Costa Rica National Parks
Santa Rosa National Park is located far in the North Pacific Coast, and it represents one of the last virgin Tropical Dry Forests in the country and Central America. Over 80 acres of forest, and a beautiful beach well known for turtle nesting.
Juan Castro Blanco National Park Cloud Forest protection area near San Jose.
National Park Guanacaste. 56000 hectares of forests and grasslands, this park unites Santa Rosa with Rincon de la Vieja National Park and so creates a very important natural corridor for wildlife and plants.
Juan Castro Blanco National Park is approximately 50% primary cloud and rainforest. Platanar Volcano is still active, though its last eruption date in unknown. Its dormant sister Porvenir is several miles to the south.
Lomas Barbudal. Total 2279 hectares. Famous for its Sabanas and forests, this park is one of the least visited in the country, thereby offering a true natural experience and a non – traditional vacation. Famous among scientists for insects, bird and dry forest, this park is important because it hosts the last forests in the area.
Palo Verde National Park. Total 16804 hectares. Located on the Tempisque Riverside, the second largest river in Costa Rica, it is home to many resident and migratory water and land birds, crocodiles, and many other reptiles and mammals. A beautiful experience to visit by boat only.
Marina Las Baulas Total 500. This park protects world famous Playa Grande, good for surfing but also the favorite place for leatherback turtles to nest. Its lager area is marine, protecting some important coral reefs and marine formations, as well as the area where many turtles use a nesting ground.
Barra Honda National Park. Total 2295 hectares. Attractive because of its Cave formations, that creates a large system underneath Nicoyas Mountain Range and secondary ridges. A true unique experience for soft adventure lovers.
Ostional National Park . Total 164 hectares. Ostional Beach and park are located in the center of the Peninsula of Nicoya, and also protects some very important turtle colonies that come here every year for nesting. Beautiful beeches and romantic beach locations.
Guayabo, Negritos y Pajaros National Park . These islands in the Nicoya Gulf are home to many water bird species as Cormorants and pelicans.
Curu. Total 84 hectares. Curu is another interesting park, because of the fact that its inhabitants are a combination of tropical dry forest and rainforest coming up from the Central Pacific Coast. Strategically located on the Southern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, its location meets the division of the dry North Pacific and the Central Pacific Rainforest and humidity. Beautiful estuaries, quiet locations and self guided trails.
Cabo Blanco National Park . Total 1172 hectares. Cabo Blanco or White Cape is called so because of being the cape that ends the Nicoya Peninsula and so divides the North Pacific Coast and its influence and the Gulf of Nicoya and the Central Pacific Coast. Its is one of the first areas to be protected, and similar to Curu, it hosts some unique vegetation and wildlife. It is surrounded by Mal Pais beaches, Montezuma and Cabuya Town, so it is a good place to spend some relaxing and natural vacations.
Peñas Blancas National Park. Total 2400 hectares. Peñas Blancas is located near the Pan-American Highway, only 1-½ hours from San Jose, on the same mountain range than Monteverde is. It creates an island of protection in an area that suffered much from destruction during the 70s´.
Carara National Park. Total 4700 hectares Carara means Red Macaws and giant crocodiles. This park is only 1-½ hours from San Jose City, in the Central Pacific Coast. The best place to see the red macaws, many species of birds and insects and also some large American crocodiles that take sun every day under Tarcoles River Bridge, just a step from the entrance.
Manuel Antonio National Park. Total 683 hectares Manuel Antonio area is world renown as to be the premier Sport fishing place n the country, but it is much more than that. Its proximity with San Jose, (2 ¾ hours, excellent infrastructure, gorgeous beaches and its closely located National Park. Manuel Antonio makes this place the great beach and forest destination. Snorkeling, hiking, walking, dinning and nightlife are some extra benefits while visiting this park and its neighboring town of Quepos
Marino Ballena National Park. Area Total 50 hectares ground and 4500 hectares marine. Ballena means whale in Spanish, and this place is probably the best for whale and dolphin watching. Located in the South Central Pacific, it is a quiet area with large areas of virgin rainforests and beautiful beaches.
Cano Island – Isla del Caño National Park. Caño Island is a premier spot for Scuba Diving, but it offers its other attractions too. Used by indigenous tribes as a cemetery, arqueologists find some particular stone formations. Accessible only by boat.
Corcovado National Park, Corcovado is biologist’s hideaway while in Costa Rica. It is one of the largest National Parks, covering almost the entire Corcovado Peninsula. Rainforest, rivers, beaches and estuaries and many trails. The park has been under study from scientists all over the planets because of its importance hosting the jaguar, the tapir and other rare species.
Esquinas. Total 1309 hectares. This park was born to serve as a bridge and corridor between rainforests and the large Corcovado National Park. It is well known for bird watching and hiking.
Isla del Coco National Park . Total 2400 hectares land and 73.1000 marine. Cocos Island is among the Top 7 Diving Destinations in the world. Located off the coast of Costa Rica, it inspired Jurassic Park and other movies. Covered completely by Rainforest, its importance lies underwater, protecting animals from industrial fishing and whaling.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Total 14084 hectares. Rincon de la Vieja is a beautiful Park located in the Guanacaste Mountain Range. An area formerly known as Haciendas Ganaderas or Cattle Ranches, it offers some romantic Wild West Scenes. Some of its attractions are: The Crater, the lagoon, canopy, horseback riding on never-ending grasslands and forests and some hot water springs and mud baths. Here you will feel as if in another planet. Beautiful.
Volcan Poas National Park. Total 5600 hectares. Poas Volcano is said to be the largest geyser crater in the world, measuring a mil. Its eruptions are geyser like, meaning only fumes and steam coming up from the crater. It is entirely covered by cloud forest at the height of almost 7000 feet. There is a beautiful and bizarre looking dwarf forest when you walk up to the lagoon.
Braulio Carrillo National Park. Total 45899 hectares. Used to film the movie Congo, this giant National Park is one of the newest. Covering steep mountains and valleys, cloud and rainforest, and hosting almost everything from Jaguars to giant anteaters, it can be admired while driving to the Caribbean Coast. There are almost no trails in the park because of the danger of getting lost, but only driving trough is a beautiful experience.
Volcan Irazu National Park. Total 2309 hectares. Irazu Volcano is the highest volcano in the country, at 8000 feet. On the top, you can visit both of the craters and see their lagoons and the moon – like landscape from above the clouds.
Guayabo National Park. Guayabo is Costa Rica Tikal, since it is considered the largest Indigenous Pre – Colombian discovery so far. While visiting this park, you will find out about our ancestors, its construction techniques and its gods. Surrounded by rainforest, it is extremely interesting as a cultural destiny.
La Amistad & Chirripo National Park. La Amistad and Chirripo is the largest protected area in Costa Rica and Central America, since its area is over 280000 square kilometers and goes deep into Panama as well. It covers the majority of the Talamanca Mountain Range including Cerro Chirripo and others, and in this park you will find anything from Cloud Forest to the deepest Rainforest, depending on the altitude. Several are the points you can access this giant, from the Pacific or the Caribbean Side, Ask for more info.
Caño Negro National Park. Total 9969 hectares. Caño Negro is located on the Northern Plains, between Arenal and Nicaragua. It hosts some of the most important swamps and mangrove systems in the country, and it is a paradise for birdwatchers, especially aquatic species.
Tortuguero National Park. Total 18947 hectares. Tortuguero National Park is located on the Caribbean Coast, and covers some 40000 plus hectares of Rainforest and natural canals. There is a small town in the area, and you will find many Hotels. It is an especially interesting park because of its bio – diversity and its natural canals, where tours depart daily.
Barra del Colorado National Park. Total 92000 hectares. Barra del Colorado is another giant. It is considered Tortugueros´Big Brother, since its location is a bit North of Tortuguero Town. It borders Nicaragua, and covers San Juan River Delta, large areas of virgin rainforest that are home to Jaguars, Pumas, many species of birds and other animals.
Cahuita National Park. Area Total 1068 hectares. Small in extension, this park is a true jewel. It protects the largest coral reef in the country, and also protects a beautiful strip of rainforest along the beaches of Cahuita Town and Puerto Vargas. I
Gandoca – Manzanillo National Park. Total 5013 hectares land and 4436 hetaeras marine. Similar to Cahuita Park, it protects the portion of land from Puerto Viejo Town to the Panama Border, of great importance since this area used to be affected by destruction and trimming. Here you will find some unexplored beaches, forests, great small – town atmosphere in Manzanillo, and some great and interesting trails to walk through.
Monteverde – Santa Elena National Park. World Famous Monteverde. This particular area, called the Green Mountain since it is a green cloud forest surrounded by the Pacific Dry Influence is considered a Birdwatchers and naturalist paradise worldwide. The towns of Monteverde and Santa Elena have many places to stay, restaurants, shops and more. There are two parks, Monteverde and Santa Elena, being both the same in bio diversity. Monteverde is also one of the first choices among travelers to our country. Beautiful views of the Pacific, the Gulf of Nicoya and the surrounding dry lands.
Volcan Arenal National Park. Arenal Volcano is the most active volcano in the country. At 1650 meters above sea level, its perfect cone – shaped base is located next to Arenal Lake, creating this unique combination. Discover its hot water springs, the town of La Fortuna, the lake and more.
Zona Protectora Savegre National Park. From Cerro de la Muerte to Savegre Valley, this area is the most perfect place to observe the Paradise Bird ( Quetzal ), among many other species of birds. Beautiful Cloud forest at 8000 feet above sea level, this area contains some very beautiful paths, trails and places to discover while staying at one of the Hotels nearby. Rica.