Costa Rica is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking national parks, 26 in all, places where you can behold an active volcano, see endangered wildlife in a natural habitat, and so much more. While the parks are a cornerstone of the country’s booming tourism industry, they do more than just offer a day of exploration and education. Costa Rica’s national parks serve to protect essential indigenous resources, from animal and plant species, to pre-Columbian archeological remains.
To visit a national park is to contribute to the conservation of these precious resources. But the visitor must also take care to do no harm and leave no lasting footprint. Here are the guidelines set by the National Parks Service Law, which prohibits the following:
- Cutting trees or extracting plants
- Hunting or capturing wild animals
- Sport, traditional or industrial scale fishing
- Collecting or removing corals, shells or rocks from the sea or beaches
- Causing any type of environmental pollution
- Feeding or giving water to wild animals
You can also join the mission of the parks through the Amigos de los Parques Nacionales program, or Friend of the National Parks. A variety of memberships are offered to corporations and individuals who wish to donate to this important conservation. Prices and terms vary; memberships can be purchased for one year or just 14 days – at $39, this is an ideal option for the conscientious budget traveler.
Are you a Friend of the National Parks? Let us know and receive a 10% discount on your stay at Hotel Sugar Beach!
Participating National Parks include:
- Mauel Antonio
- Arenal Volcano
- Tortuguero (Cuatro Esquinas)
- Corcovado (Sirena)
- Poas Volcano
- Irazu Volcano
- Palo Verde
- Cahuita (Pto. Vargas)
- Rincon de la Vieja Volcano
- Santa Rosa (main entrance)
To find out more about the Amigos de los Parques Nacionales program please visit www.amigosdelosparques.org