to the CBS by ACG horses that pasture at the CBS.

Bus schedules:

 Liberia - La Cruz:

5:30 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m.
12:00 m.
2:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.

 Liberia - Cuajiniquil:

5:45 a.m.
3:30 p.m.

Liberia- Quebrada Grande

1:45 p.m.

From Liberia, 61 Km.

From La Cruz, 55 Km.

From Quebrada Grande, 18 Krn.


De Liberia, 2 horas.

De Quebrada Grande, 40 minutos.

Access from Rio Góngora is only possible with four wheel drive vehicles.

Other services:

Gas stations Distribuidora García Venegas- 55 km. La Cruz
Estación de Servicio Valdelomar-61 km. Liberia
Estación de Servicio Texaco. 61 km. Liberia
Pharmacy  Farmacia Auxiliadora, 61 km. Liberia
Supermarkets Palí, 61 km Liberia
Coopecompro. 61 km Liberia
Hospital Enrique Baltodano, 61 km Liberia
Places to stay Hotel Guanacaste, 61 Km.
Mata de Caña, 11 Km.
Hotel Guanacaste, 61 Km.
Places to eat Restaurante Ehecalt- Potrerillo, 42 Km.
Santa Clara Lodge, 15 Km.
Mata de Caña- Quebrada Grande, 11 Km.


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