Which National Parks can I visit in Costa Rica?
Just so you can have an idea of how important it is for Costa Rica to protect nature, it has around 4% of the world’s flora and fauna. The country territory is 51 179 km2 and 26% of it is protected by the government as wildlife refuges and preserved national parks.
It is also estimated that these areas contribute by almost 3% of the country’s GDP due mostly to tourism but also water to consume and to produce energy, conservation resources, donations and others.
Also, to reach the goal to be a zero carbon country, these zones are vital to reduce bad emissions for the planet.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular National Parks and Wildlife Refuges in Costa Rica:
– National Monument Guayabo. Located in Turrialba, Cartago. It is a 233 hectares protected that has prehispanic structures and a premontane evergreen rainforest that you can walk through.
– Braulio Carrillo National Park. Located in the Central Valley, between Poas and Irazu volcanoes, including Barva and Cacho Negro volcanoes, from Moravia, San José to La Selva, Sarapiqui. The temperatures go from 3°C to 24°C. It’s a protected area of 50.000 hectares and has a lot of mountains and rivers, there’s a hydroelectric plant as well. You need to keep in mind that there are limited hiking tracks and it is very important to follow them because people can get lost or encounter wild life.
– Cahuita National Park. Located in Cahuita, Limon with a beautiful coral reef, opportunity to closely watch sloths and other cute animals like iguanas, serpents, crab-eating hawks, coatis, racoons and more. You can hike in this protected area and relax on its beach. While you´re there, it is highly recommended that you also enjoy the local food and as much of the Caribbean culture as you can.
– Carara National Park. Translated from Huetar (indigenous Costa Rican tongue) it means “crocodiles river”. Located between Garabito, Puntarenas and Turrubares, San Jose, nearby Tarcoles river. It has the particularity of the conversion between dry and humid forests. You have the chance to watch scarlet macaws in the wild, which is an endangered species and amazing birds in general. This is great for 1 day trips because you can get there really quick if you´re in San Jose.
– Chirripo National Park. This is the highest peak of Costa Rica and offers everything from beautiful landscapes to bird watching. It has valleys, lakes and glaciers. From the beginning, you are immersed in a forest and
There are many more options to visit depending on what region you are. Most of the National parks and preserved areas in Costa Rica have tour guides, the secure paths are marked and have facilities like bathrooms and camping areas. Remember to use sunscreen and bug spray before hiking in the country.