Costa Rica National Parks

Introduction to Costa Rica National Parks & Reserves​

Welcome to the stunning world of Costa Rica National Parks & Reserves! Nestled in Central America, this biodiverse country is a nature lover’s paradise. With its lush rainforests, majestic volcanoes, and pristine beaches, Costa Rica offers an array of national parks that showcase its incredible natural beauty.

Costa Rica is home to over 25 national parks and reserves, each with its unique charm and ecological significance. These protected areas play a crucial role in preserving the country’s rich biodiversity and are a testament to Costa Rica’s commitment towards conservation.

No matter which national park you choose to explore in Costa Rica, be prepared for awe-inspiring landscapes and unforgettable adventures. Whether it’s trekking through rugged terrain or simply relaxing amidst nature’s wonders, these parks offer something for everyone.

Best National Parks in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park: A true tropical paradise, Manuel Antonio National Park offers a perfect blend of lush rainforests and pristine beaches. Located on the central Pacific coast, this park is home to an incredible variety of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and colorful birds. Take a hike through the dense jungle trails or relax on the white sandy beaches – there’s something for everyone here!

Corcovado National Park: For those seeking a truly off-the-beaten-path adventure, Corcovado National Park is a must-visit destination. Located on the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica, this remote park is teeming with biodiversity. From jaguars to tapirs to scarlet macaws, you never know what incredible creature you might encounter during your exploration of its untouched wilderness.

Tortuguero National Park: Known as Costa Rica’s “Amazon,” Tortuguero National Park is a haven for nature lovers and turtle enthusiasts alike. This unique park can only be accessed by boat or small plane due to its network of navigable waterways that wind through dense mangroves and rainforest. Visit between July and October to witness sea turtles nesting along its secluded shores – an awe-inspiring sight not to be missed.

Arenal Volcano National Park: Towering over the landscape near La Fortuna in northern Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano captivates visitors with its majestic presence. This active volcano creates opportunities for thrilling adventures such as hiking up lava fields or relaxing in natural hot springs while gazing at the glowing eruptions from afar.

Tortuguero Nacional Marine Reserve: Protecting both land and sea ecosystems, Tortuguero Nacional Marine Reserve showcases the beauty of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline like no other place! Explore winding canals by kayak or take a boat tour to spot dolphins playing in their natural habitat.

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is a true gem of Costa Rica, located on the northeastern coast. Known as the “Land of Turtles,” this park provides a haven for these majestic creatures during nesting season. It’s not just turtles that call this place home though – Tortuguero is teeming with an incredible variety of wildlife.


As you explore the park’s lush rainforests and winding waterways, keep your eyes peeled for monkeys swinging through the trees, colorful birds fluttering overhead, and maybe even a lazy sloth hanging from a branch. The park is also home to jaguars, tapirs, and countless other species that thrive in its diverse  ecosystems.


One of the best ways to experience Tortuguero National Park is by taking a boat tour along its canals. Glide silently through the water as your knowledgeable guide points out hidden treasures like caimans basking in the sun or rare bird species nesting in treetops.


If you’re lucky enough to visit during turtle nesting season (July to October), be prepared for an awe-inspiring sight. Witnessing massive sea turtles making their way up the beach to lay their eggs is truly unforgettable.


Tortuguero National Park offers so much more than just turtle spotting. Its untouched beauty and abundant wildlife make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers seeking an authentic Costa Rican experience.

Turtle nesting in Tortugero national park

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is a must-visit destination in Costa Rica for nature and adventure enthusiasts. This park is home to the iconic Arenal Volcano, one of the country’s most active volcanoes. With its towering presence and stunning scenery, it offers a unique experience for visitors.


The volcano itself is a sight to behold, with its symmetrical cone rising dramatically from the surrounding rainforest. Hiking trails wind through the park, allowing you to get up close and personal with this natural wonder. As you explore the trails, keep an eye out for wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, and colorful bird species.


For those seeking adventure, there are plenty of activities to choose from in Arenal Volcano National Park. You can go zip-lining through the canopy or take a thrilling white-water rafting trip down the nearby rivers. If relaxation is more your style, visit one of the many hot springs that are fed by natural geothermal activity.


No matter how you choose to explore Arenal Volcano National Park, be prepared to be amazed by its beauty and power. It’s no wonder why this park is considered one of Costa Rica’s top attractions! So pack your hiking boots and sense of adventure and embark on an unforgettable journey into nature at Arenal Volcano National Park.

Suspension bridge in the jungle in Arenal National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is one of Costa Rica’s most popular and stunning natural treasures. Located on the Central Pacific Coast, this park offers a unique blend of lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife.

As you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by towering trees that create a magical canopy overhead. The trails wind their way through this verdant landscape, inviting visitors to explore and discover hidden gems along the way.

But what truly sets Manuel Antonio National Park apart is its breathtaking coastline. With turquoise waters gently lapping against golden sands, it’s no wonder why this park draws beach lovers from far and wide. Whether you want to relax under swaying palm trees or take a refreshing dip in the ocean, the beaches here are simply paradise. While exploring the park’s trails or lounging on its beaches, keep an eye out for some of Costa Rica’s most iconic wildlife species. From playful monkeys swinging through treetops to colorful birds flitting about in search of nectar, every corner of Manuel Antonio National Park offers a chance for an unforgettable animal encounter.

If you’re looking for adventure beyond hiking or beachcombing, there are also opportunities for snorkeling and kayaking within the park boundaries. Dive into vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish or paddle along tranquil mangrove forests – both experiences will leave you awe-struck by Mother Nature’s wonders.

Cahuita National Park

Cahuita National Park, located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, is a hidden gem that offers a unique and diverse natural experience. With its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs, this park is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

As you enter the park, you will be greeted by a network of hiking trails that wind through dense foliage teeming with wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys swinging from tree to tree or sloths leisurely hanging upside down. The park is also home to an incredible variety of bird species, making it a haven for birdwatchers.

If you’re looking to cool off after your hike, head towards the turquoise waters of Cahuita’s coastline. Here, you can snorkel along the colorful coral reef just meters away from shore. Swim amongst schools of tropical fish and maybe even spot a majestic sea turtle gliding gracefully through the water.

For those seeking a more relaxed experience, simply unwind on one of Cahuita’s untouched white sandy beaches. Feel the warm sun on your skin as you listen to the soothing sound of waves crashing against the shore.

Cahuita National Park truly offers something for everyone – whether you’re an avid hiker exploring its trails or simply soaking up its natural beauty from one of its stunning beaches. It’s no wonder this national park continues to captivate visitors year after year with its breathtaking landscapes and abundant biodiversity.


Costa Rica is truly a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. With its incredible biodiversity, lush rainforests, stunning coastlines, and majestic volcanoes, the country boasts some of the most spectacular national parks in the world.

From the remote wilderness of Tortuguero National Park to the fiery landscapes of Arenal Volcano National Park, each park offers a unique experience that will leave you in awe. Whether you’re hiking through dense forests, spotting exotic wildlife, or relaxing on pristine beaches, Costa Rica’s national parks provide endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Cahuita National Park showcases both terrestrial and marine ecosystems with its vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish. And Manuel Antonio National Park captivates visitors with its breathtaking vistas and abundant wildlife encounters.

These national parks not only serve as conservation areas but also offer educational programs and research initiatives to promote environmental awareness and preservation. They are a testament to Costa Rica’s commitment to sustainable tourism and protecting its natural treasures for future generations.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, make sure to include visits to these amazing national parks in your itinerary. Immerse yourself in nature’s wonders as you embark on unforgettable adventures amidst lush jungles, towering volcanoes, sparkling rivers, and pristine beaches.

Experience firsthand why Costa Rica is known as the “Rich Coast” – because it truly is rich in natural beauty!

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