What Is So Special About Costa Rica's Biodiversity?

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world — you can find nearly 5 percent of all known plants and animal species in its national parks and wildlife refuges. Before you venture into the Costa Rican wilderness, look at our overview of Costa Rica’s species. For each animal you'll find a list of national parks where you can see some of these rare animals for yourself.

Costa Rica’s biodiversity is attributed to the dramatic shifts in terrain — this tiny country has wetlands, mountains, rivers, and arid plains. You can find many different types of forests here, including tropical dry forests, rainforests, and cloud forests. There are mountain ranges, some of which are studded with volcanoes.

All these different environments make excellent destinations for bird watching tours. Some of Costa Rica’s national parks have bird species that you can see very few places in the world.

Go for long walks through primary rainforest in La Selva Biological Station or Braulio Carillo National Park. Primary rainforest is completely untouched, and had enjoyed uninterrupted growth. The Corcovado National Park on the [Osa Peninsula] is one of the most biologically diverse places in the country, and has a huge tract of primary rainforest.

While you’re here you’ll see evidence of Costa Rica’s commitment to protecting its wildlife. Deforestation was a major problem in the 20th century, but Anywhere and other organizations in Costa Rica are committed to planting trees and a host of other efforts to offset carbon footprints. Well-maintained parks and knowledgeable guides make it easy to appreciate Costa Rica’s wildlife.

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