Costa Rica is the home to a vast variety of animals and plants. Although it’s a country which occupies only 0.1 % of the earth’s surface, it houses more then 5% of the flora and fauna population of the world. That’s saying a lot about the wonderful bio life found here. Though it’s quite small but it is quite famous and recognized for its diverse wild life and exotic culture. Costa Rica is a paradise for the eco traveler; if a tourist’s main purpose is to visit the diverse landscape and take a look at its paradisiacal eco life then he or she must visit the nationally conserved areas which are house to a thousand of species of wild life. This is what makes Costa Rica one of the most famous eco destinations of the world It’s got a number of different national parks where visitors and scientists both can see the diverse flora and fauna found in abundance and for which Costa Rica is so very famous. More than 840 varieties of birds have been found in these national parks. There is also a vast amount of fruit trees found here which are supposed to be the staple diet of these exotic birds. Costa Rica also boasts the world’s fastest lizard the spiny tailed iguana. A trip to Costa Rica can be both exhilarating as well as adventurous. It’s a really stimulating experience and is something which you will remember all your life thereby making it an unforgettable experience. It’s the kind of place which holds the interest of adults and children alike. There’s a wide variety of activities for kids such as snorkeling and scuba diving. These activities can be enjoyed by adults well.
There’s something so exotic about Costa Rica that most visitors find themselves engrossed in the beauty of the wild life found there. It’s got mesmerizing rain forests and volcanic areas. The marine life and the national parks are not far behind either. Below is a list of few of the national parks which every visitor must take a look at. Visiting the national parks of Costa Rica will let you take a glimpse of paradise on earth.
Manuel Antonio National Park
The Manuel Antonio is a small national park found in the central pacific conservative area. It was established in 1972 and is one of the smallest national parks found in Costa Rica. It is the destination of more then 150’000 visitors and is known as one of the most beautiful national parks. The Manuel Antonio park has the following features
- Located in a tropical forest of lush exotic beauty
- Has various sandy coves and lovely beaches
- Large marine and land flora and fauna with breath takingly beautiful coral reefs
- Facilities available for tourists for lodging, bed and breakfast. Caters to people of all ethnic races and economic statuses.
There are about four beaches located in the park. Manuel Antonio, Espadilla Sur, Teloro and Playita. Both the Manuel Antonio and Playita are famous for snorkeling and although there is a life guard program available one must be careful of the rip tides present along the beaches.
Even in a small area of 6.35 sq km this beautiful park boasts more then 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds like toucans, woodpeckers, potoos, motmots, parakeets and hawks. Dolphins also abound in these lush seas and occasionally one can catch a passing migrating whale. There are also many activities for those who are adventurous in nature. Activities like scuba diving, kayaking, mountain biking and hiking appease even the most adventurous at heart.
The Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s second most visited park. The huge pacific ocean next to it is renowned for its fishing as well. The park is a major source of attraction for surfers, swimmers, birders and ecotourists.
Carara National Park
Located near the pacific coast of Costa Rica, this park was established in 1978 as a biological reserve but its popularity made the government upgrade it to a national park in 1990. it boasts the worlds largest population of scarlet macaws. This park has the following features
- Denser tree growth makes it a heaven for the exotic bird population.
- Several species of water birds inhabit the park as well.
- There are several snake and reptile species found in the park
- One of the most unique features of this park re the resources developed for people with certain handicaps. Animal sculptures, haptic maps, step by step pictures and voice which are accessible by QR code, Braille language code etc.
- The Carara national park has more then 15 pre-Colombian architectural sites belonging to the Pavas period and the Carthage period.
This park is a paradise for history buffs. So if you are in a mood for some good dose of history along with a wide variety of eco life then the Carara national park is the place to visit. Its exotic wild life and beautiful sandy turfs will take your breath away.
Chirripó National Park
The chirripo national park encompasses three parts of the province of Costa Rica which are San Jose, Limon and Cartago. It is named after the Cerro Chirripo which at 3820 meters is the highest mountain of Costa Rica. The climate is basically divided into the dry season which lasts from December to April and a wet season which lasts from May to November. The park has the following features
- This park is one of the coldest places in Costa Rica. The lowest temperature of -15 degree centigrade was recorded in this very park.
- During the dry season the park has been susceptible to many fires, in fact the park was also closed once for about four months in the year 1992.
- The park consists of both primary rain forests and primary cloud forests.
- The park also boasts the Las Nubes centre for neo tropical conservation. There are a whole lot of exotic fungi which can be observed in this conservatory. It’s like a botanist’s heaven.
So if you are planning to visit Costa Rica in the near future then you must try to visit these beautiful national parks known through out the world for their wild lushness and tropical beauty.