Costa Rica Nature and Wildlife
Located just north of the Equator, Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse spots on the planet and is a leader in ecotourism. There are few places in the world where so many types of habitats fit into such a small place. These habitats include tropical rainforests, cloud forests, mangrove forests, and two coastlines, one on the Pacific and one on the Atlantic and mountain ranges. Despite only hosting just one-third of a percent of the Earth’s landmass, Costa Rica remarkably contains four percent of species that are estimated to exist on the planet, many of which are endemic to the country. Part of the reason Costa Rica has such incredible biodiversity is that roughly three million years ago, the country rose from the ocean linking the North and South American continents by a land bridge thus allowing for the mixture of species from both continents.
A popular birding destination, more than 850 bird species have been recorded in Costa Rica. The country serves as a winter home for more than 200 species of migratory birds that arrive from places like Alaska and Australia. These species come in a variety of colours and many have restricted ranges. As a result of these ranges, visitors are likely to see different species no matter where they travel.
Along with birds, there are nearly 250 mammal species found in the country. Bats make up more than half of this total which also includes four species of monkeys: the Central American Squirrel Monkey, the White-headed Capuchin, the Mantled Howler and Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey. Anteaters are fairly common while more elusive cats like ocelots, pumas, margays and jaguars also call Costa Rica home.
With over 1,290 km (780 mi) of coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, it is not surprising that Costa Rica has a rich diversity of underwater flora and fauna. Humpback whales spend winters in the warm waters near Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast and some females calve there. Whale sharks are common and divers often see these gentle creatures. Five of the world’s seven turtles species such as Green turtles and Leatherback Sea Turtles are found in Costa Rica and use the shore to nest. Manta rays and bottle-nosed dolphins also inhabit the waters around the country.
A world leader in ecotourism, Costa Rica’s government is very active in protecting the environment and has initiated progressive policies on sustainable ecotourism. With twenty-six national parks, approximately one-third of the country has been set aside as protected natural areas. Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest park in the country, but it is also the most popular. Manuel Antonio became Costa Rica’s first ecotourism destination supporting a combination of rainforest, beaches and coral reefs. It provides a habitat for over 100 mammal species and more than 180 bird species. Dolphins are common off the coast, fishing is excellent and at times, migrating whales can be spotted.
Costa Rica Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Costa Rica.
Learn about the history and culture of Costa Rica, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Costa Rica's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Costa Rica for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Costa Rica vacations today!
Extend Your Trip
After your Costa Rica tours, why not consider another of Goway's Latin America tours. These include a large selection of other exciting countries in Central and South America. We offer Chile vacation packages and Easter Island tours, Ecuador vacation packages which include Galapagos cruises, Peru vacation packages which include Machu Picchu tours and Brazil tours including Iguassu Falls tours among many others.
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LATIN AMERICA by Goway is an exclusive division that specializes in planning and organizing Costa Rica vacations and experiences. Choose from a locally escorted tour, an independent travel module, a self drive holiday and much more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting to Costa Rica.
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