La Cangreja National Park is located in the province of San José, in the canton of Puriscal, in Mercedes Sur and Chires districts, between the coordinates: N 4956392 W 1072932. The main entrance is located 35 kilometers southeast of the city of Santiago de Puriscal.
La Cangreja refers to the unique shape of the hill at its highest point at 1,305 meters above sea level. The site has great panoramic and scenic beauty, and according to an indigenous tale, the mountain resembles a crab, and the hillsides a crab’s pincers. The park protects abundant and crystalline water sources such as the Black River and Quebrada Grande, which flow between rock formations shaped by nature, allowing visitors to enjoy and relax while bathing or simply contemplating the surroundings.
The park spans 2,570 hectares and houses 44 species of plants endemic to Costa Rica, including two that stand out: the Ayenia mastatalensis (Sterculiaceae) and Plinia puriscalensis (Myrtaceae), which produces fruit on its trunk that can be seen in August.
The park has over 300 bird species, including macaws, trogons, toucans, sunbitterns, guans and more. In addition, noteworthy animals include agoutis, coatis, pacas, peccaries, deer, pumas, ocelots, green and black poison dart frogs and others.
Its highest elevation is 1,305 meters above sea level, and its lowest is 300 MASL, with temperatures ranging from 24-40° C. Average annual rainfall ranges from 2,400-3,500 mm. The park has a low number of visitors; the most-visited months are January to April, and the least-visted are August to November.
Residents: ₡1,000; Non-residents:$10
From San José, take the road towards Ciudad Colón-Puriscal. The park is located 45 km southeast of Santiago de Puriscal, on the old Parrita road (Route 239).