Costa Rica rainforest is home to a large variety of birds, mammals and plants, the country being famous all over the world for its rich flora and fauna.
Jungles in Costa Rica are dense and green, with more than 100 species of trees and many stunning plants like the giant orchids, not to mention the impressive number of animal species that can be found around.
Forests in Costa Rica are ideal places to go and observe the rich fauna and flora from the tropical rainforest, cloud forest and tropical dry forests.
Actually, in this tiny country, there are 6 different types of forests which can be grouped into three categories:
- cloud forests that generally cover the volcano slopes and the mountains from all over the country
- tropical rainforest especially in the southwestern part of the country and the Atlantic lowlands
- tropical dry forests located on the north Pacific coast
According to the UN FAO Forest Resources Assessment, more than 50% of the country is covered with a lush forest, out of which about 24% is rainforest.
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Let’s discover together which are the 6 most beautiful Costa Rica Jungles and find out here why you should visit them.
Best Costa Rica rainforest experience
Corcovado National Park Costa Rica
Corcovado National Park is the biggest lowland rainforest from Central America and definitely the best jungle in Costa Rica.
The park is located in the Osa Peninsula in the southwestern part of the country and it was established in October 1975, being among the first protected jungles in Costa Rica.
Inside Corcovado Park, one of the most amazing Costa Rica forests you can find the largest primary forest on the American Pacific shore and one of the last remaining areas of lowland tropical forest from Earth.
The park is open to the public for day trips and even overnight experiences, but access to the park is allowed only with a professional guide.
Among the most interesting costa, Rican animals from Corcovado National Park are the endangered Baird’s tapir, American crocodile, bull sharks, jaguars, ocelot, puma, margay, all the four species of Costa Rica monkeys, sloths and many other beautiful creatures.
Read our full guide on Planning the perfect trip to Corcovado National Park
Punta Preciosa is a beautiful lodge located right on the beach, close to the park, in the middle of nature with amazing views of the ocean.
The lodge is surrounded by wildlife and features clean and spacious rooms and a private beach with hammocks and chairs where you can perfect your tan and relax.
Tortuguero National Park Costa Rica
Tortuguero National Park is located in Limon province on the northern side of the country and is one of the wildest jungles in Costa Rica.
The protected area has a wide variety of landforms including Costa Rica rainforest, swamps, mangroves, lagoons and stunning beaches.
One of the best rainforests in Costa Rica is located in the northeastern part of the Caribbean coast wetlands and was established in March 1991.
The park covers 77.000 acres ( 31.175 ha) and is bordered to the north by Barra del Colorado Wildlife refuge and Parismina river to the south.
This amazing jungle in Costa Rica is home to a high number of birds, marine creatures, mammals and fungi.
Among the creatures you might spot in this national park, the most common are crocodiles, tapirs, sea turtles, pumas, jaguars, ocelots, parrots, toucans and all four species of monkeys.
On some of the beaches from Tortuguero National Park, endangered species like leatherbacks turtles lay their eggs and in the waters around the park, more than 85 marine species can be found.
Read our full guide on Tortuguero National Park one of the best parks in Costa Rica
Located in the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica, Tortuga Lodge and Gardens features an outdoor swimming pool, a beautiful restaurant and amazing rooms with huge windows, ceiling fans and wood furniture.
Manuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio National Park is located on the Pacific coast of the country, right near the beautiful town of Quepos.
This beautiful Costa Rica rainforest is located just 135 kilometres (83 miles) away from the capital city of San Jose and is very accessible by car.
The park was established in1972 and has a total surface of almost 2000 ha, being one of the smallest national parks from Costa Rica.
You will find here more than 100 species of mammals and almost 200 species of birds, including sloths, the four species of monkeys from Costa Rica, iguanas, snakes, bats, coatis, parrots including the beautiful Scarlet macaws.
Inside the protected area there are 4 amazing beaches: Manuel Antonio, Playita, Tesoro and Espadilla Sur, great places for snorkelling and swimming in the tidal pools
According to the statistics, Manuel Antonio jungles in Costa Rica is the second most visited park from the country after Poas Volcano National Park and was ranked by Forbes as among the world’s most beautiful national parks.
Read our full guide on Manuel Antonio Costa Rica, Latin American’s hidden paradise
The 5-star resort Parador Resort and Spa from Punta Quepos right near the beautiful tropical rainforest, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio protected area.
This eco-friendly resort has 3 restaurants and 3 swimming pools and offers shuttle service to all the beaches located within Manuel Antonio National Park.
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Cahuita National Park Costa Rica
Cahuita National Park is located in the southern part of the Caribbean Coast in the province of Limon and is one of the most beautiful Costa Rica rainforests.
This Costa Rica rainforest covers a surface of 2.750 acres (1.100 ha) of land and 55.250 acres (22.350 ha) of marine area.
The park is famous not just for its abundance of wildlife but also for its secluded and untamed beaches.
In the protected marine area of the park lies one of the biggest reefs in the area ( about 4 kilometres long) with many species of fish and marine creatures: 36 species of coral, 45 species of crustaceans, 125 species of fish and about 150 species of molluscs.
On the mainland, you might encounter toucans, ibis, pacas, coatis, sloths, raccoons, white-headed capuchins and mantled howlers.
Read our full guide on Your pocket guide about Costa Rica Cahuita National Park
Located in Cahuita just 800 metres from the park, Hotel El Encanto features spacious rooms, nicely furnished with a ceiling fan and a private terrace hidden in the middle of the Costa Rica forests with many birds, sloths and monkeys around.
Carara National Park in Costa Rica
Founded in November 1998 as a national park, Carara National Park is located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
Inside these untamed jungles in Costa Rica, you can find fauna and flora specific to the Costa Rica rainforest such as scarlet macaws, parrots, hummingbirds, motmots, crocodiles, sloths, the 4 species of monkeys from Costa Rica, lots of colourful amphibians and poisonous frogs.
One of the most popular attractions from the park is the Crocodile Bridge from where you can observe crocodiles in their natural environment.
The park is crossed by many trails out of which the most famous ones are Laguna Meandrica Trail a 2.7 miles trail that leads you across the jungle in Costa Rica and the Araceas Nature trail which is just 0.650 miles long.
Carara National Park is a great destination for those of you who plan to stay along the Central Pacific coast or in the San Jose area.
Read our complete guide on Your complete guide to Carara National Park Costa Rica
Hotel Cerro Lodge from Tarcoles offers beautiful rooms with garden or mountain view in beautiful natural scenery surrounded by bird and animals specific to Costa Rica jungles.
The hotel is conveniently located from Carara National Park, just 15 minutes by car on a paved road.
Piedras Blanca National Park Costa Rica
Located within the Osa Conservation Area, Pietras Blanca National Park is one of the best examples of Costa Rica rainforest fauna and flora and until 1999 it was part of Corcovado National Park.
The place is home to a large variety of rare tropical trees and for many species of birds, reptiles and mammals.
Part of the park is still owned by individuals, but thanks to a charity organisation called Rainforest of the Austrians part of these properties had been purchased and transformed into public ownership.
Piedras Blanca is one of the last wild and untamed parts of Costa Rica and is home to jaguars, pumas, margays, ocelots, scarlet macaws, sloths, capuchin monkeys and spider monkeys.
Read our complete guide on Piedras Blancas National Park a hidden gem of Costa Rica
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is our recommendation for this park as it is conveniently located near La Gamba Village, right near Piedras Blanca National Park.
The hotel features a natural swimming pool and a beautiful tropical garden, while the rooms have wood furniture, a ceiling fan and amazing views.
These are the most spectacular Costa Rica rainforest which I strongly recommend you to include in your travel plans.
Specific for these forests in Costa Rica are the dense areas of extremely tall trees, heavy year-round precipitations and many species of birds, animals and plants that live not just on the ground but also higher in the trees.
There are many interesting activities that can be done in these jungles in Costa Rica out of which I would name kayaking, canoeing as well as birdwatching tours, canopy zip lines, hiking and horseback riding.
Combine a few days of exploring these places with a few days on a spectacular sandy beach and for sure you will get a memorable experience!