With over 615 wildlife species per 10,000 sq km, Costa Rica sits atop of the list as the most bio-diverse region of the world. Home to an incredible plethora of exotic and tropical flora and fauna
, this tiny Latin American country is the habitat of 12 key ecological zones. With an estimated 5% of the world’s biodiversity found here, it is no wonder that Costa Rica is often referred to as ‘the living Eden’ by many scientists and naturalists from all across the globe.
25% of Costa Rica is Protected
In an effort to preserve much of Costa Rica’s natural beauty and surroundings, 25% of the country’s land has been set aside and turned into protective parks and reserves so as to safeguard the beautiful and lush environs from deforestation and logging. To date Costa Rica has 27 national parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 32 protected zones, 15 wetland areas/mangroves, 11 forest reserves and 8 biological reserves, as well as 12 other conservation regions that protect the distinctive and diverse natural habitats found throughout the country.
Home to a staggering 10,000 species of plants and trees, Costa Rica is also the home of over 850 indigenous and migrant birds, 205 species of mammals, over 35,000 species of insects, 160 species of amphibians, 220 species of reptiles, and around 1,013 species of fresh and saltwater fish.. This diversity and richness of nature and wildlife makes Costa Rica a truly natural paradise.
Deciduous forests, mangrove swamps, rainforests, herbaceous swamps, cloud forests, riparian forests, swamp forests and coral reefs are just some of the many habitats that are protected by the national parks and reserves of Costa Rica. Areas of geological and geophysical interests, such as active volcanoes
, hot springs, caves and relict mountains as the result of plate tectonics setting; areas of historic and archaeological interest, such as battlefields and pre-Columbian settlements;
areas of scenic beauty, such as beaches and waterfalls; and areas of conservational importance, such as islands where the brown pelican and magnificent frigatebird nest, or enclaves with the last remaining stands of Mesoamerican dry forest, or beaches where huge sea turtles flock, all fall under the protection of the national parks and reserves in Costa Rica.
Home to many endangered wildlife plant and animal species such as the Leatherback turtle, Olive Ridley turtle, West Indian manatee, Scarlet Macaw, Resplendent Quetzal, Tapir, Golden Toad, Jabiru and Ocelot, Costa Rica’s national parks offer tourists a wealth of diversity that was previously unheard of.
Popular National Parks
Some of the popular national parks in Costa Rica include; the Arenal Volcano National Park
– with the one of the country’s active volcano; the Barra Honda National Park
– with its Pre-Columbian limestone caves; the Chirripo National Park
– home to Costa Rica’s tallest mountain; the Corcovado National Park
– considered to be the most biologically intense place on earth; the Las Baulas National Marine Park
– where millions of Leatherback turtles nest; the Turrialba Volcano National Park
– with the largest volcano craters and the La Amistad International Park
– which is a biosphere project.