Santa Rosa National Park is located about 36 km north of Liberia and just off the Pan-American Highway. This was the very first national park established in Costa Rica in 1971. It was created firstly to protect the scene of the Battle of Santa Rosa, in which Costa Rican militia marched from San Jose into Liberia to defend against the forces of filibuster William Walker who in his manifesto "5 or None", set out to conquer all the provinces of Central America. When Walker's forces learned about the advancing militia, sent out troops to include French and German allies who marched into Santa Rosa. Upon arriving in Santa Rosa after the long and arduous march which left them tired, were invaded by the Costa Rican militia and were defeated in a matter of 14 minutes.
La Casona, site where the filibusters camped out, was later burned in 2001 by poachers in protest. It was then rebuilt that same year. This is one of the attractions of the park along with it's vast array of flora and fauna. Some of the roads through out will lead to various beaches as well as Murcielago Sector where CIA had a training base during the Nicaraguan conflict to train the Contra's. Now this area is still off limits and used by Costa Rican Police as a private airstrip in coalition with US Coast Guard and DEA in the War on Drugs.