Gaital National Park – Anton Valley
El Gaital, Monumento Nacional – El Valle de Anton
The Gaital National Park is a 335-hectare (827-acre) nature reserve at the North edge of Anton Valley (El Valle de Anton). The Spanish name of the park is Monumento Natural Cerro Gaital. The protected area of the national park includes Cerro Gaital, Cerro Pajita, and Cerro Caracoral.
The peak of Cerro Gaital rises more than 1,200m (3,500 feet) above sea level. On a clear day, one can see both oceans, the Pacific and The Caribbean.
The lush wilderness that covers it is home to more than 300 bird species, including such spectacular creatures as the red-legged honeycreeper, bay-headed tanager, and blue-crowned motmot. The bird-watching is best along the edges of that protected area, since its dense foliage allow the birds to hide easily. Gaital also protects the habitat of the rare golden frog (Atelopus zeteki), which has been wiped out in the wild by a fungal disease during the past decade.
There are at least two ways to climb Cerro Gaital. 1. Take Central Street through the town and pass The Male Falls (El Chorro El Macho). On the Right Hand Side there is an entrance to the National Monument. 2. There is a trail that begins just west of Los Mandarinos. The hike up and back takes two to three hours, depending on how much bird-watching you do. It requires good shoes and decent physical condition, and is best done with a guide.
The Temperate Rainforest