National Parks of Costa Rica

In 1970 the Costa Rican government took an environmentally progressive stance and created the national park system. It allocated 11% of its land for protection.  Today, its nationalNothern-Jacana-Tortuguero parks alone account for more than 12% of the total national territory (this does not include wildlife refuges, biological reserves, wetlends, etc).

See the List of National Parks

About Visiting a National Park:

  • Most parks are open daily from 8am to 4pm, but some are closed on Mondays
  • The best time to visit is in the mornings; it's cooler and the birds and other wildlife are more active
  • Stop by the ranger station to pick up a map and get all your questions answered 
  • Important Tip: Most of the parks weren't created for tourism but as a preservation of the natural resources and wildlife. Don't get too disappointed if the facilities aren't five star or if you don't have close encounters with wildlife.

How much is It?

Poas Volcano National Park

All parks have different entrance fees:

  • For Costa Rican Citizens: $1 - $3
  • For Foreign Visitors: $4 - $10 (usually $10 per person, per day)

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List of the National Parks:

* Denotes that the park is one of the most popular in Costa Rica

  • Arenal Volcano National Park *: One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Arenal Volcano National Parkand the most active in Costa Rica. Known for the nearby natural hot springs

  • Ballena National Marine Park:  Famous for the whale tail formation of rocks and sand and for whale watching. Located in the quaint towns of Uvita and Ballena south of Dominical.

  • Barbilla National Park

  • Braulio Carrillo National Park*: Another park near San Jose with majestic scenery and excellent bird watching

  • Cahuita National Park: Houses some of the most beautiful and vibrant living coral reefs found in Costa Rica

  • Carara National Park*: Abundant American Crocodiles some 18' long and one of the only places in the central Pacific to see the Scarlet Macaw.Carara National Park

  • Chirripo National Park*: Home to the highest peak in Costa Rica

  • Cocos Island National Park

  • Corcovado National Park *: Known as the "Jewel of the Osa Peninsula", It is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth.

  • Diria National Park

  • Guanacaste National Park

  • Irazu National Park*: One of Costa Rica's active volcanos also close to San Jose

  • Juan Castro Blanco National Park

  • La Cangreja National ParkManuel Antonio Coast Line

  • Las Baulas National Marine Park

  • Manuel Antonio National Park*: One of the most visited parks known for its white sand beaches and abundant wildlife

  • Palo Verde National Park

  • Piedras Blancas National Park

  • Poas Volcano National Park*: The MOST visited national park in Costa Rica due to its close proximity to San Jose.

  • Quetzal National Park

  • Rincon de la Vieja National Park

  • Santa Rosa National Park

  • Tapanti National Park

  • Tenorio Volcano National Park

  • Tortuguero National Park*: Famous for the green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) that nest on the beach from July until October and luxuriant green vegetation teeming with wildlife. An average of 18,500 - 40,000 individual green turtles nest in Tortuguero every year.

  • Turrialba Volcano National Park

Contact us to arrange a guided tour. We can find naturalist guides who specialize in bird watching for all regions of the country.

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Inside National Parks ยป Cahuita National Park


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