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5 of the Best National Parks in Costa Rica

The National Parks in Costa Rica, biological reserves, and wildlife refuges are over 25% of its territory. So narrowing down the best ones is an almost impossible task, but most travelers seem to have voted with their visit to some of the best and those are the ones we will visit here.

Each of them is great but you will never be able to see them all in one vacation. That is why it is good to know which are the ones where you will see a wider variety of wildlife, flora and eco-systems.

 Best National Parks in Costa Rica

1. Manuel Antonio

The Manuel Antonio National Park is Costa Rica’s smallest park, yet it is one of the most popular. You will find it in the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica where you will find beautiful white sanded beaches and rain forests. Over the years, it became popular for the amount of wildlife and tours available in the area.

It also became a great place for those looking for some more luxurious and high-end accommodations and tours.

2. Arenal

arenal volcano national park in costa costa rica

The Arenal Volcano National Park is part of the Tilaran Conservation Area of Costa Rica. In it you will find one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the Arenal Volcano, Arenal Lake, and Cerro Chato an inactive volcano with a beautiful lagoon inside the crater. The park is located in the central region of Costa Rica.

The place is famous among those who want to enjoy relaxing in naturally heated hot springs, doing some water sports in the lake and a lot of hiking

3. Monteverde

rainbow in monteverde cloud forest costa rica

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is located along the Tilaran mountain range too. But the climate is extremely different from the one in Arenal I love this place because the rain forest looks like something taken out of a movie plus this is the place with the largest number of orchids in the world. The incredible biodiversity is something that attracts a lot of travelers too.

4. Poas

The Poas Volcano National Park is famous for the beautiful lake located in the crater of the volcano. It can be reached after a short hike in well-marked trails but make sure you go early in the morning if you want to see something. It is located in the Alajuela province, it is a short drive away from San Jose City.

This is one of the most common day tours from the city.

5. Cahuita

cahuita beach in costa rica

The Cahuita National Park is located in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This is the perfect place to relax in white-sanded beaches, surrounded by monkeys, coconut palms, and warm crystalline waters as you listen to the sounds of the jungle.

This side of the country isn’t as luxurious and offers a much more relaxed vibe.

These are some of the best places to visit in Costa Rica for a fun vacation. So let me know if you visit any of these parks and how it went.

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5 of the Best National Parks of Costa Rica

One thought on “5 of the Best National Parks in Costa Rica”

  1. Hi Marina,

    Planning a holiday to Costa Rica in 2013, and was researching for more information on Monteverde. Thanks for the detail post on national parks, but apart from national parks what would you suggest that definitely include for 20 day holiday. I just discovered your blog – will check out more of your articles in the next few days! Thanks.


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