Costa Rica national parks, reserves and refuges account for an astounding 14,000 sq. km or 28 percent of the country's territory! They protect numerous of species of wildlife including over 800 species of birds, 250 mammal species, 225 reptiles, 175 amphibians and thousands upon thousands of species of plant and tree life. The various ecosystems are spread between 12 unique climate and life zones which cover everything from tropical mangroves to cool cloud forests higher than 10,000 feet in elevation.
Arenal Volcano National Park is one of the most visited parks in Costa Rica. Until recently, the volcano had been erupting daily since 1968 when it roared back to life. In October of 2010, the eruptions ceased, but the volcano still emits smoke nearly constantly and is an iconic backdrop for the adventures of the area. Volcanologists still consider Arenal to be active and warn that the sleeping giant can awake at any moment. Click on the link to read more about Arenal Volcano National Park.
Manuel Antonio is the most popular national park. This park is home to stunning beaches, jungle lined hillsides and loads of wildlife. The park is considered by many to be one of the top national parks in the world to visit. The biodiversity within the park is simply astounding with three species of monkeys, two species of sloths, toucans, parrots and much, much more. Click on the link to read more about Manuel Antonio National Park.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is the most famous cloud forest in the world. People come from all over in hopes of spotting rare bird species such as bellbirds, resplendent quetzals and emerald toucanettes. The reserve is privately owned, but maintained as well as any national park. Visitors to the reserve will also have the opportunity to stand on the continental divide which runs through the park. Click on the link to read more about Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Tortuguero is one of the most remote parks in Costa Rica, only accessible by boat or flight. The park is located in the northern Caribbean side of the country where there is a mixture of mangroves and rainforest, making it prime habitat for a wide range of wildlife. The park is most known for the Atlantic Green sea turtles that nest their eggs on Playa Tortuguero every year between July and October. Click here to read more about Tortuguero National Park.
Corcovado is the most remote park in Costa Rica. Located on the Osa Peninsula, this park was once described by a National Geographic writer as “the most biologically diverse place on the planet”. Corcovado is teaming with wildlife of all sorts and one of the most important biological zones in the world. A visit to this amazing park will not be forgotten soon, especially if you enter via a boat from Drake Bay, where one can usually observe dolphins, whales and sea turtles along the way. Click on the link to learn more about Corcovado National Park.
Tenorio Volcano National Park is most known for being the home to the famous Rio Celeste. There is a river that runs out of the base of Tenorio Volcano and then mixes with another mineral rich river resulting in the incredibly beautiful Kool Aid blue colored Rio Celeste. The park itself protects vast expanses of rainforest providing habitat for numerous species of wildlife including tapirs, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, slots and hundreds of species of tropical birds. Click on the link to learn more about Tenorio National Park.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is named after the volcano, which it surrounds. The volcano is one of seven active volcanoes in Costa Rica and has been more active recently than normal. A visit to Rincon de la Vieja is not complete without a hike to the crater or to the La Pailas section where there are fumeroles, boiling mud and hot springs. Click on the link to read more about Rincon de la Vieja National Park.
Cahuita National Park is one of the smallest parks in the country. Located on the southern Caribbean coast, this amazing little park is home to wide range of wildlife, protecting not only rainforest, but also a coral reef in front of the park. The park has groomed trails which are excellent for wildlife observation and then one can go snorkeling on the reefs. Click on the link to read more about Cahuita National Park.
Located along the south Pacific coast, Marino Ballena National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Costa Rica. The park was created in 1990 with the intention of protecting the marine life that lives off the coast here. Every year, Humpback Whales migrate to Marino Ballena between the months of December – April to rear their calves. Other species of whales also frequent the coast, as do dolphins and sea turtles. The park also protects the largest coral reef on the Pacific coast of Central America. Click on the link to read more about Marino Ballena National Park.
Unsure of what to do? Let us make you a free custom trip plan!