Arenas del Mar - The national tree is the Guanacaste

Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)

Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)

This is the majestic national tree of Costa Rica. Its name guanacaste comes from the nahuatl, the ancient language of the aztecs, that inhabited Central America down to the north of Costa Rica. Guana means ear and catl, tree, so "guanacatl" literally means "ear-tree". If you see its seed pods you would easily understand why, and it is because its shape resembles big ears. Also dried out, these pods make excellent "maracas" or shakers. This giants have a really wide canopy that produces a fresh shade that are characteristic on the Guanacaste cattle ranches (Costa Rica's northern province) were they break the flat horizon of its plains. These trees can get 114 feet high (35m) and their trunk can get 3 meters (10 feet) in diameter. Guanacaste trees are frequently visited by all kinds of creatures, including, moths, beetles, mice, parrots, macaws and howler monkeys. The pods have a waxy substance people use to make soup and its seeds are used for jewelry.