Costa Rica is one of the optimum countries in Central America for wildlife, and its world-class parks and reserves offer brilliant biodiversity and enshrine an honoured heritage of conservation. On a two week trip you can effortlessly take in all the main wildlife and scenic zones, and the astonishing variety of topography guarantees a wide assortment of experiences.
The highpoints include watching turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, howler monkeys swinging through the jungle canopy, toucans and brightly coloured parrots flitting through the forests, plus minute, colourful tree frogs resting on bright green leaves. You can organize a fully-escorted private trip, or a self-drive programme, or a mixture of the two – depending on your partiality. Plenty of operators exist to help you plan a perfect tour.
If you get a chance you should try and visit the Osa peninsula.
Located in south western Costa Rica, the Osa is hailed by many as Costa Rica’s “last frontier” as it remains a mainly untouched, isolated wilderness. The Osa’s high level of biological diversity coupled with its unique blend of 13 distinct tropical ecosystems have made it a high global conservation priority. With an overall expanse of only 300,000 acres, the Osa is home to 50% of species found in Costa Rica, including many endemic species. When one reflects the trifling size of the Osa, there are few places left on earth that rival its intense biological diversity. It is here one can find the main intact mangrove ecosystem in Pacific Mesoamerica, the most momentous remaining areas of lowland Pacific tropical rainforest, and one of only four tropical fjords on the earth, the Golfo Dulce. These ecosystems, and copious others, provide habitat that is indispensable for the Osa’s abundant wildlife.
The Osa Peninsula is home to:
- 2-3% of Earth’s flora found nowhere else
- 323 endemic species of plants and vertebrates
- Largest population of Scarlet Macaws in Central America
- 4,000+ vascular plants
- 10,000+ insects
- 700+ tree species
- 463 bird species
- 140 mammals including 25 species of dolphins and whales
- 4 sea turtle species