Speaking of nature, Costa Rica has it all: one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and abundant wild life.
Costa Rica is a 51.000 km2 country centered between Nicaragua and Panama and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.Highlands are found throughout most of the country. Costa Rica has several active volcanoes (Arenal, Irazú, Rincón de la Vieja, and Poás) and the country’s highest mountain is Cerro Chirripó with a height of 3.820 meters. There is also a big number of rivers and streams that attract kayakers and rafters from all over the world. Also excelent beaches for surfing.
After abolishing the army, Costa Rica diverted military funds into a large conservation strategy. As a result, today 12 percent of the land is secured in national parks and another 25 percent is protected in private natural refugies and forests.
Costa Rica´s rich ecosystem supports nearly 10 percent of the world’s species of plants and animals (more than in Europe and North America together), more than 850 species of birds, 209 species of mammals, 163 species of amphibians, 200 species of reptiles, 366.000 of arthropods and more than 13.000 species of plants, including 1.500 species of trees and nearly 1.500 of orchids.
For Costa Rica´s national parks, biological reserves and wildlife refuges, see also "Areas of Interest an National Parks".