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PARKS AND NATIONAL RESERVES

As 6% of the world's biodiversity is found in Costa Rica, the country has declared 25% of its territory as national parks, protected areas or reserves.

27 national parks and 2 are part of world heritage of UNESCO: the national park of Isla del Coco and the National Park of Guanacaste (the reserve of Amistad and Panama are also declared UNESCO World Heritage).

58 refuges, 32 protected areas, 15 marshy wetlands, 11 forest reserves and 8 biological reserves complete the picture.

Costa Rica also protects over 13 000 km² of terrestrial and marine natural areas.

volcan arenal 300ARENAL NATIONAL PARK

Composed of one of the active volcanoes of Costa Rica, the volcano of Arenal along with its lake are the main attractions of this park. But, activities like canyoning, rafting, cable-supported bridges also make this area very attractive.

Area : 2 920 ha 
Location: Guanacaste - Northern Cordillera Tilaran
Biodiversity: tapir, coati, sloths, birds and reptiles

parc amistadINTERNATIONAL PARK OF AMISTAD - WORLD HERITAGE OF UNESCO

The largest park in the country, yet one of the most difficult to access and is also one of the least known. Its topography varies in height from 200 m to 3549 m.

Area: 193,929 ha
Location: Cordillera de Talamanca - Panama Border
Biodiversity: 263 species of amphibians, 400 species of birds, 500 types of trees and over 130 species of orchids.

parc barra hondaBARRA HONDA NATIONAL PARK

42 caves, 19 explored and 2 open to public in perfect condition makes this place special. The deepest cave reaches 780 m.

Area: 2295 ha
Location: North of the Nicoya Peninsula
Biodiversity: monkeys, reptiles, coyotes, agoutis, peccaries, raccoons

parc braulio carriloBRAULIO CARRILO NATIONAL PARK

The park is composed of volcanic peaks and its exploration is very difficult. The dense vegetation consists of primary forests which is home to an endemic fauna among the richest in the country.

Area: 1607 ha
Location: Central Valley
Biodiversity: 500 bird species, 600 species of trees and plants, 135 mammal species
Access: 2 accesses allows hiking (42 km long)

parc cahuitaNATIONAL PARK CAHUITA

Located on the Atlantic coast, this park composed of both sea and land has the largest coral reef in the country. The maritime part attract the most tourist thanks to its abundance in flora and fauna and because it permits snorkelling.

Area: 1068 ha land and 22 400 ha marine
Location: South of the province of Limon
Biodiversity: monkeys, reptiles, coyotes, agoutis, peccaries, raccoons

Accessible by two entries

parc cabo blancoCABO BLANCO NATIONAL PARK

First Park created in Costa Rica, Cabo Blanco is located at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, at a short distance away from Montezuma, Cabuya and Montezuma. Secondary forests and magical beaches.

Area: 1172 ha land - 1790 ha marine
Location: South of the Nicoya Peninsula
Biodiversity: monkeys, reptiles, agoutis, deer, butterflies, birds

parc cararaCARARA NATIONAL PARK

By the dry influences of the North Pacific and humid from the South Pacific, this ecosystem is identical to that of the Amazonian rainforest. Thanks to its proximity with San José and Jaco, it has become a popular site.

Area: 4700 ha
Location: Central Pacific
Biodiversity: monkeys, crocodiles, armadillos, peccaries, sloths, boas, agoutis, kinkajous, Margay, ocelots, deer of Virginie and especially scarlet macaws

parc chirripoCHIRRIPO NATIONAL PARK

Mount Chirripó, 3820 m high, is favoured by hikers. The ascent requires good health, must be used to hiking but other than that, there is no major difficulty.

Area: 50 150 ha
Location: South of Talamanca - San Gerardo de Rivas
Biodiversity: monkeys, reptiles, coyotes, agoutis, peccaries, raccoons

parc isla del cocoISLA DEL COCO NATIONAL PARK

Small Island 552 km off Costa Rica, this sanctuary is classified heritage of humanity. Its land and sea biodiversity makes it a hotbed for research and diving.

Area: 2400 ha land - 97,235 ha marine
Location: 552 km from Puntarenas Costa Rica's south coast
Access: only by boat
Biodiversity: endemic plants and birds

parc corcovadoCORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK

According to National Geographic this park is one of the densest place of the world, biologically speaking and the largest primary forest of the American Pacific coast. A guide is mandatory and you need to book in advance.

Area: 54 538 ha land - 2400 ha marine
Location: Osa Peninsula - South -West Country
Access: land or sea
Biodiversity: 500 types of trees and plants, monkeys, reptiles, agoutis, peccaries, raccoons, scarlet macaws, pumas, jaguars, anteaters, 117 species of amphibians and four species of sea turtles