More than 25% of the territory in Costa Rica covers National parks† Costa Rica has an abundance of natural wonders with many parks and reserves protecting its diverse incredible ecosystems. The country is just screaming to be explored! Costa Rica is very environmentally friendly and is known around the world for its impressive conservation efforts. Her focus on sustainable ecotourism has paid off in recent years. Costa Rica is and remains the most diverse country in the world to visit.
Also read: Round trip through Costa Rica | Adventurous and relaxed!
Dreamy beaches, lush, steamy rainforests and a series of towering volcanoes. The changing landscapes of this ecological paradise are dazzling to behold. The lucky visitors to the coast will be amazed time and again by its beauty. Combined with its laid-back charm and peaceful ambiance, it makes Central American country into a top destination for nature lovers. Here are the most beautiful National Parks in Costa Rica; prepare to be amazed!
Table of contents
1. Carara National Park
This wet and wild national park is covered with dense rainforest. Visiting Carara is a steamy and humid affair. It is a refuge for over 400 different species of birds. Here you'll see a colorful array of trogons, parakeets and hummingbirds fluttering among the trees as their songs echo through the foliage. Caraca lovely to visit. Animals surround you on all sides as you make your way along the secluded footpaths.
Hanging on top of the beautiful rainforest and the many birds, sloths on the trees while monkeys swing playfully from their branches. Everything about this national park is charming in its essence. Crocodiles are also plentiful and many of them can bask on the banks of the Tarcoles River. This park really has it all. From the rainforest you make your way to small clearings with archaeological ruins dating back nearly two millennia. It makes for an unforgettable experience. Caraca National Park will surely leave you fond memories. You will never forget the abundance of amazing things you have seen.
2. Cahuita National Park
Cahuita is located on the east coast of the country. It consists of a number of different ecosystems, but is best known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. Wandering along the sandy beaches is a great place to relax after a long walk. The pristine and untamed rainforest is always a stone's throw away. Iguanas relaxing in the sun and monkeys swinging in the trees. Beautiful animals to spot are never far away here.
Just offshore are some beautiful coral reefs for you to explore. The bright underwater colors make for a great snorkeling experience. Sea turtles bite off chunks of coral, while schools of fish move with the waves. This beautiful underwater spectacle alone makes Cahuita National Park worth a visit.
3. Irazu Volcano National Park
Named after the volcano that dominates the park, Irazu is the main draw that draws visitors to the area. The still active volcano towers 3.432 meters above its surroundings. The volcano offers astonishing panoramic views from the top. Above the clouds, the perfect blue sky stretches out with just a sea of white below.
On a clear day the views are even better. On clear days you can see the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. Wandering through the lunar landscape makes you feel like you are on another planet. The strange green lake in the crater only adds to that feeling. The Irazu Volcano is a special place to visit, a beautiful National Park in Costa Rica.
4. Piedras Blancas National Park
Piedras Blancas National Park is located in the deep southwest of the country. The park contains an array of beautiful beaches and pristine rainforest for visitors to enjoy. The low-lying mountains covered with the tangled and twisted trees. The forest slopes gently to the sandy shores into the ocean.
Also read: Penas Blancas Natural Area in Nicaragua | Tours & activities off the beaten path
The area is a hotspot for biodiversity. The diverse fauna and flora that provide a picturesque view. Over a hundred different species of mammals live here, including jaguars and pumas that are rarely seen due to their nocturnal nature. Wild and untouched as always, it's the breathtaking scenery that makes Piedras Blancas a hit.
5.Rincon de la Vieja Volcano
Costa Rica is home to a large number of active, dormant and extinct volcanoes. Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is a spectacular national park in Costa Rica. The park contains three volcanoes, the most important of which gives the park its name. Rincon de la Vieja towers over everything around it and is the main attraction of the park.
Trails meander and wind their way up the steep slopes of the volcano. At more than 1.900 meters altitude, it offers a beautiful panoramic view from the top. The trails are wonderful to wander. You pass solidified lava fields, hot springs and waterfalls that showcase the beauty of the volcano. Wild animals are also plentiful. Tapirs, pumas, and jaguars can be spotted in the park, among others.
6. Arenal Volcano National Park
Arenal Volcano National Park is home to the most active volcano in the country. It is the Arenal volcano that also gives the park its name. Due to the frequent eruptions in the past, lava fields have scorched and scarred the earth. The land below the crater is barren and barren. Further down, the rich nutrients released by the eruptions have created beautiful green colors.
Also read: Must do: volcano boarding in Nicaragua
The area is wonderful for walking and with almost 850 bird species, bird watchers will also love this park. The higher you go up the volcano, the better the view becomes. You look out on the beautiful landscape and the beautiful lake that glistens in the sunlight. Simply spectacular.
7. Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero's remote location, one of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica, has contributed to protecting the environment for centuries. Remarkably, this amazingly diverse landscape has eleven different areas for visitors to enjoy. With mangrove forests, swamps, rainforests and lagoons; the landscape is constantly changing before your eyes, slowly merging into one another until you emerge into a completely different ecosystem. The park is tropical in nature. Tortuguero's humidity and wetness have allowed its fauna and flora to thrive. With trees and plants leaping at you from every angle imaginable, the breathtaking scenery is a beautiful sight to behold. Wildlife abounds and manatees, crocodiles and sea turtles love to swim close to the beaches.
Wandering the trails that run through the rainforest, visitors can also get an up-close look at monkeys, toucans, and more. Tortuguero National Park makes for an unforgettable trip. Nowhere else in Costa Rica will you see such diverse landscapes.
8. Corcovado National Park
Secluded, wild and unspoilt. Corcovado's remote location has helped conserve and protect its ecosystems. The area is through National Geographic named the most bio-diverse area in the world. A must for nature lovers! With an abundance of things to see and do, visitors will never be bored. The sheer number of stunning sights and leisure activities will keep you entertained forever.
Whether snorkeling or diving to enjoy the wonders of the deep, canoeing through the water or wandering the trails to catch a glimpse of tapirs or spider monkeys; Corcovado will live long in the memory.
9. Poas Volcano National Park
This volcano is so active that the park is currently closed due to recent eruptions. There is regular seismicity and to make sure you can enter the park it is best to inquire in advance at the official website from the park. Poas Volcano National Park was previously the most popular national park in Costa Rica. The park is great to visit.
In the park is the Botos crater with a strikingly beautiful colored lake. So high with mist swirling around you, the lake's gleam sparkles through the darkness. It is simply stunning to see. Treks through the volcanic area provide lifelong memories. Poas Volcano National Park is sure to regain its place as the country's most beloved park when it reopens its doors.
10. Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio has been listed several times on the list of the most beautiful national parks in the world and is enchanting to see. With its pristine beaches, verdant rainforest and perfectly blue waters, visitors will instantly fall in love with all that the park has to offer. The breathtaking scenery soothes your soul. Bathing in the crystal clear waters while gazing at the mesmerizing beauty of the coastline will make you never want to leave this oasis of tranquility.
The incredible landscapes are delightful to explore and several trails wind their way through the dense rainforest. That is her splendor; Manuel Antonio is the most visited national park in Costa Rica. Authentic and scenic, this is the best Costa Rica has to offer.
Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!