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5 Places to Experience Costa Rica’s Biodiversity – A Photo Odyssey

Costa Rica’s forests cover less than 0.03% of the Earth’s surface, yet it contains nearly 5% of the planet’s plant and animal species. Clearly this tiny country is an incredible place to experience our planet at its most abundant!

1. Ballena National Marine Park – Puntarenas, Central Pacific Region

This unique park is along one of the more remote stretches of Costa Rica’s coastline, on the southern end of the Central Pacific region, and encompasses several beaches. The park gets its Spanish name for a peculiar sandbar formation at Playa Uvita beach that goes straight out toward the ocean before splitting and curving in two directions, much like a whale’s tale.

Photo Credit: David Herskovits

Photo Credit: David Herskovits

2. Palo Verde National Park – Guanacaste, Pacific Coast Region

This is an undiscovered jewel in the Costa Rican park system. The animal population is spectacular. The trail system leaves something to be desired, but this certainly means fewer crowds, and there are a number of areas that can be explored by boat.

Photo Credit: Rod David

Photo Credit: Rod David

3. Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge – Alajuela, Costa Rica – Nicaraguan Border

Nature cruises through these wetlands are quite popular, but don’t worry, there are thousands of acres to explore. A boat trip here or in Tortuguero, or Damas estuary is certainly the easiest and maybe the best way to see a lot of wildlife on your visit to Costa Rica.

Photo Credit: David Berkowitz

Photo Credit: David Berkowitz

4. Manuel Antonio National Park – Quepos, Pacific Coast Region

For a tame, up-close glimpse of the rain forest and some of its more photogenic inhabitants, Manuel Antonio National Park is a favorite. Located on the central Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most visited—and smallest—national parks.

Photo Credit: Emmanuelle Bourgue

Photo Credit: Emmanuelle Bourgue

5. Monteverde Cloud Forest and Biological Reserve – Monteverde, Cordillera de Tilarán Mountain Range

Costa Rica’s most famous cloud forest reserve is packed with an astonishing variety of life: 2,500 plant species, 400 species of birds, 500 types of butterflies, and more than 100 different mammals have been catalogued so far.

Photo Credit: Jardín Botánico Nacional

Photo Credit: Jardín Botánico Nacional

Let us know where you get up-close-and-personal with nature in Costa Rica.

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