The 450 m high Barra Honda Hill is made of coral reef type limestone some 60 million years old, which emerged due to an uplift caused by faults. With steep sides, particularly on the south side, and almost flat a t the top, it is covered mainly in deciduous vegetation that holds fairly varied fauna, including the white-faced capuchin monkey (cebus capucinus), coyotes (Canis latrans) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).
The hill contains one of the most extensive cave systems known in Costa Rica. It has some 40 unconnected caverns and to date only half of them have been explored. The deepest is the 240 m Santa Ana cave.
La Terciopelo is the one that contains the greatest number and most beautiful figures; one of them is called El Organo because its walls emit several sounds when struck gently. La Trampa has the deepest precipice with a 52 m vertical drop. This cave also has the largest halls. Pozo Hediondo is the only one to contain a lot of bats and the stench in it is due to the bat guano. In La Nicoa large quantities of human remains, utensils and adornments of Pre-Colombian native origin have been found.
There are three areas of the park of very special interest: the look-out point at the southern edge of the summit from where one can see large part of the Gulf of Nicoya; Los Mesones that contain a very tall evergreen forest and from where water is transported to several surrounding towns; and La Cascada with extremely beautiful terraced deposits of calcareous tufa that form an extraordinary waterfall.
Barra Honda is located in the area known as Bajuras del Tempisque. Visitors can get to the offices from Nicoya via Quebrada Honda-Nacaome (22 km). Visitors are permitted to go down to the caves if they are accompanied by an authorized guide or with the special permission of the Tempisque Conservation authorities.
There is a main path leading to the summit of the hill with turn-offs to the look-out point and the entrance to the main caves. There are also paths to La Cascada, Los Mesones y El Bosque de las Piedras. Next to the office there is a camping site with tablees toilets and drinking water.
There are bus sercices between Nicoya and Barra Honda. In Nicoya taxis can be hired. There are hotels restaurants and markets in Nicoya, grocery stores in Quebrada Honda and a restaurant and cabins at the park entrance. For information on this park call (506) 2685-5667.