Despite its small size, Costa Rica possesses no less than 5% of the world’s total biodiversity, in part due to its position as a transition zone between temperate North and tropical South America, and also thanks to its complex system of interlocking micro-climates, created by differences in topography and altitude. This biological abundance (which includes over 885 species of birds and a quarter of the world’s known butterflies) is now safeguarded by one of the world’s most enlightened and dedicated conservation programmes – about 25% of Costa Rica’s land is protected, most of it through the country’s extensive system of national parks and wildlife refuges.

Costa Rica’s national parks range from the tropical jungle lowlands of Corcovado to the grassy volcanic uplands of Rincón de la Vieja, an impressive and varied range of terrain that has enhanced the country’s popularity with eco-tourists. Outside the park system, however, land is assailed by deforestation – ironically, there are now no more significant patches of forest left anywhere in the country outside of protected areas.

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Costa Rica features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Best places to visit in Costa Rica

Best places to visit in Costa Rica

Spanning two coastlines – the Pacific and Caribbean – and filled with tropical cloud forest, waterfalls, volcanoes and peculiar, cute critters in between…

19 Oct 2018 • Kirsten Powley insert_drive_file Article
From surf’s up to chill out – the best beaches in Costa Rica

From surf’s up to chill out – the best beaches in Costa Rica

With five percent of the world’s total biodiversity, Costa Rica is a fascinating destination. It's packed with abundant natural charms, from ethereal cloud fo…

26 Sep 2018 • Jenny Cahill-Jones insert_drive_file Article
The best hikes in Costa Rica

The best hikes in Costa Rica

Over a quarter of Costa Rica’s landscape is protected by its comprehensive system of national parks, wildlife refuges and biological reserves. As well as …

28 Mar 2018 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
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