5 National Parks you have to check out in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is best known for its incredible natural beauty, which is something that the government has worked incredibly hard to protect. That’s why this country has some of the most incredible National Parks in the world.

This is a place with endless pristine and preserved natural environments which constitute large portions of the country. It’s somewhere that anyone who enjoys the outdoors and the natural world should go, and put some of these parks on their list.

Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Costa Rica

LA FORTUNA, COSTA RICA – MARCH 26: Arenal, a dormant volcano, is seen as the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has managed to produce all of the electricity for the nation from renewable energy sources for more than 80 days straight on March 26, 2015 in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. The remarkable milestone has been reached with the use of hydroelectric power plants and a combination of wind, solar, and geothermal energy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While every corner of Costa Rica is overflowing with ecological diversity, Rincón de la Vieja National Park might actually take the cake as the best of the best. It has an the range of flora and fauna that is almost unbelievable.

Rincón takes up approximately 34,000 acres of the epic the Guanacaste Conservation Area. It’s so big that the park actually touches both the Pacific and the Caribbean. And it’s also a great place to check out a volcano. Rincón has two.

Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park

Not only is it quite likely that Manuel Antonio National Park is the best of its kind in Costa Rica, there’s a real chance that it may be one of the best parks in South America. The natural beauty contained within Manuel Antonio truly has to be seen to be believed.

Resting on the Pacific Coast in the Central Pacific Conservation Area, Manuel Antonio has an incredible abundance of wildlife. On top of that, it is at the heart of a region with no shortage of ways to spend a glorious vacation.

Carara National Park

Located relatively close to San Jose, Carara National Park may be the most popular park in Costa Rica. It’s a favorite spot for residents of the city to go and get back in touch with nature. But it’s also a great spot for visitors to stop when in the country.

In addition to being a place to spot a wide range of endemic wildlife, Carara is favorite spot for birders to go and with good reason. The park’s location combined with various water features attract an incredible range of birds to check out.

Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park

Costa Rica

JACO, COSTA RICA – NOVEMBER 01: Marisol Teran of Costa Rica competes in Day 1 of the La Ruta de Los Conquistadores on November 1, 2018 in Jaco, Costa Rica. La Ruta de Los Conquistadores is Costa RicaÕs premier mountain bike race, and one of the most difficult races in the world. It is a 3-day stage race that crosses Costa Rica from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Caribbean coast in the east.
Between its sea-level start and finish, the 161-mile route crosses 5 mountain ranges that force you climb a cumulative 29,000 feet. The route snakes through tropical rain forest, 12,000 feet volcanoes, banana plantations and tiny farm towns. It covers every imaginable riding surfaceÑ single track and fire road trails, gravel, hard-packed dirt, pavement, thigh-deep mud, sand, volcano ash, and more.
The race was started in 1993 by Roman Urbina. Urbina, an elite athlete and adventurer, read about three Spanish Conquistadors, Juan de Cavall—n, Peraf‡n de Rivera, and Juan V‡squez de Coronado, who in the 1560Õs began a 20-year journey through the beautiful and treacherous mountains of Costa Rica. Captivated by the history of the Spanish Explorers, Urbina and 17 fellow riders met on the shore of the Pacific and began their own quest through and around the lavish rain forests, majestic volcanoes, spectacular mountain ranges and roaring rivers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

At this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find out that every corner of Costa Rica is brimming with wildlife. Tortuguero National Park is no exception to this as the range of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians found here is absolutely staggering.

What sets Tortuguero apart are the unbelievable canals and rivers that are waiting to be explored. On top of that, there are several hotels and lodges located both in and around the park, giving visitors a great base of operations to explore from.

Arenal Volcano National Park

As the name might suggest, the nearly 40,000 acre Arenal Volcano National Park is quite focused on the Arenal Volcano. But it’s also home to the smaller Chato Volcano, which is quite beautiful in its own unique ways. Additionally, the park is part of the 500,000+ acre Arenal Conservation Area.

The Arenal Volcano actually has three open craters on the western side, one of which is still quite active. Smoke billows from it while lava pours over its sides. It is the most active volcano in Costa Rica as well as being a striking image to say the least.