Hiking and Wildlife Holidays in Costa Rica
Embarking on wildlife holidays in Costa Rica is the best way to fully appreciate the depth and beauty of this fascinating country.
Hiking is one of the best ways to explore a new country and usually the most rewarding mode of getting around on wildlife holidays. In Costa Rica, one of the most popular places for both beginner and seasoned hikers to begin their journey is the Corcovado National Park. Corcovado National Park has been noted as one of the most "biologically intense places" on earth, and while the terrain is extremely varied, it is typically of an intermediate level as the hiking trails are well trodden and excellently maintained.
Wildlife holidays in Costa Rica are particularly rewarding as the country takes great pride in the conservation of their land. The abundance of wildlife and the diversity found in this relatively small geographical area is nothing short of amazing. Corcovado itself protects over 140 species of animals, 400 species of birds, over 6000 species of insects and 500 species of trees within the park’s 424 square kilometres. Hiking through the park is an extremely rewarding pursuit, however due to its popularity it is important to have a camping permit in place well in advance of the date of your proposed trip. If you book your trip with a specialist tour operator, this will all be taken care of.
What to See
Corcovado National Park has an amazingly varied landscape, just perfect for hiking and wildlife holidays. In Costa Rica, the Corcovado National Park is home to the world’s last known primary lowland rainforest, making it hugely valuable both ecologically and biologically. Visitors can expect to explore 13 different ecosystems while traversing the park - including montane forests, mangrove swamps, lagoons and beaches, to name just a few. This ever-changing landscape offers the perfect habitat for a huge number of birds, mammals, fish, insects and plants. The chance to see some rare animals and birds is not uncommon in this hugely bio-diverse environment.
Visitors are in for a wealth of sighting opportunities while visiting Corcovado. The park is home to many rare animals such as the Harbour Squirrel Monkey and the Baird’s Tapir. Numerous varieties of monkeys can be seen, such as the Mantled Howler Monkey and the White-faced Capuchin, as well as big cat species like Pumas and the Jaguarundi. In the water systems and along the beaches, sea creatures such as bull sharks and Spectacled Caimans can been seen and the park is known as a nesting ground for four different species of sea turtles.
Look to the Sky
The spectacular array of bird species exceeds 400 (of which 20 are endemic) and makes a visit to Corcovado National Park a must for the best wildlife holidays. In Costa Rica, birdwatchers are frequently drawn by the opportunities to see the magnificent Resplendent Quetzal and Harpy Eagle, and the country has the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws. There is no doubt that the best way to fully appreciate the beauty of the Corcovado National Park and its inhabitants, while also helping to preserve this important natural environment, is by hiking through the park's stunning terrain.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer. If you’re looking for wildlife holidays in Costa Rica 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.