List of Costa Rica National Parks & Reserves

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In 1970, locals and government officials took action against the diminishing natural beauty of Costa Rica and turned the country into one of the most prosperous ecotourism industries in the world. The community gathered to recognize the country's natural beauty and save flora and fauna throughout 186 areas that are protected by the National Conservation Areas System (SINAC). SINAC now protects 32 national parks, 51 wildlife refuges, 13 forest reserves and 8 biological reserves. As one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, Costa Rica's national parks and protected areas are some of the most interesting and beautiful places to visit.

National Parks

The Costa Rican National Parks System has been a model for many other countries to improve sustainable efforts. More than 25 percent of the total landmass in Costa Rica is occupied by the National Park System, which consists of protected rainforests, tropical dry forests, cloud forests, marine areas and wetlands. Visitors come from all across the globe to experience the national parks in Costa Rica and its leading efforts in conservation and eco-friendly initiatives. The national park system protects existing vegetation areas, and some parks have also made efforts to revive areas, which are considered secondary forests. From stunning beaches to towering volcanoes to hot and humid rainforests to dark caves, Costa Rica's national parks are extraordinarily diverse from one another.

Reserves & Protected Areas

Fragile ecosystems and threatened species are conserved in efforts to assure balance and evolutionary continuation. Costa Rica is home to many wildlife sanctuaries, biological reserves and protected areas that are used for scientific and research purposes as well as the safeguarding of wildlife species that are endemic, threatened or near extinct. Protected areas also include natural and landscape features that play a role in Costa Rica's history or archeological discovery. Some stretches of sea are also protected as animals travel through these areas during migration or for birthing. The biggest difference between national parks and reserves is that the community and conservationist groups maintain the land of reserves.

These typically have a small entrance fee used to support the local community, keep up with maintenance of the parks, purchase larger plots of land to increase protection and maintain trail systems that allow travelers to go hiking and explore the diverse flora and fauna of Costa Rica.

Select from the list below the National Park or the Reserves & Protected Area that you are interested in:
National Parks Reserves & Protected Areas
Arenal Volcano National Park
Ballena National Marine Park
Barbilla National Park
Barra Honda National Park
Braulio Carrillo National Park
Cahuita National Park
Carara National Park
Chirripó National Park
Coco Island National Park
Corcovado National Park
Guanacaste National Park
Irazú Volcano National Park
Juan Castro Blanco National Park
La Amistad International Park
Las Baulas de Guanacaste National Marine Park
Los Quetzales National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park
Palo Verde National Park
Piedras Blancas National Park
Poás Volcano National Park
Rincón de la Vieja National Park
Santa Rosa National Park
Tapantí - Macizo Cerro de la Muerte National Park
Tenorio Volcano National Park
Tortuguero National Park
Turrialba Volcano National Park
Bahía Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge
Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge
Bolaños Island National Wildlife Refuge
Cabo Blanco Strict Nature Reserve
Camaronal Wildlife Refuge
Caño Island Biological Reserve
Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge
Curú National Wildlife Refuge
Gandoca - Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge
Golfito National Wildlife Refuge
Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve
Guayabo Island Biological Reserve
Guayabo National Monument
Hitoy-Cerere Biological Reserve
La Selva Protected Zone & Biological Station
Lankester Botanical Gardens
Las Tablas Protected Zone
Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Negritos Islands Biological Reserve
Ostional National Wildlife Refuge
Pájaros Island Biological Reserve
Peñas Blancas Wildlife Refuge
Rio Macho Forest Reserve
Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve