Experience tropical ecosystems, vast vegetation, pleasant climate, topography, insects and birds.  Costa Rica protects approximately 26 percent of its national territory in national parks, wildlife reserves, forest preserves and private reserves.
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Costa Rica's Biodiversity in Numbers

  • Our country holds among the greatest density of species of all countries in the world. This means that on 1 trip, travelers are likely to come in contact with more biodiversity than other places.
  • Costa Rica packs 4.5% of the world’s known plants and animals (90,000 species) in just .03% of the planet’s surface.
  • The country is 1 of the top 20 most biodiversity rich places in the world and one of the top 10 most biodiversity rich rainforest ecosystems.


Howler monkeys live in groups in lowland forests, each troop has its own territory where it feeds and defends. They defend their territory by using their loud voices. They eat flowers, fruits and seeds. Females have one infant at a time, which can often be seen clinging to its mother.


Two and three-toed sloths live in Costa Rica. Three-toed sloths can appear grey-greenish because of algae that grow on their fur. Strictly Neotropical, these slow moving mammals live high in the canopy, eat leaves and only come down to defecate (once a week)


The Keel Billed, to the right, is one of the most common of five kinds of toucans found in Costa Rica. They use their large bills to hunt lizards, small snakes, frogs, eat seeds and fruits and as defense. They are social birds and can be found in groups of six or more and nest in hollow tree trunks.


Costa Rica has two kinds of large lizard-like reptiles: green iguanas and “black iguanas”, these ground nesting reptiles can be found high in the treetops, feeding on leaves and basking in the sun.


A relative of the raccoon, these medium sized mammals are diurnal and live in large groups. They feed by poking their long noses in holes and crevices, and use their long claws to tear apart rotten tree trunks, these omnivores are active feeders that look for food on the ground as well as in the trees


Leaf cutter ants carry vegetation that can weigh more than 10 times their own weight for a distance up to 150 meters, back to their nest. They chew the leaf and mix it with saliva to create a substrate that feeds a fungus culture, their main food. Found in dry and wet forest. Queens, workers, soldiers and hitchhikers, ants who ride on leaves transported by other ants and clean the leaves, make up a colony.

Costa Rica's National Parks

Costa Rica protects approximately 26% of its national territory in national parks, wildlife reserves, forest preserves and private reserves. The map below shows areas protected by the National Parks System.

1. Isla Bolaños
2. Santa Rosa y Guanacaste
3. Rincón de la Vieja
4. Cano Negro
5. Barra del Colorado y Tortuguero
6. Las Baulas
7. Lomas Barbudal Reserve
8. Palo Verde
9. Barra Honda
10. Peñas Blancas Refuge
11. Volcán Póas
12. Braulio Carrillo
13. Ostional Refuge
14. Isla del Coco
15. Cabo Blanco Reserve
16. Curú Refuge
17. Islas Guayabo, Negritos y Pájaros Reserve
18. Carara Reserve
19. Volcán Irazú
20. Guayabo
21. Manuel Antonio
22. Ballena Marine Park
23. La Amistad International Park
24. Cahuita
25. Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge
26. Isla del Caño Reserve
27. Corcovado
28. Golfito Reserve
29. Juan Castro Blanco
30. Arenal