The Massif of Life

~ by Luis Humberto Galera  Photo Mario Wong

The Massif of Life - Uvita, Bahia Ballena, Osa - Ballena Tales Cold and strong winds blow on the plains at Buena Vista Hill, the official name of the feared massif better known as “Death Hill”; this is ironic, since its hillsides are full of very exotic life. 

Buena Vista is home to the quetzal, an amazingly beautiful species that has impressive, bright colors, and flies over the neighboring forests in this moor. 

This is a rugged, isolated area with stunted shrubs that grow in sections covered slightly by lichens and grass; it is 3451 meters high (11,322 ft.), and it’s also the highest summit on the Pan-American Highway. 

Witness to the difficult colonization process that took place in the 1950s, Buena Vista is a reference to a historic fact: brave farmers and adventurers crossed this challenging wall to reach the fertile lands of El General Valley. The very low temperatures and indomitable landscape took the lives of hundreds of people trying to achieve a better life. 


However, this nickname has nothing to do with the true reality of this charming territory.

Glaciers that have been there for thousands of years, a great variety of plants, stunted shrubs, and lichens make up the moorland scenery that only exists in the Intertropical Convergence Zone; it’s exclusive to only a few countries, luckily including Costa Rica. 

This area is definitely a touristic destination for bird watchers and hikers; it is one of the many parts of our country that are proudly full of flora and fauna. Valle de El General is like a lobby where visitors get ready to experience Costa Rica’s wonderful southern zone.

It’s a majestic part of the stunning Talamanca range where incredible biological, historic, and cultural processes have taken place in the Brunca Region.

For travelers coming from and going to the Central Valley, or as a tourist destination, Buena Vista Hill is a must, especially for birdwatching and admiring pristine landscapes and nature.


INFO: Luis Humberto Galera –

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