Barbilla National Park
Protected since 1982, first as a biological reserve and designated a national park in 1998, Barbilla is the smallest and the least visited of the region’s national parks. The 29,500-acre park is located on the Caribbean side of the Talamanca range and contains mostly lowland tropical rainforests. Providing important habitat to some of the country’s most endangered species, including jaguars, ocelots and tapirs, as well as bird and monkey species, the park attracts mostly birders and hikers on Costa Rica tours. Trails are best hiked with a guide.
La Amistad International Park
Buffered by protected areas, La Amistad International Park encompasses over a million acres and is divided in half by the Costa Rica/Panama border. In the early eighties, the neighboring countries linked their two territories into one international peace park and today jointly oversee the park. Of the variety of eco-systems contained in the park, most is lowland tropical rainforest. Over 600 bird species have been identified here, and the park provides important habitat to some of the country’s endangered species including the jaguar and tapir. Numerous communities of indigenous tribes are located in the park. Guides are either recommended or required for visitors on Costa Rica tours who wish to hike along the still limited trails of this primitive and spectacular terrain.
Chirripo National Park
The further south visitors go during their travel to Costa Rica, the higher the mountains of the Talamanca range become. The country’s tallest peak, 12,532-ft Mt. Chirripo, is surrounded by the cloud forests and rainforests of its namesake 125,600-acre national park, established in 1975. The park is a great place for hiking in Costa Rica where the longest route is a thirty-mile loop trail that takes three days to travel.