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Water & Forest in Costa Rica, our Most Valuable Treasures

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Our forests

Currently holding 5% of all the planet´s biodiversity, Costa Rica is considered a natural gift to all the world. In this little place on Earth, you can find a vast range of forests protecting an incredible amount of flora and fauna exclusively unique to these types of environments.

There are many different classifications for each type of ecosystem but, some you can find are:

 

Tropical Rain Forests

Better known by their huge trees and the large amounts of precipitation received through the year, these forests are home to many mammals, birds, amphibians, fish and reptiles. Not often seen in the rainforest are larger cats, like jaguars and pumas, but they are present.

While enjoying activities like canopy, you will often hear monkeys howling and birds singing in the canopy of trees, while frog's voices fill the air closer to the ground.

 

 

Cloud Forests


Located on the high slopes of the local volcanoes and mountains, this type of forests are characterized for their mysterious fog and damp air which attracts visitors to experience this mystical environment for themselves.

In Costa Rica there are many different cloud forest reserves. Some of them are the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve or the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. Even though animal species varies throughout each reserve, Cloud forests are home to all the biggest felines in the country and some monkey species like the spider monkey.

 

Tropical Dry Forests

As the name suggest, this type of forests receive much less precipitation than the rainforests and cloud forests.

These forests are in the lower regions on the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica, more specifically in Guanacaste province. Monkeys, birds, and cats can be found here, along with some truly stunning trees and flowers. Visitors can also spot scorpions, snakes, and lizards on the ground.

 

Mangroves

Found along the Pacific coast in Costa Rica, this unique ecosystem is formed where salt and freshwater meet, transitioning from dry to wet forests.

While there isn't much diversity in the extreme conditions of the mangroves, the region serves as a nesting site for birds and hosts marine life. Snakes, monkeys, bats, and iguanas can be found in the habitat, along with crabs, lobsters, shrimps and more in the water.

As you can see, Costa Rican forests are many and full of life. But, in the past this wasn't the case. In fact, in 1983 only the 26% of the national territory was covered with forest vegetation. The situation was so critical that, to revert the damage done to our biodiversity, the country adopted emergency measures. Thanks to the collaborative effort of different communities and the government, in just 30 years we managed to triple our number of forests standing at an incredible 52%.

More green facts:

Aside from our inspiring numbers in forest protected areas, Costa Rica also has:

11 conservation areas

30 national parks

11 wetlands

8 biological reserves

145 protected wildlife areas

53 wildlife refuges

44 biological corridors

 

Our waters

 While Costa Rica may be a small country land wise, we count with 572 877 km2 on water surface. The reason of why this is so important is because, bellow these waters, you can find an almost perfect preservation of aquatic ecosystems and an incredible marine biodiversity. From whales and turtles all the way up to sharks.  Costa Rican oceans are a heaven for all these creatures.

Facts don’t end there, we have so much to thank water for. Thanks to it, our country counts with incredible rapids used for high adrenaline sports.  Breath-taking canals used for recreational activities and as means of transportation.  Beautiful lakes for people to come and enjoy the view. Amazing waterfalls painting the landscape.

Impressive dams from where clean energy is created and used to power houses and most of all, clean water reservoir that can be used for potable drinking water. In fact, in 2020, for almost a full year (337 days) Costa Rica managed to power the country solely on renewable energy generated from our dams, geothermic and wind energy.

Finally, rain plays a very important role not only in our ecosystem but in tourism as well. When rainy season begins, it starts a period we call green season. During this time, thanks to the rain, forests become more greener, rivers become more active and animals like whales start their migration passing thought Costa Rican waters.

 

Juan Carlos Ramírez
Marketing Assistant

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