Costa Rica Real Estate

National Parks:

 Alphabetically G -- L

 

GUANACASTE NATIONAL PARK:
Diverse ecosystems within this park are distributed in different kinds of forests: tropical humid, cloudy and tropical dry. The highest elevations of the park are the forested peaks of the Oros and Cacao Volcanoes. The source of the TempisqueRiver is located between "Cerro Orosilito" and Cacao volcano. This original tributary then unites with the Ahogados and Colorado rivers to create the larger Tempisque River, the primary water supply for Guanacaste
Attractions
Volcanoes, Wildlife (especially large cats),  butterfly watching
Animals
Armadillo, puma, white-tailed deer, variegated squirrels, collared peccaries, white-nosed coatis, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys and long-tongued bats. The birds that you could spot here are: white-throated magpie jays, orange-fronted parakeets, and crested. There are also
5,000 species of day and night butterflies.
Vegetation
There is a range of floral species corresponding to the habitat in the park. The park is covered with jaragua grass and pioneer trees. The deciduous forests are covered with about 240 species of trees, which include mahogany, rosewood and oak and bushes. Some 3000 species have been identified to be dotting this area.
Services
Information center, primitive latrines, scientific station and potable water.
Park Size
32,512 hectares (80,305 acres)
Location
Province of Guanacaste, 36 km. North of Liberia

 

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GUAYABO NATIONAL MONUMENT:
On top of the Turrialba Volcano, this is considered to be the country's most important archaeological site, with significant structures dating to 1000 years before Christ. Some also consider Guayabo to be an important New Age spiritual center.
Attractions
Archaeological site – mounds, bridges, aquaducts, stone water tanks, paved roads, tombs, drums, decorated stones
Animals
Tarmadillos, rabbits, coyotes, talamucos, martillas, and squirrels. Birds: Chachalacas, carpinteros, piapias and momotos. Also butterflies, snakes, frogs, and lizards.
Vegetation
Rain forests, carara, magnolia, cantarillo, burio, cedro, bromelias and orchids
Services
Information center, picnic areas, camping, primitive latrines, archeological research station, showers, potable water, exhibits, parking.
Park Size
218 hectares (538 acres)
Location
Cartago Province, 19 kilometers northeast of Turrialba.

 

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IRAZÚ VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK:
This is one of the most visited areas by national and international tourists.  The centerpiece of this park is its active volcano with a long history of eruptions.  Spactacular views of both coasts can be seen from the peak. Irazu is also a very important hydrologic area, being the source of many tributaries that feed the Chirripó rivers, Reventazón river, Sarapiquí river and Grande de Tárcoles river.
Attractions
Active volcano, spectacular views
Animals
Coyotes, armadillos, porcupines, tiger cats, long-tailed weasels and certain species of birds like the clay-colored robins, owls, hummingbirds and volcano juncos.
Vegetation
The vegetation is pre-mountain and mountain, covered with lichens, grasses and shrubs
Services
Information center, picnic areas, restrooms, parking
Park Size
2,309 hectares (5,703 acres)
Location
Cordillera Volcanica Central, 31km northeast of Cartago.

 

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ISLA DE COCO NATIONAL PARK:
The Island is known for its use as a natural laboratory for the study of the evolution of species.  The perpetually dense, green forest covers the broken topography of the island, which is frequently cloudy and receives heavy rainfall. During the 17th and 18th Centuries the island was used as a refuge for pirates.
Attractions
Spectacular waterfalls, biological study
Animals
362 species of insects, lizards, salamanders 85 species of birds including bobo and Espiritu Santo. 57 crustaceans, 118 sea mollusks, more than 200 fish and 18 corals. It is also common to find white fin sharks, giant hammerhead shark, tuna, parrotfish, mantaray and jurels.
Vegetation
235 species of plants including ferns, bromeliads,
Services
None
Park Size
2.400 hectares, (5,928 acres)
Location
Pacific Ocean, 532 km from Cabo Blanco

 

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JUÁN CASTRO BLANCO NATIONAL PARK:
This park houses protected forested areas, which are divided into five zones by the types of flora and fauna species that live there. Juan Castro Blanco is also very important as the source of water for the northern area of the country – providing water for human and industrial consumption, as well as hydroelectric power generation. 
Attractions
Hiking (unmarked trails), Volcanic geological formations
Animals
Mammals:goats, monkeys, armadillos, dantas and the Tepescuintle. Birds: bat falcons, the peacock, the black turkey, white hawks, and the Chachalaca. The JuánCastroBlancoNational Park also houses some endangered species like quetzal, curassow, red brocket deer, and black guan. The park also has some 22 species of bats, plus it 35+ beetle species, 51 aquatic insects and 274 moths and butterflies
Vegetation
Depending upon the slope of the mountains, the 5 ecosystems differ. The highest ranges are covered with vegetation like oak trees and quizarra, a characteristic of the cold climes. The geography of the place is volcanic. The region has Platanar volcano, measuring 2,183 meters, the active volcano and then there is the inactive Cerro Viejo (2122 meters). There are protected forests atop these volcanic regions, plus patches of regeneration forests. The forest species includes magnolias, the yos, small cedar and the white cypresses.
Services
None
Park Size
14,258 hectares (35,217 acres)
Location
Province of Alajuela, east of Ciudad Quesada

 

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LA AMISTAD NATIONAL PARK:
This is the largest and the most remote National Park in Costa Rica. It is nearly surrounded by other parks and reserves for the indigenous Chirripó, Tayni, Telire, Talamanca, Ujarras, Salitre and Abagra peoples. Much of the park has never been explored, and we do not recommend that you venture very far within park boundaries without an experienced guide. With Panama protecting another 207,000 hectares on its side of the border, this is a truly international project. One of the largest unaltered tropical forests in the world, this park encompasses climate zones from 100 meters to 3,549 meters above sea level
Attractions
Unaltered tropical forest – no marked trails
Animals
This park has one of the nation's largest populations of tapirs. There are mammals here in abundance like tapirs, jaguars, peccaries, anteaters, armadillos, pacas, deer, white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, sloths, and agoutis, plus 6 species of felines.  Bird species number 300; plus 263 species of reptiles and amphibians, lizards and salamanders.
Vegetation
Due to the variations in heights, climate, drainage and topography there is a great range of plant life. The scope of vegetation keeps on changing from wet forests to cloud forests to the short and stunted vegetation. There are six transitional zones. The trees found here commonly are small cypress, sweet cedar, silk cotton, black oak, white oak, batamba and dwarf madrono. The Park has one of the largest virgin forests in Costa Rica.
Services
None
Park Size
193,929 hectares (479,004 acres)
Location
Salamanca mountain range (southern border with Panama)

 

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LAS BAULAS de GUANACASTE MARINE NATIONAL PARK:
Relatively new to the list of Costa Rican national parks, Las Baulas was declared to be a National Park in 1991 to protect two important nesting beaches for the Giant Leatherback Sea Turtle, as well as offshore areas where these large marine reptiles live during the breeding season.  The Leatherback, or Baula, measure two meters and a half of long at maturity and weight more than 700 kg. Dark in color, it is the only turtle that, instead of shell has a very heavy skin, of similar appearance to the leather. It's easily identifiable by his very extended front fins. They walk on land only to lay eggs. They dig a nest 1 meter deep, which they cover after laying their eggs. When the new turtles are born after 60 to 90 days, the small turtles try to cross the 70 meters of beach to return to the ocean, but often are too easy prey for crabs, marine birds and other animals, which is why just a few of them survive.
Attractions
Nesting site for leatherback (baula) turtles
Animals
Leatherback turtles (November through April), roseate spoonbill, crocodiles
Vegetation
There are six known species of mangrove that grow on this pacific coast, where an abundance of black mangrove can be found, suggesting concentrations of salt in the soil of Tamarindo
Services
Information center, picnic areas, potable water, parking
Park Size
440 hectares (1,087 acres)
Location
Guanacaste province on the Pacific coast
10 km north of Famarindo on Playa Grande
321 km (193 miles) from San José, via Liberia

 

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