Life zones home to these forests: Premontane Moist Forest, Premontane Wet Forest, Premontane Rain Forest. Cloud forests are found in some high-elevation areas in Costa Rica. Visit my Best Costa Rica Images and Movie Collection. The plant life is abundant and literally grows everywhere: on the ground, on the tree trunks, in the canopy and even on the electricity cables along the road. This saturated ecosystem is spectacular, and you can just imagine the plant life that thrives in this environment. All that makes sense when you consider that this tiny country, which is about the size of West Virginia, holds some 5 percent of the planet’s total biodiversity. Tropical dry forests are found in the province of Guanacaste. These days Costa Rica is known as a global leader in sustainability. Mangrove forest restoration boosts Costa Rica communities (commentary) Mangrove forests are key ecosystems that host high levels of biodiversity, temper storm surges, and sequester large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. The Corcovado National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, and Tortuguero National Park are all home to this ecosystem, as well as several others. These forests are constantly enveloped by clouds, which sometimes resemble fog. Investing in ecotourism has proven beneficial and has fostered environmental and country development. Costa Rican Ecosystems. Costa Rica has proven that conservation and economic growth go hand in hand. Dolphins and whales sometimes visit the outer fringes of the coral reefs, as well. A dense and beautiful cloud forest in Monteverde | A … The wildlife varies up and down the coast. The Caribbean coastline is 125 miles (200 kilometers) long and stretches between Nicaragua and Panama. Dry Forests have less than 2 meters of rainfall per year. Hundreds of these species are endemic to Costa Rica, meaning they exist nowhere else on earth. Costa Rican Ecosystems takes an atypically holistic, integrated approach to its subject, offering both introductory and ecological chapters that together provide a very excellent overview of the important attributes and issues of the country’s major ecosystems. Verified Properties:Search the Costa Rica MLS, For Information on Relocating to Costa Rica. Casa Verde (Green) – Lote 3 Our 8-night Costa Rica’s Best Eco-Lodges vacation package is an unforgettable adventure to the most reputable eco lodges in Costa Rica. Dry Forests have less than 2 meters of rainfall per year. Like the mangrove forests, this ecosystem can only be accessed by boat. Several species of marine organisms spent their initial stages of development among the roots of the mangroves. As you approach 500-1500 meters in altitude you in most cases enter the Middle-elevation Forest. You have the rainforests, wild beaches, and charming seaside villages of the southern Pacific coast, also known as the Southern Zone. Playas del Coco. Coral Reefs & Wetlands. These mosses create a very acidic environment where only few plants can grow, but these places absorb a lot of water and are very important in maintaining the underground water reservoirs. Mangroves thrive in a brackish and saltwater environment. Home to some of the most exotic plant and animal life, Costa Rica’s rainforests shelter an assortment of life found nowhere else on Earth. Kasiiya Papagayo opened in 2018 in Guanacaste as an eco-resort and has been gaining recognition in the architecture world ever since. Costa Rica is a small country, but the variety of landscapes, climates, and lifestyles in Costa Rica are breathtaking. It is more arid here, so plants are a bit more dull and many have a waxy exterior. These variables also change with elevation. The coral reefs are among the most productive environments of the world, and they are important not only as carbon sinks but also for marine life reproduction. Off both coasts of Costa Rica, the relatively shallow seas are home to both migratory and permanently based marine animals. They are also home to crocodiles, caimans, iguanas, bats, several species of monkeys, snakes, frogs, and a lot of insects. Costa Rica is on the top 20 list of the most biodiverse countries in the world. The highland forests are evergreen. There are large populations of migratory and permanently based birds that call the wetlands home. This is a rough and tough ecosystem for plants and animals to live in, but they do. The opportunities for exploration and action here include watching the magnificent humpback whale migration, exploring the mangrove habitat, casting a line sport fishing or getting out on the water surfing. By Sean Kennedy, Urban Planning PhD student, who traveled to Costa Rica. There are several variations in rainforest zones in Costa Rica and the difference comes from elevation, temperature, and average rainfall; all are equally as diverse and bursting with wildlife. Ancient plants are abundant here. Some of them are described below. The cloud forests also provide valuable water to the ecosystems that are at the lower elevations. It produces nearly 93 percent of its electricity from renewable resources and conserves around 30 percent of its national territory. Coral reefs protect the coastline from heavy storm waves and swells. Over 25% of the country’s 19,730 square miles is protected from future development. The corteza amarilla bursts out bright yellow flowers between March and May; the magnificent Guanacaste tree blooms cream-colored flowers, and at the end of the dry season, the malenchi explodes with vibrant red flowers. Monteverde Lodge and Gardens. These endemic species include frogs, snakes, lizards, finches, hummingbirds, gophers, mice, cichlids, and gobies among many more. There are more than 100 mammal species living within these forests, including wild cats, sloths, tapirs, and monkeys. The Pacific coastline varies from north to south. In simple words, these life zones are defined by the variation of temperature and precipitation in a given area. Moving down a bit in elevation, we find the semi-deciduous forests. For this reason, the deciduous trees of the dry forest shed their leaves during the months where there is no rain. There are mosses, orchids, bromeliads, and ferns everywhere. Some of the best coral reefs to dive are part of the Cahuita National Park, Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, the Catalina Islands, Bahia Ballena National Marine Park, and the original Treasure Island, Isla del Coco. The wetlands include the rivers, marshes, and seasonally inundated woodlands. The Terraba-Sierpe mangroves in the South Pacific, Puntarenas Province, were declared RAMSAR sites, as well as the Tamarindo wetlands, the Potrero Grande Mangroves (Guanacaste) and those in the Gandoca-Manzanillo NP (Limón Province, Atlantic coast) . Here, some of the life zones are described together according to their location and elevation. The administration of Costa Rica's biodiversity for the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET), and within it specifically the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), responsible for promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the country, concentrates heavily on their primary and secondary forests, mangroves, wetlands and forest … These are semideciduos or evergreen forests where the trees can reach 50 meters tall, and palms and ferns are abundant in the understory. We Build, Sell, and Rent Properties in Sustainable Communities. The Tenorio National Park, home to the mystical Rio Celeste, is a perfect example of a highland rainforest and one that should definitely be on your list to explore. The Lowland rain and dry forests have a short dry season. The Forest of the Lowlands (0-500 m. altitude), -not dry forest; is mainly found in most other coastal regions (Pacific and Caribbean slopes). Mangrove forests are also a nursery for many different types of fish, including baby sharks, and caimans, crocodiles, and birds. The mangrove forests of Costa Rica can only be accessed by boat and viewed from the water. You can observe these intricate estuary forests by taking a boat tour in Drake Bay or in Tortuguero, but there are mangrove forests in multiple places along the Pacific and Caribbean coast. Mangroves are forests that grow in between the area of low and high tide, with an influence of freshwater. Cerro de la Muerte and Chirripo both have páramos. A boat trip to either Palo Verde or Cano Negro will be an excellent opportunity to witness a lot of different animals. Most of them are separated by the amount rainfall receive, creating different habitats for a variety of species. There are amazing diving and sailing opportunities that will put you in the perfect place to possibly spot some of these magnificent marine creatures. This forest typically consists of evergreen or semideciduos (some trees can lose their leaves during the wet season) trees, depending on the amount of rain. Costa Rica is small in size but wildly abundant, home to 6% of the world’s biodiversity. The sea around Costa Rica is rich with food ,and large predatory fish such as tuna, sailfish, marlin, and mahi mahi occupy this ecosystem too. About this trip Explore Costa Rica’s abundant biodiversity on this 7-day expedition into the rainforests of Arenal and Sarapiquí. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. Each zone has a distinctive natural vegetation and ecosystem. Monteverde National Park and Bralio Carillo National Park are just two places where cloud forests are present. The authors are a literal ‘who’s who’ of Costa Rican ecological research, with an impressive percentage from Costa Rica. Costa Rica is currently on track to be one of the most sustainable countries in the world – it’s working to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2020 – b… The coastal region of the Caribbean is made up of pristine and palm-tree lined beaches, mangrove swamplands, and river mouths that back up to tropical rainforest and banana plantations. Kuna Vela Sailing Tours. Taking a guided nature tour through one of Costa Rica’s highland rainforests will present you with the best opportunity to see and learn all about the plant and animal life that resides in this wet haven. The trees in this type of forest are singing with bird, frog, and insect calls and the air is densely humid and moist on the skin. Located on the Osa Peninsula, the South Pacific region is a haven for those looking to experience the unspoiled beauty of Costa Rica. Mangroves also help as nutrient and sediment retention areas and shoreline protection. Here is where the impressive oaks are found. The Montane Rainforest also includes some bamboos that grow with the shrubs, and a special kind of vegetation related to the Sphagnum mosses (called “turberas” in Spanish). The resident wildlife includes rainbow-billed toucans, chestnut-mandibled toucans, aracari toucans, white-faced capuchin monkeys, two- and three-toed sloths, boa constrictors, Jesus lizards, and iguanas, just to name a few. This is also one of the places where you might get lucky enough to spot a resplendent quetzal. Ecotourism ensures that the environmental impact is minimal. There is far more rainfall on the Caribbean coastline than on the Pacific coastline. Costa Rica is considered to possess the highest density of biodiversity of any country worldwide. Ecotourism in Costa Rica is one of the key activities of the tourism industry in the country. The coral reefs also provide shelter and feeding grounds for hundreds of species of tropical fish, sharks, rays, sea turtles, and mollusks. The week-long conference attracted researchers, practitioners, policymakers … Trees shoot up 80–130 feet (25–40 meters) in a battle for sunlight at the canopy top. Their specialized roots are above ground and can filter out the majority of the salt from the water they take in. Above 1500 meters you get into Highland ecosystems of Costa Rica. The life zones are named according to the latitudinal belt (in Costa Rica they are all tropical forests), humidity (in Costa Rica: dry, moist, wet, rain) and the elevational belt (lowlands 0-500 m.a.s.l., premontane, lower montane, montane, subalpine). Payments for ecosystem services: Costa Rica’s recipe. Looking for a little piece of paradise? Spend your first night at a luxury boutique hotel in San Jose before heading to Manatus Lodge on the jungle canals of Tortuguero National Park. Compared to the … While encompassing just one third of a percent of Earth's landmass, approximately the size of West Virginia, Costa Rica contains four percent of species estimated to exist on the planet. Costa Rica Is an Eco-Destination—It's Also a Gay One The Arenol Volcano This Central American gem offers LGBTQ travelers a taste of the simple life — and an utterly gorgeous ecosystem. The rainforest is a multi-layered habitat and specific plants and animals live and thrive at different levels, from forest-floor dwellers all the way up canopy-top creatures. The consistent rainfall and warm temperatures fuel the abundant growth of plants and fungi, which provide the perfect habitat for a wide range of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and birds. Home to around 5 percent of the world’s entire biodiversity, it’s not surprising to associate Costa Rica with clear blue beaches, sleepy sloths, not to mention lush rainforests. Life Zones: Dry Forest. “Add the … These evergreen forests sit at elevations between 1,600 and 4,900 feet (500 and 1,500 meters). Bamboo and moss are abundant, as well as hummingbirds. There are colorful color reefs on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides of Costa Rica. Here’s the lowdown on its 12 ecosystems. The warm tropical waters of this ecosystem attract humpback whales, whale sharks, pilot whales, orcas, various types of dolphin, four types of sea turtle, manta rays, and multiple types of string rays. While it might not seem like an appealing place to visit, it is actually quite beautiful in a dramatic way. This contributes to protecting key natural areas, and also benefits populations by helping them to reduce their dependency on other economic activities that are potentially harmful to the environment.Activities include trips such as peaceful walks in national parks and adventu… It’s small, But the variety of landscapes, climates, and lifestyles in Costa Rica is amazing. Coral reefs are an intricate ecosystem made up of symbiotic relationships between algae and the living coral (which are actually animals similar to sea anemones). Ecosystems in Costa Rica The natural diversity of Costa Rica is created by many factors including location, climate, and a wide variety of habitats in which plants and animals thrive. Eco Villages, Santa Teresa, Montezuma, San Mateo, La Ecovilla, Yoko Village, Costa Rica It is only 19,700 square miles (51,100 square kilometres) in area, comparable to the size of West Virginia in the USA or Denmark in Europe. The plants have adapted to the six-month dry season as most of the trees lose their leaves and produce flowers and fruits during the dry season. The plants have adapted to the six-month dry season as most of the trees lose ... Forest of the Lowlands. A 'select best' collection of images and movies taken over the last 13 years of teaching Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica! Compared to the tropical rainforests, these areas receive far less annual rainfall. Casa Mango – Lot 13 A In Arenal, tackle topics of earth science while examining the terrain of Arenal Volcano, observe tropical flora and fauna from the forest canopy, and take a dip in thermal springs. Costa Rica is probably most recognized for its beautifully dense, verdant, and life-rich tropical rainforests. Costa Rica unique topography makes it home to twelve major life zones. The dry forest of the North West... Forest of the lowlands (0-500 m). Eco-tours in Costa Rica are not complete without staying at any of the … Comprising an estimated 5% of the world’s biodiversity, the rainforest of Costa Rica have captivated millions of tourist for decades and form over a quarter of the national territory. As you head south, the forest changes from dry to rainforest. Small rodents, lizards, snakes, and some birds thrive in this environment. You have rainforests, wild beaches, and charming seaside villages of the southern Pacific coast, also known as the Southern Zone. Highland Ecosystems (1500- >3500) There are several life zone in the country. At least five species of trees can be found growing in these estuarine habitats. These highland-mountain rainforests are made up of predominantly evergreen trees, such as ancient oaks. The forest floor is covered by mosses and ferns and the understory is densely packed with plant life. By the early 1990s, Costa Rica became known as … Costa Rica has twelve of the life zones classified by L. Holdridge in 1971. Highland Ecosystems. Pelicans, macaws, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, white-faced capuchins, coatis, raccoons, iguanas, and sea turtles are common on the Pacific coastline. However, in the dry season some of the trees actually blossom. Tropical dry forests are found in the province of Guanacaste. The term “ecosystem” is used to describe the unique interactions between an area’s habitat and its resident plant and animal life. Within that area, though, there are a dozen different ecosystems, ranging from tropical lowland rainforest to coral reef, and 25% of the land and water of those ecosystems are protected as wildlife reserves, refuges, and national parks. #1 of 87 Outdoor Activities in Playas del Coco. Costa Rica has stringent environmental protections on land. In the more than thirty years since the publication of Daniel H. Janzen’s classic Costa Rican Natural History, research in this small but astonishingly biodiverse, well-preserved, and well-studied Latin American nation has evolved from a species-level approach to the study of entire ecosystems. This area is a combination of grass and scrubland. This group and its work are highly regarded in scientific circles, and the center itself is located just outside the capital of San Jose, offering curious visitors a convenient way to discover the complexities of Costa Rica's ecosystems. Over the past decades the government has piloted a number of progressive financing mechanisms, which have helped to reverse forest loss and conserve biodiversity. They also experience some of the highest rainfall in the country (up to 8 m). A huge array of plant and animal species thrive in Costa Rica because of its many distinct microclimates and protected habitats - almost 26% of the country is designated and respected as conservation area. There are also some other ecosystems in Costa Rica not included in the life zones categorization, such as the coral reefs or the mangroves. There are quite a few species of plants and animals that live nowhere else outside of the mountain rainforests of Costa Rica. As one of IVHQ’s most popular destinations, the IVHQ Costa Rica program offers a wide range of project types in multiple locations throughout Costa Rica including, childcare, teaching, turtle conservation, eco-agriculture, healthcare, construction and … The mangrove ecosystems serve as wildlife refuges, nursery and spawning areas. Cocos Island is a prime ecotourism destination in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has adopted a mix of economic and regulatory policies to protect its forests – the eclectic mix of ingredients could be judged a recipe for success, says David N. Barton. With so many different things to do … The dry season typically extends from November through the end of April and during this time there is likely to be zero rainfall. Tree height varies between 25 and 40 meters; the understory is very dense, and in the rain forest ground is covered by mosses and ferns. Hotel, Lodge. The north is must more rugged and backs up to tropical dry forest and vast fields. Coastal areas are important for shorebirds (many of them are migratory), and constitute extremely important nesting sites for marine turtles. Costa Rica is a relatively small country in Central America. The Dry forest is found in parts of the central valley but mainly across the North West Pacific Coast. There is a lot more visible wildlife on the coast the further south you head, since the forests tend to meet right up with the beach and ocean, whereas in the north they are set back a bit further. Mangroves also play an important role in protecting the coastlines from destruction due to strong storm swells, and they filter the freshwater that comes from land before it enters the ocean. And …. Last week – through the generous support of the Luskin School of Public Affairs and UCLA Department of Urban Planning – I was fortunate enough to attend the 7 th Annual Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica. The contrast between the dry golden landscape and the bright tree flowers is truly exquisite. Costa Rica is a global biodiversity hotspot where an estimated 4% of all known species can be found. Life is thriving on every single available space here, even on artificial structures. The north region of Guanacaste is referred to as Costa Rica’s gold coast due to its warm dry weather and stunning beaches. A World Heritage Site, ranked among the top 77 nominees for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The wetlands of Costa Rica, such as Palo Verde and Cano Negro, are an important shallow-water ecosystem that hosts a variety of nesting and foraging waterbirds. Ecotourism in Costa Rica encompasses a diverse array of ecosystems, from cloud forests and rainforests to wetlands and coastal marine areas. SLEEP AT AN ECO-LODGE. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK". Tropical Dry Forest. Twenty years ago Costa Rica began to pioneer schemes that paid land owners to protect forests in return for the benefits they provide, such as conserving wild … Biologists praise Costa Rica for having one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet and have identified 12 … Costa Rica’s rich ecosystems owe their diversity to the nation’s tropical location, varying topography, climbing altitudes, and the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, which flank Costa Rica’s coasts. Part of Rincon de la Vieja, Arenal National Park, and Turrialba National Park are made up of this type of rainforest. Set your sights on Costa Rica. Costa Rica has 12 such zones, ranging from tidal mangrove swamps to subalpine paramó, with its stunted dwarf plants above the timberline atop the high mountains. Middle-elevation Forests. This ecosystem is only found on the southern part of the Talamanca mountain range.