For the more “feet-on-the-ground” tourist, there are many different types of beaches and National Parks in Costa Rica, which boasts about 10.000 species of plants, 850 species of birds, more than 200 species of mammals, 220 species of reptiles and about 160 species of amphibians. You can really enjoy the gifts Mother Nature has bestowed on this tropical country.
If looking at nature up close suits your fancy, you will have to visit the Costa Rican National Parks.
“Costarricenses” really care about preserving their past and wholeheartedly believe in preparing for their future: a little bit more than one quarter (26%) of our territory is protected by the National Parks and Reserve System. Even though we are a small country, we export oxygen to the world. Through international trade bans and specific laws that protect our native fauna y flora, we are considered air cleaners and safekeepers for many species of wildlife.
Another facet of this territory as a vital conservancy status is that Costa Rica bridges species from the south with those from the north. Here we have species that meet in this land bridge and others that can’t be found in other parts of the world due to the unique habitats present in our country. As an example, there are well over two thousand different species of orchids prevalent in Costa Rica, not counting other flowers, that are distributed in every corner of the country.
Each and every part of the National Parks and Reserve System has its own attractions, depending on geographical and historical aspects.
Lankaster Botanical Gardens
Near Cartago, these botanical gardens are home to a minimum of 800 species of orchids. Just because you don’t have time or inclination to go off into the jungle to discover all of them by yourself doesn’t mean you have to forfeit the discovery. The gardens are maintained by the Botany Department of the University of Costa Rica (UCR). The winter (dry) season is when you can find the majority in flower (think February-ish).
Rain Forest/Canopy Tours
This is one of the highlights of a trip to Costa Rica. Several very reputable companies supply guides and equipment. Also very important to note is the fact that ALL AGES can experience this type of tour SAFELY!!! Hikes/excursions from the bottom of the rain forest to the top of the cloud forest are one of the things that call people from all over the globe to return to Costa Rica over and over again.
Day tours can give you an entertaining but valuable look-see into both these industries. These are, in some ways, the “pork belly futures” of this country, and a look into grass roots economy. However, just because you are looking at part of what has built (and still makes up) an important part of the country, it won’t interfere with your enjoying the presentation. You can most certainly enjoy the best cup of “joe” you might ever encounter, after the tour…
National Park (Sirena) Caño Island, Drake Bay, or off the coast by the Papagallo Bay, or perhaps you would prefer a trip to Islas del Coco, or, or, or….this country is flanked by two major bodies of water. Aside from being able to explore sites on your own, or to participate in a tour, there are several scientific study stations which can provide you with a bit more in-depth data to help you enjoy your private explorations even more. Is it important to you to plan your trip for when the sea turtles are laying their eggs? Or when the sperm whales are migrating? Do you want to do some sports fishing where you can observe one of the other wonders of nature??
Here you can find snorkelling day tours
There are almost 900 species of birds in Costa Rica. From the oak forest of Central America’s highest mountain range, the Talamanca Mountains, all the way to the cloud forests of Monteverde or Braulio Carrillo National Park, and onward to the lowland rain forest of the Osa Peninsula, birders will discover a rich variety of habitats filled with wonderfully diverse groups of birds. Every birder, or any level of expertise and experience will find this a rewarding experience. There are guides, bird experts who live and specialize in this area, who are available for bookings. Just let us know. We can hunt and peck for you!
Please check out our hiking day tours
No visit to Costa Rica would be complete without seeing at least some of its four species of monkeys: the cebus (or capuchin), howler, spider, and squirrel. Along with approximately 50 other species, they belong to a group called New World monkeys. If they are around, remember they are very territorial…you do not want to be under a tree looking up.
Barra Honda National Park, in Guanacaste, is home to not only many square acres of dry forest, but to a network of caves which are fascinating to explore. Seeing as there are not many caves, per se, in Costa Rica, these chambers are captivating to the imagination. There are more than 42 chambers up to 240 meters deep, and burial vaults dating back to pre-Colombian times are but a couple of the things that make a visit here attractive….and, of course, an important cave attraction are the bats! There are at least 110 species of bats here, the most notorious being the vampire bat. Because it spreads a bovine rabies, bat-control is a concern. But the species that do not present a threat are also here, and amazing to behold. Some of these bats include what may well be the cutest bat: the tiny Honduran white bat; the largest New World bat – the carnivorous false vampire bat; and the peculiar sucker-footed bats. One species, the fruit-eating Talamancan yellow-shouldered bat, is found only in the mountains of Costa Rica and small areas of adjacent Panama and Colombia.