A new rising star of international tourism, a tropical wonderland, flanked by the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica contains spectacular flora and fauna. A wide diversity of parks and reserves invite you to indulge in Costa Rica.
The most popular touristic attraction in Costa Rica is indisputable Poás Volcano National Park, part of the Central Volcanic Cordillera Conservation Area. Its great merit is that everybody has the possibility to explore an active volcano. Poas is supposed to be the largest active crater volcano in the world, nestled at about 2708 m above the sea level. Laguna Botos is an extinct crater filled with water and exposes the fauna and flora of the local cloud forest and dwarf forest. Being a powerful geothermal area, it’s not unusual to observe exploding, bubbling geysers that reach up to 250 m height. Tempting, right?
If you want to experience a major ecosystems of Central America, then Corcovado National Park of Osa Peninsula is a must see and a never forgetten backpacking vacation. This stunning collection of biodiversity and exotic wildlife are worth the endeavor. Here is sheltered the last old growth wet forest of the Pacific side of Central America, and thirteen major ecosystems of the area which includes: mangrove swamps, highland cloud forest, lowland rain forest, jolillo palm forest, and a coast line that contains no less than 39 km of pristine beach. Corcovado is called home by the four monkeys species of Costa Rica, particularly the endangered red-backed squirrel monkey, sea turtle, harpy eagles, scarlet macaws, jaguars, Baird’s tapir and many more.
A genuine tropical paradise adventure can be found in the Tenorio Volcano National Park where a virgin rainforest combines with cloud forest and flavored with emerald waterfall. Walking through suspended bridges into the rainforest dome, hiking to the turquoise sparkling blue Rio Celeste Waterfall, trail to Lago Danta or to Miravalles volcano, are a rare pleasure. Even if the two volcanos, Tenorio included, are regarded as dormant, there is still enough geologic activity for hot springs to bubble or geysers to throw away boiled water and chemical gases. The volcanic soil combined with the springs embroider a mind-blowing color for the waters of Rio Celeste, a piece of heaven grabbed in a river, as the name states.
Respecting the proverb tough essences are to be used in small doses, Manuel Antonio National Park is the perfect fit, the smallest park in Costa Rica but rated in 2011 by Forbes as one of the world’s most beautiful parks. A mixture of white sand beaches, trails, wild life, panoramas and waterfall compose one of the richest biologic places on earth. Spotting wildlife is among the best at Manuel Antonio National Park, about 180 birds’ species plus around 100 mammals’ species: 2 and 3 toed sloths, iguanas, lizards, white face monkeys and squirrel monkeys.
One of the most famous cloud forests, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, gained its fame particularly for its extremely rich biodiversity with over 3000 species of plants among which over 755 trees, inhabit here. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is the perfect exponent of the cloud forest and thus the perfect place to experience it. The rampant vegetation, the variations in temperature and altitude produced a heterogenous selection of greenery and creatures as ocelot, jaguar, quetzal, Baird’s tapir, three-wattled bellbird or bare-necked umbrellabird.
An important reservation for aquifers and the largest national park of Costa Rica is Braulio Carrillo National Park. The wide area of virgin dense rainforest includes a highway that pass through the forest and allows splendid views without descending from your vehicles. Birds are everywhere: hummingbirds, snowcap, black-crowned antpitta, brown-billed scythe bill, golden-browed chlorophonia, flame-throated warblers, tanagers or latticed-tailed trogon are the happy ever inhabitants of the zone.
As each reserve has its uniqueness and Tortuguero National Park has its own. You can observing the sea turtle nesting and explore the park by water via small boat, kayak or canoe. Tortuguero, with its protected beach areas, is considered a major location for sea turtle nesting, one of the most important on earth. The exaggerated rainfall together with the lagoons, canals, beaches and wetlands compose a rich habitat for river turtles, sea turtles (green sea turtles, leatherback and hawksbill), southern river otters, spectacled caimans, crustaceans, fish and the endangered West Indian manatee.