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Even though online ticket purchases to the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park have already been enabled, Border Police officers found
a large group of tourists sneaked into the park.
- Ministry of Security photo -

Published Wednesday, May 19, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even though online ticket purchases to the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park have already been enabled, Border Police officers found a large group of tourists sneaked into the park.

According to the police report, 21 tourists were found walking around an unauthorized area near the volcano, putting their lives in danger.

"These people were in an area of difficult access. They were, not only exposing their lives, but also the lives of the border police officers who helped them get out of such a dangerous place," the police said.

One of the tourists, a woman whose name was not provided by the police, had suffered an accident and injured her leg. The officer provided her with medical attention.

The tourists were taken to the park exit. Officers urged them not to never enter the park through unauthorized access.

Officials celebrate that at least all the tourists were taken out of the park in good health, despite the low temperatures that were registered in the high zones of the volcano.

A video showing part of the officers' journey to get tourists out of the park was published by the Ministry of Security, which can be seen on the AM Costa Rica YouTube channel.

The names of the tourists were not provided by the police.

This is the second operation to assist tourists, after they entered the Volcano zone through unauthorized access.

Last week park rangers found a German tourist who went missing for one day.

According to authorities of the National System of Conservation Areas, SINAC, the search for the German tourist began when his friend alerted authorities about the missing tourist.

Allegedly, the two tourists, both Germans, entered the area near the volcano and took a path not allowed. After walking for several hours they realized that they could not find their way back to the park entrance.

It is alleged that one of the two men suffered an accident and could not continue walking. The other tourist managed to find the path to reach the park rangers area and reported his friend as missing.

Immediately, a search and rescue operation was activated, with a team of more than 20 people including Red Cross paramedics, specialist body rescue officers and park rangers.

It was until the next day that the other German tourist was found. He had a dehydration health condition and mild bruises. At the place where he was found, the paramedics provided him with medical assistance. Then, rescuers proceeded to take the man to a safe zone.

According to the authorities, both tourists were trying to enter the volcano crater. The volcano is active and tourists do not have access to that specific area. "The continuous emanation of gases and material eruptions represent a danger to visitors," authorities said.

The park is open to visitors, however, authorities ask for tourists to "be responsible, know the rules of entry and respect the official signs that each of these sites has so that the integrity of the tourist is not exposed, nor the biodiversity that each protected wilderness area protects," they said.

The name of the German tourist was not provided by the Red Cross.

Precisely to avoid fatalities during visits to national parks and protected areas, SINAC authorities call on tourists to follow the guidelines ordered by park rangers.

To practice responsible tourism, visitors should comply with the following tips:

» Always travel with a tour operator or guide certified by the Institute of Tourism.

» Always walk in the authorized routes.

» Never enter parks through unauthorized zones.

» Always follow sanitary protocols such as hand washing, 6-foot social distancing and wearing a facemask.

» Always follow the recommendations of the Park Ranger.

» Bring suitable clothing for long walks.

» Do not drink alcoholic liquors or do drugs inside the parks.

Currently, the authorities are analyzing a bill to present to Congress to apply jail and fines to people entering National Parks and Protected Wild Areas through non-authorized access.

What other advice would you give to tourists to avoid accidents while visiting National Parks? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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