Costa Rica is often explored by nature enthusiasts because of its diverse nature, array of landscapes and unique beauty. With both sides of this small country inherently different, many of these different landscapes can be seen within a single journey, allowing for visitors to truly experience the vast differences each corner of this country provide.
From towering mountains and savannahs, to lush seascapes and dry lava flows, to primitive rainforests, all intertwined by meandering waterways, vibrant waterfalls, colorful plant life and unusual creatures, Costa Rica vacations promise a vivid experience suitable for both nature enthusiasts and those simply seeking sheer and utter beauty.
The scenery is truly unspoiled and even if not an avid hiker, much of it is navigable and discoverable by the novice as well.
Some of the more popular natural regions in Costa Rica that are wonderful hiking arenas include Lankester Gardens, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, La Selva Biological Station, Arenal National Park and Environs, Monteverde Biological Cloud Forest Reserve, Corcovado National Park and Cahuita National Park, among others.
Monteverde is a well-known cloud forest, unlike many other rainforest areas in the world. The ecology is unique and immensely beautiful, captivating and enchanting to any hiker. Arenal National Park is home to Arenal Volcano and a wide variety of hiking trails for all level of experience, not to mention several ecosystems to explore.
It's said that Costa Rica holds 5% of the world's flora and fauna, promising unusual sightings, much of which is indigenous only to this small region of the world. Because 25% of the country is protected area, there is an emphasis on preservation of the abundance of species and in particularly, the rare species within this country's borders.
Within the twelve specific ecosystems Costa Rica has there are numerous endangered species as well. There are several species of turtles, macaws, manatees, vipers and many, many others. With more than 200 species of mammals and 850 bird species alone as well as more than 9000 flora species, it can be understood how rich in life this small country really is. There's nearly 800 fern varieties, more than the entire region of North America!
There are numerous ecotourism companies specialized in ecological based trips as well as volunteerism agencies that can arrange for direct participation in many of the countries’ conservation efforts through its many national parks and protected areas, allowing a hands-on approach to the rare species and a guarantee of the opportunity to hike in most of, if not all of, the 12 different ecosystems within this country's perimeters. Because of the country's protective measures, most tourism within the country place a heavy emphasis on responsible tourism and consumerism, treating the natural surroundings with immense respect and leaving no metaphoric footprints behind.
Costa Rica is a very hiking friendly country with access to many of its corners by all levels of expertise. Most of the regions can be seen within a single trip, either divided by mini-hikes throughout each ecosystem, or longer treks for those who are more experienced and there are innumerable companies with specific and interchangeable itineraries that will suit anyone wishing to hike this unusually beautiful country filled with rare and hidden treasures.