National Parks

National parks in Costa Rica are known of their stunning wildlife


10+ parks for you to Discover

Roughly 20% of Costa Rica’s territory is constituted as National Park or Reserves, including two parks declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

This means most National Parks and Reserves are easily accessible from anywhere in the country, making Costa Rica an ideal destination if you want to be surrounded by natural settings.

Las Baulas National Park

This small reserve was created to protect the turtle nesting beach of Playa Grande. Every year, thousands of leather back sea turtles, the largest living turtle, crawl onto at night and bury their eggs in its warm sand. There is also an extensive mangrove swamp, which is an excellent area to see birds.

Rincon de la Vieja National Park

It is probably the largest area where the Guaria Morada, the orchid which is Costa Rica’s national flower, can still be found in the wild.

Palo Verde National Park

This National Park is made up of a mosaic of diverse flood-plain habitats. Rivers and rows of calcareous hills surround it. Palo Verde’s natural hydro logic system provides the most adequate conditions for the area to harbor the most important concentration of aquatic birds and waders in the country and in the whole of Central America.

Volcan Irazu National Park

This active volcano, with a long history of dramatic eruptions and eruptive cycles, is easily reached from the city of San José.

Isla del Coco National Park

Isla del Coco was declared Patrimony Of Mankind. Its importance transcends the national boundaries to become an international legacy. Its greatest pride are the marine resources. 235 species of plants have been identified in the island, 70 of which are endemic; 57 crustaceans, 118 marine mollusks, 200 fish, 351 insects and 18 coral species.

Tortuguero National Park

The green turtle’s most important spawning area in the whole west Caribbean. Among the vegetation, the “yolillo” palm and the “kativo” tree are the most common and can often be seen by the of both the natural and the artificial canals.

Carara Biological Reserve

Carara displays a high diversity of plants, predominantly evergreens. It has several ecosystems, such as swamps and a lagoon among others.

Cabo Blanco Biological Reserve

It provides a refuge for marine birds and it offers one of the most beautiful scenery in the Pacific Coast.

Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve

The area is crisscrossed by an large number of very pebbly rivers decorated with rapids and cascades, some of which are tens of meters high.

Monteverde Biological Reserve

The Monteverde area in Costa Rica is world famous for its cloud forest. There are now two reserves, the original Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Santa Elena Rain Forest. In these forests you can enjoy the cloud forest climate and hike the trails amongst the varieties of plants and magnificent epiphytic laden trees, there have been over 450 bird species seen in the Monteverde area. The native birds are joined at certain time or the year by those that migrate through from North America. The splendid quetzals with their long tails feed at various locations in the area and one can at times hear the ?bong? of the bell birds. These areas sit aside the continental divide at an altitude a bit above 5000 feet. They protect and provide habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals.

Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve

The area is crisscrossed by an large number of very pebbly rivers decorated with rapids and cascades, some of which are tens of meters high.

Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wild Life Refuge

It protects the wildlife, particularly those species threatened with extinction or with very reduced populations. It protects the only mangrove oyster bank in the coastal reef.

Ostional National Wild Life Refuge

It protects the area’s wildlife, which includes the Lora and the Baula turtles, as well a large variety or marine birds. This is one of Costa Rica’s wilder parks, but relatively accessible by foot. Much of the rugged terrain has been protected from development and exploitation by its inaccessibility. Besides the challenge of climbing Costa Rica’s highest peak (Cerro Chirripó) there are miles of trails that wind through more ecological zones than you will find in most entire countries.


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