Espino Blanco Biological Reserve
5 star Hotel in the Ecological Blue Flag
Espino Blanco Biological Reserve is located in the district of Santa Rosa, Turrialba, specifically in the village called Verbena, 8 kilometers north from the city of Turrialba, 1250 meters above sea level. It is a reserve dedicated to the conservation of forest species and flora and fauna of the region. It is internally connected to Guayabo Arqueological Monument through a biological corridor full of diversity and pre-Columbian culture.
At this present moment the biological reserve has a total area of two hundred twenty thousand square meters (229,000 m2) and more than sixty percent of that area constitutes the primary forest. The reserve contains over five hundred forest species and there is a large variety of animals such as snakes, turkeys, raccoons, armadillos, small paca and a variety of butterflies and birds. The name Espino Blanco (Hawthorn tree) comes from a tree that grows at the reserve, which is in the process of disappearing. Tourist can see many of this kind of trees along the reserve and they are really worth to admire. Their wood is hard and was widely used in the past to build homes constructed by the ancient inhabitants of the place.
The reserve has six walking trails with a journey time of approximately three hours, including the explanations of the guides and about 20 minutes for a meal and drink. The trails are built on hilly terrain, but fully accessible to all visitors 5 years old and up. Espino Blanco Biological Reserve was also created in order to protect existing aquifers there and ground water, which are a very important supply of water for Turrialba city, especially the south – east.
Hiking Trails at Biological Reserve Espino Blanco
The Path of Life
It is the longest and picturesque of all. The tour is of highlands and downs, along the path’s edges, the famous and huge Espino Blanco trees can be seen as many other important species in the area. In this path there is a tree called: The eye of heaven, it has a huge hollow inside, the outlet points skyward and can be seen when tilting the head up from its roots. The name of this path is a reminder to reality : Life is like a ladder, sometimes we climb up and some other times we go downhill , there are many curves and often we get caught up in them and even can get lost but, what’s interesting about the path is that it ends where is just rising . At the end in life, we always hope to get where we want.
The Path of Love
This trail is easier to hike because of its topography. It gets the name out of a love story that happened in Verbena village. It turns out that 75 years ago, a young girl named Maria Fonseca, who was only thirteen years old, fell in love with fifteen year old Jose Joaquin Duran. Since they were that young, their parents did not accept a relationship between them, one particular weekend they defy their families and both ran away to the mountain where the Reserve is located nowadays. The young couple spent three nights and four days under a huge tree until a neighbor found them both dehydrated and sick. The tree that witnessed this love story it is properly labeled in the trail. The path is located between a very attractive mixture of primary and secondary forest that can clearly be differentiated and explains the characteristics of one or the other on their own.
The Mirador Path (The Lookout Path)
This trail receives its name because it reaches a place where the city of Turrialba can be seen from, also a big part of the valley and the district of Santa Rosa. There is a lookout with a beautiful view, and it is the perfect place to have a few minutes break. The trail is on uneven road and comes from and goes to the Path of Life. It is very picturesque.