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Explore the National Parks on a Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday

While on a Costa Rica wildlife holiday you'll visit several of the national parks. Here we highlight three of the most famous.

There are few places that can match the biological diversity of Costa Rica, and few that offer as much opportunity to witness so much of our world’s incredible wildlife. This South American country is a haven for lovers of flora and fauna and, once visited, is never forgotten. For those considering a dedicated Costa Rica wildlife holiday, there are some excellent, comprehensive itineraries to take in the country’s highlights.

A Costa Rica wildlife holiday will focus primarily on the country’s national parks, of which there are many. Here we highlight three of the main ones.


Corcovado is Central America’s only remaining area of lowland rainforest of any notable size and is recognised as one of the most biologically intense regions on our planet. Close to Panama, in the south of the country, the park is located on the Osa Peninsula. It's little wonder the park creates such a buzz among nature enthusiasts when you consider that there are 500 different types of trees, almost 400 species of birds, and over 100 mammals. On a Costa Rica wildlife holiday including Corcovado you may encounter tapirs, Jaguar, and Scarlet Macaws – all of which are the park’s real highlights - but you'll also be able to see the anteater, Howler Monkey, Great Tinamou and maybe even the Leatherback, Green and Olive Ridley Turtles.

Nestled deep in the transition zone between two key habitats, the national park of Carara supports flora and fauna from both areas. So called because of the crocodiles that inhabit the Tarcoles River at the park’s boundary to the north, the area is only an hour’s drive from San Jose. The Scarlet Macaws have made this park famous and you can often see them as they fly between the relatively dense forested areas and the mangrove swamps. The mangrove areas are also home to parrots, toucans, kingfishers and herons among others. Mammals and reptiles in the park include White-faced Capuchin Monkeys and the Poison-arrow Frogs, which dart about the forest floor where the moist conditions provide the perfect habitat.

Piedras Blancas National Park

Another of the country's national parks you may explore on a Costa Rica wildlife holiday is Piedras Blancas National Park. Located near Golfo Dulce, and once ravaged by hunting and deforestation, this area is now a protected habitat for the rare Jaguar. The two rivers - Esquinas and Piedras Blancas - shape the topography of the area and, thanks to the 200 inches of rainfall every year, the dense forest is home to numerous rare trees. Among the forest dwellers are Ocelot, Margay, Puma and Jaguarundi, although these cats are all nocturnal and sightings are rare. Species that you may see, however, include anteaters, Spider MonkeysPsychology Articles, Vine Snakes and any number of species of frogs.

Article Tags: Costa Rica Wildlife, Rica Wildlife Holiday, National Parks, Costa Rica, Rica Wildlife, Wildlife Holiday, National Park, Piedras Blancas

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Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer. If you’re looking for a Costa Rica wildlife holiday Naturetrek specialises in expert-led natural history and wildlife tours worldwide. Naturetrek brings over 25 years of experience to polar expeditions and tours to other spectacular regions on Earth.

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