Biodiversity and natural attractions

The variety of plants and animals in Costa Rica is certainly impressive. If we talk about number of species per square kilometer, this is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. With its small area of 51,000 km² Costa Rica covers only 0.01% of the earth’s surface, but hold it about 5% of all known species of plants and animals. Here are more species of birds than in all of North America and more species of butterflies than in all of Africa. This enormous biodiversity is due to the location and topography of the land. Costa Rica is located on the narrow land bridge between North and South America and therefore species from both continents. Mountain ranges throughout the country provide many different climate types and consequently very different habitats.

The natural attractions in Costa Rica are difficult to summarize. There is a huge variety of forest, mangrove forests and lowland jungles to cloud forests and oak forests in the highlands, and the abundance of flowers in many hotel gardens are enchanting, with heliconia’s, bromeliads, orchids, gingers, etc. There are numerous impressive waterfalls and wild rivers, rumbling volcanoes and endless palm beaches, felbauwe lakes and picturesque valleys, colorful birds and butterflies and frogs, fascinating sloths and playful monkeys and coatis …. In short, even the most demanding nature lover is here charmed even the most indifferent city man is nature fanatic here …..

All this natural beauty is largely protected in the national parks system that has received worldwide praise and recognition. Approximately 1.22 million hectares of land and 385,000 hectares of sea, which is one fourth of the territory, are under some form of protection by the MINAE, the Ministry of Environment and Energy. In addition, there are also numerous private initiatives that contribute to conservation, such as the private reserves of many lodges and hotels for example.
Costa Rica’s biodiversity, the number of species:

Birds: 880
Mammals: 208
Reptiles: 216
Amphibians: 163
Butterflies: ca 7000
Plants: 10.000

Costa Rica’s protected areas, by category:

National parks: 28
Wildlife Sanctuaries: 12
Biological reserves: 7
Forest reserves: 2
Buffer zones: 9

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