Costa Rica is famously known as one of the “Most Biologically Active Places in the World” because of the incredible diversity of flora and fauna. This country is home to almost 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Forests, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries & refuges are the best places to visit in Costa Rica, showcasing the diverse biodiversity of the country.
If you are visiting Costa Rica to enjoy its flora and fauna, this blog will be helpful. Continue reading to find out what this country has to offer you in terms of flora & fauna.
Why is Costa Rica so Biodiverse?
Costa Rica means “Rich Coast” in Spanish. It is home to dozens of climate zones, habitats, and abundant flora and fauna. The biodiversity of Costa Rica is because of several factors. Some of them are –
- Geological History: The country’s five active volcanoes (Turrialba Volcano, Poas Volcano, Arenal Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, and Irazu Volcano) and certain tectonic events that happened during the Jurassic period resulted in the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna in the country.
- Geographical Position: The tropical zones of Costa Rica are the richest zones in terms of biodiversity as they receive more solar energy and act as a bridge between hemispheres & territories, allowing species to migrate.
- Weather and Topography: The presence of the central mountainous system and being open to both the Pacific & Atlantic coasts in Costa Rica results in microclimates ideal for species to migrate.
- Variety of Soils: Rich volcanic alluvial soils form ideal conditions for species to find homes in the country after migration.
Wildlife in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home to many animals because of its location halfway between the continents of North and South America, its neotropical temperature, and its abundance of ecosystems. More than 500,000 species are found in Costa Rica, making it one of the top 20 countries for biodiversity in the world.
The Costa Rican wildlife includes animals, fungi, and plants. Certain areas like natural parks and habitats in Costa Rica are more likely to attract animals than others.
Here, we have listed the top 4 wildlife species Costa Rica is famous for.
- Costa Rica is the best location where you can see turtles easily.
- Every year, numerous turtle species travel in a large procession known as Arribada to the same beaches to breed.
- The Pacific Coast is home to the leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles.
- There are several well-known locations in Costa Rica near the Pacific coast to explore turtle nesting beaches.
- Costa Rica offers its visitors a long whale-watching season.
- You can spot different whale varieties in the country, including Humpback whales, blue whales, pilot whales, and Pseudo-Orca whales.
- The humpback whales are the most well-known of whale varieties you can find in Costa Rica all year round.
- You can enjoy whale watching year-long, everywhere along the Pacific Coast.
- You can find four species of monkey in Costa Rica: the white-faced capuchin, squirrel monkey, mantled howler, and spider monkey.
- They move around in groups. Therefore, if you spot one, you’ll probably spot the entire crew!
- The scarlet macaw stands out among rainforest birds due to its vivid red color.
- Macaws are spectacular birds and, as they are lifelong partners, are typically spotted in pairs.
- The natural parks on the Central Pacific coast are the best spots to watch scarlet macaws.
Rainforests and National Parks in Costa Rica
Tropical forests that receive a lot of rain throughout the year are called rainforests. In rainforests, large trees form a canopy, and so they are a home to a wide variety of animals, insects, and bird species, making them ideal for nature lovers.
Costa Rica has a high number of national parks, wildlife reserves, animal refuges, and a wide variety of flora and fauna because of its rainforests. They are why you get an abundance of wildlife and hiking routes in the country. Sloths, howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, and poison dart frogs are well-known wildlife species in Costa Rican rainforests.
Owing to the ecosystem of Costa Rica, there are six different types of rainforests you can find here during your visit.
- Tropical Rainforests: They are known for diverse wildlife species and are the best adventure places in Costa Rica, offering activities like ziplining, ATV tours, horseback riding, and more.
- Tropical Dry Forests: These forests experience low precipitation and less vegetation, easing wildlife-watching for visitors. Horseback riding, ziplining, white-water rafting, kayaking & mountain biking are some popular activities here.
- Lowland Rainforests: They are known for the tallest trees in Costa Rica. You can take a boat tour to explore tropical cats and bird species in Costa Rica.
- Cloud Forests: You will love the constant foggy appearance here. These forests are perfect for hiking, birdwatching, and ecotours.
- Riparian Forests: These forests are located near a water body and provide a perfect home to land and water animals. These forests are perfect for enjoying birdwatching in Costa Rica.
- Mangrove Swamps: You will find these forests partially submerged in water, providing shelter for hundreds of marine species. Kayaking is perfect for exploring forests like these.
Famous National Parks in Costa Rica for Rainforests
The National parks in Costa Rica are known for their lush green rainforests, freshwater system, and marine resources. This country has 28 national parks, of which 3 are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The famous national parks near Villa Firenze are:
- Manuel Antonio National Park: Named as the “Most Beautiful Parks in the Country” by Forbes, Manuel Antonio National Park, the jewel of Costa Rica, is famous for its white sand beach, tropical forest, big mountains, and beautiful coral reefs.
- Carara National Park: If you are looking for the best rainforest experience on the Pacific Coast, the Carara National Park on the Central Pacific Coast is perfect for you.
Volcano Tours to Explore Costa Rica Flora and Fauna
When talking about Costa Rica and its diverse biodiversity, we cannot forget to give credit to its volcanoes. There are around 60 extinct volcanoes, and six active volcanoes in the country, which you cannot afford to miss during your visit.
The best way to witness the true beauty of volcanoes is to go for a Heli tour. With our private helipad at the Villa, you can enjoy these tours in absolute privacy and safety.
- Rainforest & Poas Volcano Tour: Volcán Poas is one of the most famous volcanoes in Costa Rica. You will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of viewing the lake & the volcanic crater on this tour.
- Arenal Volcano: Choose an early morning Arenal Volcano tour to enjoy the breathtaking view of Cerro Chato crater, San Carlos plains, and the Arenal Volcano.
Vista Los Sueños Adventure Park
If you are in and around the Jaco area and wish to have a fun-filled day, Vista Los Sueños Adventure Park is for you. This adventure park is considered one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica if you want your vacation to be full of exciting & adventurous things.
Some of the activities you can enjoy in Vista Los Sueños Adventure Park with your family and friends are:
- Ziplining: The zipline tour offered here is an excellent option for first timers and those visiting with families. You can enjoy beautiful rainforest views with raised cables set at comfortable heights.
- ATV Tour: ATV tours are one of the best things to do here. You will enjoy a perfect blend of muddy trails, streams, rivers, waterfalls, & rainforests during your tour.
- Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is one of the best ways to enjoy wildlife and the breathtaking natural vistas in the adventure park.
- Chocolate Experience: The cacao tree is one of Costa Rica’s most prized possessions. The interesting and interactive Chocolate Tour will show you how cocoa trees are grown and how chocolate is made. You can also taste local chocolate to experience a bit of Costa Rican culture and tradition.
A trip to explore the biodiversity of flora and fauna of Costa Rica is the perfect way to explore this beautiful country inside out. The best part is you can enjoy the ideal blend of ecotourism and luxury in Costa Rica. So, pack your bags and board a flight to Costa Rica now!