4 Beautiful National Parks In Costa Rica Not To Miss

Costa Rica. Just the name conjures up images of powdery sand beaches and verdant, humid rainforests filled with exotic animals. Pair that with the catchphrase “Pura Vida,” and you might just find yourself breathing a little easier and walking with a more relaxed stride. Pura Vida essentially means “Simple Life” or “Pure Life,” is a way of life in Costa Rica. You’ll find the Ticos, as the locals are called, laid back and eager to share their exquisite country with you. 

I lived in a blue jungle house in Costa Rica for 4 months and was neighbors with howler monkeys, two and three-toed sloths, and keel-billed toucans. I learned to identify collared aracaris and the hanging nest of the Montezuma oropendola. It was like living in a National Geographic episode. 

If you love wildlife, bring a keen eye and patience to the national parks in Costa Rica and you’re guaranteed to see spectacular species. These four national parks are where I had the most memorable wildlife encounters. 

1. Tortuguero National Park

I’ll never forget zipping along the canals from the boat launch at La Pavona to Tortuguero National Park. The boat driver sang at the top of his voice a passionate and catchy Spanish tune. Perhaps he was calling to the wildlife because it was here on the branches of a gigantic rainforest tree that a male howler posed for us. We cruised down canals where mangrove tree roots lined the shore and vines dangled from tremendous heights to reach one of the most biodiverse rainforests in Costa Rica.

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Tortuguero National Park by Ray Harrington is licensed under Unsplash

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