Flora and Fauna of Costa Rica

Costa Rica possesses one of the richest biological heritages on earth concentrated within its small territory. This is due to its tropical location, position as a land bridge between North and South America, and its varied geography dominated by a series of mountains that divide the nation from northwest to southeast.

Costa Rica is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The internal landscape is a mixture of wet eastern lowland plains, seasonally arid hot pacific lowlands, lush rainforests, cool mountain forests, and windy seasonally frost-bitten mountain peaks. The central valley near the geographic center of the nation enjoys a mild, spring-like climate year-round. This is the cultural and economic heart of the country and where the nation’s four largest cities (including the capital of San José) and the main international airport are located.

Due to the nation’s small size, a traveler starting from the urban center of the Central Valley can reach most of these diverse habitats or either coast in just a two to four hour drive. The nation possesses several volcanoes with mild activity of simmering vents and hot rivers emerging from around their bases.

Wildlife abounds in Costa Rica. Visit the right locations and you can easily encounter monkeys, iguanas, colorful birds, and butterflies. With more determination, and with the help of a guide and some luck, you can see a greater variety of wildlife, including scarlet macaws, resplendent quetzals, toucans, parrots, poison dart frogs, sloths, and many others. The marine coastal habitats enjoyed by naturalists, sports enthusiasts, and beach goers also have a rich aquatic fauna and ocean waters at the beaches are a warm and pleasant 78-82 ˚F throughout the year. The sunsets in the summer afternoons are often beautiful too.

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