La Amistad International Park, Limón

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With its area split between the countries of Costa Rica and Panama, La Amistad International Park is one of the first attempts to manage a protected area between two different nations. Travelers who want to experience ecotourism during their Costa Rica vacation should definitely make an effort to visit the park, as it encompasses nearly 500,000 acres of the country.

Natural World Heritage Site

Including the territory shared with Panama, the park totals more than 990,000 acres and was declared a Natural World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983. The highest point located inside the park is Cerro Kamuk, which sits at an elevation of 11,644 feet.

The protected environments that can be found within La Amistad International Park include cloud forests, tropical lowland rainforests, glacial lakes, alpine grasslands and an oak forest. With this impressive variety of ecosystems, the national park boasts a remarkable diversity of flora and fauna that showcases Costa Rica's natural beauty.

Abundance of Wildlife

Overall, it is estimated that two thirds of all the wildlife in Costa Rica can be found at La Amistad International Park including a significant number of representatives of the country's treasured monkey species, the jaguar and the puma.

Bird watchers visiting the park will be delighted to know that 500 species of bird reside within the various ecosystems, including the famed resplendent quetzal and nine of the 11 endangered species living throughout the country.

La Amistad International Park, which is mostly unexplored, also features an impressive diversity of plant species, including 1,000 species of fern, 500 types of tree and 130 different orchids.

Hire a Guide

Because many of the trails are unmarked at the national park, visitors are advised to hire a guide for their trip. There are also a number of designated camping areas found through the site, but there is no lodging available.

Getting There

To get to La Amistad International Park from the capital city of San Jose, travelers should take the interamerican highway to San Isidro de Pérez Zeledón then head south to San Vito de Coto Brus. After proceeding towards Cerro Punta and driving another three miles, you will see the park's ranger station, which is located in the town of Las Nubes. The park has an entrance fee and travelers can inquire at the Ranger Station for the current price.