Like all Central American countries, Costa Rica is considered part of a biodiversity hotspot. According to the INBio, about 4.5% of the world’s biodiversity can be found in Costa Rica. The country is noted for its national park system, administered by SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion, or “National System of Conservation Areas”). This agency oversees the 26 national park, and more than 160 protected areas in Costa Rica. The other types of protected areas in Costa Rica are National Wildlife Refuges, Biological Reserves, Protection Zones, and Absolute Nature Reserves. Together the protected areas comprise over one-fourth of Costa Rican territory.
When I was in Costa Rica I found my way into one of these protected Rainforests. I was very excited prior to this nature hike and loaded up with plenty of water, sturdy walking shoes and a mindset that it would be rough walking in very hot weather. The Rainforest package cost 55 dollars.
When the bus stopped at the reserve in Jaco on the east coast of Costa Rica I got very, very disappointed. The hike turned out to be a Ski-lift system for one hour, a short paved walk among plants for 30 minutes and a souvenir shop.