Costa Rica boasts multiple attractive features for tourists who enjoy wildlife as well as a peaceful and welcoming holiday environment. This pristine Central American country nestled between Panama and Nicaragua is a treasure trove of untainted landscapes and wildlife diversity, featuring numerous national parks inhabited by rare and magnificent species.
Tips for taking full advantage of the Coast Rican treasures:
Try getting from one location to another by plane. It can be difficult to drive from one area to the other of the country, for the roads can often be rendered inaccessible due to the tropical climate. Short plane trips can be a real day saver for those who wish to venture between the several touristic locations, as they are inexpensive and safe to take. Plan your plane trips from San Jose, where flights to all the country’s main locations can be found.
Make sure you take some good books to help you identify and take full advantage of the wildlife and plants within the Costa Rican national parks. This will really help you fully appreciate the beauty and rarity of the many wildlife species that can be spotted in the parks. Although the guides in the parks can help you discover and spot these animal and plant species, there is no better way to take advantage of all the natural wonders than with a good reference book.
You should really visit at least one of the coasts of Costa Rica, for this narrow strip of land offers the luxury of two diversified coastal areas, the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Caribbean Sea in the east. Both coasts are the home to several national parks, such as the Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific Coast and the Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Coast.
The Manuel Antonio National Park
This national park is situated in the south along the Pacific Ocean and its starting point is located in the small coastal town of Quepos. You enter the park aboard small boats that takes you across a river into the park’s boundary. The entrance of the park boasts white sandy beaches lined with palm trees from which forest trails lead into the depths of the deep forested park. The park harbors various species of animals including iguanas, wild monkeys, peccaries, agoutis and wild parrots ablaze with red and yellow feathers. Butterflies as well as wild flowers and plants also contribute to intensify the colorful setting of the jungles, offering spectacular scenery of rare natural intensity.
The Tortuguero National Park
On the opposite coast along the Caribbean lies the Tortuguero National Park, a vast expanse of land that features an amazing array of wildlife specimens.
If you decide to drive to the park from San José, take the Guapiles highway to Limon and then from the Bay of Moin you can catch along boat on the canal that takes you north to the Cariari National Wetlands into the heart of the national park. Most of the boats from the Bay of Moin leave in the morning, so make sure you find out the departure times before planning your trip.
The Tortuguero National Park features an incredible variety of rich and biologically fascinating wildlife species within more than ten specific habitats. These environments include coastal woodland, slope forest, high rainforest, swamp forest, holillo forest, herbaceous swamp and lagoons. Within these habitats you can spot many different mammal species as well as birds and marine life. Sea turtles including Hawksbill and Loggerheads nest along the pristine beaches from July through to October, while the Leatherback turtles, which are the largest species in the world, come to nest in the park from February to July.
The Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge lies north of the Tortuguero National Park and offers a similar climate and environment to explore. To the south the Tortuguero National Park is bordered by the Parismina River and the Cariari National Wetlands.
The best time to visit the Costa Rican parks is during the dry season, for the rainy season can be very humid and wet, especially on the east coast. The dry season runs from November to April, and although there can be occasional showers rainfall is less frequent.
Alina is a travel author who has written many articles that keeps on guiding the travelers throughout the world. Angelina herself is an avid traveler who has traveled more than 22 countries.