Costa Rica is a biodiverse country and it is one of the greenest countries in the world. It has protected over 25% of its land by national parks, reserves, refuges, and conservation areas. In addition to this, the country houses several rare species given that their protected land is habitable which is thanks to their government’s efforts in their nature preservations. What makes it even more awesome is that these parks can be visited under minimal conditions where you can explore them to your heart’s content! Scroll down below as you see the list of Costa Rica’s National parks and reserves that you must visit!  

NOTE: Before travelling, make sure to get the latest Government advise of your Destination. Click here for more information

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most visited national parks. It is located in the Puntarenas Province, by the central Pacific coast. The park consists of rugged rainforests and white sand beach. It houses different wildlife species and tropical plants. Frequently visited park residents are two or three fingered sloths, monkeys and many other bird species.

Monteverde cloud forest reserve

Photo by Leslie Cross

This cloud forest reserve is located between the Puntarenas and Alajuela province along the Cordillera de Tilaran. It is a misty tropical forest where it too, has a variety of plant and animal species. What’s more, visitors can do the forest walk with its hanging bridge, hike up the mountain, do ziplining, do guided tours and even learn the forest’s history.

Ballena Marine National Park

Ballena Marine National Park is part of the Osa Conservation area which is a safe whale humpback migration area. The area also includes its famous whale-tail-shaped beach and everyone can do day trips, camping and whale watching.

Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Photo by Miguel Bruna

Rincon de la Veija National Park is a park of volcanoes, streams and rivers. Incredible flora and fauna is within the park too. The park’s name translates to ‘The Corner of the old Woman’ from Spanish. Visitors can go hiking, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hot springs dip, and swimming.

Corcovado National Park

Photo by Jose R. from Wikimedia Commons

Photo by TizzleBDizzle

The park is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions where it houses the red backed squirrel monkeys (left pic above), scarlet macaws (right pic above), jaguars, tapirs and more. It is located in the southwest Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. The park can explored through riding a boat in its pacific beaches and mangrove swamps, hiking the park, camping, go and do bird watching, beach hoping and more.

Chirripo National Park

For anyone who opts to explore and climb up Costa Rica’s highest mountain peak, Chirripo National Park is the best option. Cerro Chirripo, stands at the height of 3821 meters. The park also has nearby lakes and streams which gives it impressive views. It is also known for its ecological wealth.

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve

Located in the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula, in the Province of Puntarenas, Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve is part of the Tempisque Conservation Area. This natural reserve was the first protected land from 1963 prior from the national parks today. It offers only hiking through the thick forest.




Cahuita National Park


This terrestrial and marine national park is at the edge of the Cahuita town, Limon, Costa Rica. It features its beaches, hiking trails and the protected species of corals and animals within the park. Scuba diving or snorkeling is offered in the park, hiking and guided tours are also included.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Photo by Frank Ravizza

Arenal Volcano National Park is part of the Arenal Conservation Area and it is located in the Alajuela Province. The park is known for its majestic volcano and biodiversity of plants and animals. You might see deers, tapirs, snakes, birds, brown magpies and more. Visitors can opt for the hiking adventure, guided tours or a dip in the nearby hot springs.

Poas Volcano National Park

The park features the active stratovolcano crater and lakes. The volcano is known as one of the largest craters in the world. The crater observation deck timed in visits but it is best visited early to see the site clear.

Irazu Volcano National Park

Irazu Volcano National Park is at the Cartago Province, Costa Rica. The park centers the volcano which is still active and also the tallest out of all the volcanoes in the country! It stands at the height of 3432 meters and it erupted last 1963 when former President John F. Kennedy visited. It offers climbing the Diego de la Haya crater.

Tenorio Volcano National Park & Rio Celeste

Tenorio Volcano National Park is also a part of the Arenal Tempisque Conservation Area. Its volcano and light blue river and Rio Celeste waterfall is its famous attractions.  Bird watching, Hot springs dipping, trail hiking, visitors can never miss to explore the park.

Which one of these parks have you personally visited? Share us your experience in the comments below! 

If you are interested, contact us to arrange your trip! But before you do travel, check the latest news for the COVID-19 Travel Advisory

Read our previous Costa Rica post which is

9 Interesting and Unique Facts You Must Know about Costa Rica

 in case you missed it!

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