The Incredible Biodiversity of Costa Rica

One of the most incredible aspects of Costa Rica is definitely the diverse and exotic flora and fauna that lives here. Home to five percent of the world’s biodiversity in a country that is about the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. 25 percent of the country is National Parks and protected land.

chestnut mandibled toucan

In 1977, Costa Rica established a National Parks Service. While its inhabitants welcome visitors, they take care to teach guests to be ecologically conscious. Turismo Sostenible or Sustainable Tourism is one such program that promotes the Costa Rican culture as well as encouraging the care and conservation of its lands.

There are a variety of nature preserves and parks to explore throughout Costa Rica. Though most have hiking trails, some beachfront preserves also offer swimming and snorkeling. Parrots, eagles and sandpipers as well as marine birds such as brown pelicans, egrets and ibis can be found. You may even spot the magnificent frigatebird—which inflates its bright red throat pouch during mating season. (ream more about Costa Rican birds here) A variety of turtles also breed in Costa Rica including hawksbill, green and leatherbacks. On the land side, howler monkeys, long-tongued bats, white-tailed deer and variegated squirrels may cross your path. You can see pictures and read about some of our larger animals in this earlier articles about Costa Rica wildlife.

We have some big, hairy species of spiders as well as other gargantuan insects such as cockroaches, centipedes, millipedes and even scorpions. In fact, Costa Rica is home to more than 35,000 species of insects. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be lucky enough to miss those tourist attractions.

Ask your Palms concierge for information on visiting one of Costa Rica’s magnificent national parks, and to start to get up to speed, read some of the articles profiling individual parks below.