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Costa Rica located in the isthmus of Central America is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. This tiny country accounts for 0.03% of the earth’s total landmass, it nonetheless is home to a fantastic range of flora and fauna, in fact containing 5% of the entire world’s biodiversity. With 25% of the country’s area constituting of national parks or falling under protected areas, Costa Rica takes its wildlife and wildlife conservation very seriously, managing to recently eradicate deforestation to zero percent.
Its sustainable tourism, including adventure sports, hiking, surfing along with its rainforests, lovable wildlife coupled with the simplicity and pure way of living by its local population, Costa Rica beckons one to unravel the mysteries of this small nation that holds environment and related policies as well as its stunning landscapes to high regard.
Known for its volcanoes both extinct and active, Costa Rica finds itself amidst towering misty volcanic peaks, its rich coastlines and lush rainforests. Balancing its energy needs, incorporating wind and hydro energy forms as well protecting its wild lands and animals through a number of laws, Costa Rica is haven for those who advocate and relish sustainable methods of life.
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For all the beautiful landscapes and adventure activities, Costa Rica’s heart really lies with its wildlife. Though one may not always encounter the big cats or the larger animals often here, it is the moderately large to smaller wildlife that bag the larger piece of the attraction quotient. Butterflies, frogs, monkeys and turtles of different kinds add color and variation in the wildlife experience of Costa Rica, making it a leading biodiversity hub of the world.
The Corcovado National Park is the most popular and internationally renowned park for its wildlife bonanza. All the Costa Rican monkey species are found here, including the endangered Geoffroy’s spider monkey and the Central American squirrel monkey. Other animals include the tapir, sloths, jungle cats such as, the puma, jaguarondi, ocelot, margay and jaguars. Home to almost 140 mammals and 460 bird species, the Corcovado National Park is certainly a bright stand out biodiversity hub in an illustrious list of natural reserves of Costa Rica. Located in the rich rainforest of the Osa Peninsula, apart from the Corcovado National Park lies the Piedras Blancas National Park where a boat trip can help discover many marine wildlife creatures.
Tortuguero National Park on the northern coast of Costa Rica is home to sea turtles, frogs, crocodiles, sloths and monkeys. Considered as one of the largest nesting grounds for green sea turtles, the park also shelters spiders, howlers and a variety of bird species.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is for birding enthusiasts for sure. Located in the central highlands is home to humming birds, the endangered Quetzal and the nocturnal sloth. It is also home to over 2000 plant species and looks beautiful with the numerous orchid species.
The Manuel Antonio National Park though the smallest park in Costa Rica is extremely rich in its biodiversity. Trailing from the rainforest to the sandy beaches one is sure to encounter monkeys, iguanas, sloths, coatis, tree frogs and toucans.
Cahuita National Park and the Gandoca – Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge located in the south Caribbean region are popular for their beach and coconut palm lined ambience. On the shores, turtles, frogs, dolphins, manatees and crocodiles are spotted, whereas the animals seen on land include the howler monkeys and sloths.
Marino Ballena National Park off the south Pacific is popular for its marine wildlife, including the humpback whale and dolphins. Monkeys, iguanas, toucans and sloths are also spotted around the area.
Sea and marine animals are as popular as forest animals and birds and Costa Rica welcomes all of them warmly. The humpback whales are seen throughout the year and they come to the Pacific coast from the northern California coast as well from southern Antarctica coast.
Monkeys are probably Costa Rica’s most ubiquitous animal and four monkey species (white faced capuchin, mantled howler, squirrel monkey, spider monkey) are found across the country. However, the best monkey experiences are accounted for at the Manuel Antonio National Park.
Sloths are also nearly everywhere in Costa Rica and usually the two-toed and three-toed sloth are found here.
Tree frogs are Costa Rica’s delight and though there are many frog species found here, the famous red eyed tree frog is everybody’s favorite. With its bright orange eyes and red feet this one stands out amongst the green foliage of trees.
Costa Rica is also home to a number of butterfly species and contains more butterfly species than the entire continent of Africa. The giant blue morpho butterfly is one of its most popular species.
Other interesting reptile and animal wildlife seen and found in Costa Rica are the American crocodiles, anteaters, pitvipers, tapirs, bats, dart frogs, basilisk lizards, coatimundis, collared peccaries, kinkajous, margays, river otters, pacas, caimans, tayras, manatees, reef sharks, spotted eagle rays and many more.
The different avian species and subspecies found here include, spectacular quetzels, scarlet macaws, toucans, the iconic Montezuma Oropendulas, great green macaw, hummingbirds, brown pelicans, boat billed herons, blue crowned motmots and more.
Costa Rica is a splendid nation that combines nature, environment and wildlife with its tourism and lifestyle, making it one of the most environmental and biodiversity sustainable nations of the world. It can surely teach the world a thing or two about ecotourism and caring for its splendid wildlife and ecosystems.