On the Pacific coast, Santa Rosa National Park was the scene of Costa Rica's most famous military victory in 1856. An army, led by U.S. adventurer William Walker, invaded from neighboring Nicaragua and fought fiercely for about 15 minutes before being defeated by Costa Ricans.
The park is now the site of one of the largest remaining dry tropical forests in Central America. Monkeys, armadillos, anteaters and deer are the main attractions, although all five big cat species are present, as are scarlet macaws. Pacific Olive Ridley sea turtles nest at night on Nancite Beach in September and October, but visits to this beach are severely restricted.
The park, 125 mi/200 km northwest of San Jose, also has mangrove estuaries, beautiful deserted beaches and many birds.
La Casona, a farmhouse on the site of the original battle, was lovingly replicated in 2002 after a fire destroyed the original structure. It's now a museum. http://www.anywherecostarica.com/attractions/national-park/santa-rosa.
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