National Parks of Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio National Park
|First Park||Poás Volcano National Park, 1955|
|Smallest Park||San Lucas Island National Park, 4.49 km2|
|Largest Park||La Amistad International Park, 1991 km2|
There are currently 30 National Parks of Costa Rica, which are managed under the umbrella of SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion), a department of Costa Rica's Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE). All told, Costa Rica's protected areas encompass more than 25% of the country's total land area. Many of these protected areas are national parks.
Costa Rica's progressive policies on environmental protection and sustainable ecotourism in the National Parks System have been lauded as a model for other countries. The rainforests, tropical forests, marine areas and wetlands of Costa Rica are the subject of many university and scientific organization studies. The enrichment of the world's knowledge of these important habitats is an invaluable contribution from the National Parks System of Costa Rica.
The Cordillera de Talamanca is home to an impressive collection of national parks and other preserved areas, including the La Amistad International Park, which extends into Panamá. On the southern Osa Peninsula is the internationally renowned Corcovado National Park, which preserves a remnant of sizeable lowland tropical rainforest that is unique in the world. Manuel Antonio National Park was listed by Forbes in 2011 among the world's 12 most beautiful national parks.
The Camino de Costa Rica is a 280 km long hiking trail across Costa Rica. It runs from the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean coast), the southernmost part of the Tortuguero Canals, up the mountain and through indigenous territory near the Barbilla National Park and through valleys and mountain ranges of the central region of the country, just south of the Turrialba and Irazu Volcanos and through the Los Santos coffee region down to the Pacific coast in Quepos.
List of National Parks of Costa Rica
- Arenal Volcano National Park
- Barbilla National Park
- Barra Honda National Park
- Ballena Marine National Park
- Braulio Carrillo National Park
- Cahuita National Park
- Carara National Park
- Chirripó National Park
- Cocos Island National Park
- Corcovado National Park
- Diriá National Park
- Guanacaste National Park
- Irazú Volcano National Park
- Juan Castro Blanco National Park
- La Amistad International Park
- La Cangreja National Park
- Las Baulas National Marine Park
- Los Quetzales National Park
- Manuel Antonio National Park
- Miravalles Jorge Manuel Dengo National Park
- Palo Verde National Park
- Piedras Blancas National Park
- Poás Volcano National Park
- Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park
- Santa Rosa National Park
- San Lucas Island National Park
- Tapantí National Park
- Tenorio Volcano National Park
- Tortuguero National Park
- Turrialba Volcano National Park
- Franke, Joseph (1993). "Costa Rica's National Parks and Preserves".