CENTRAL PACIFIC CONSERVATION AREA

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1. MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK

PN Manuel Antonio. Foto: Roberto RamosManuel Antonio National Park is a small biological island surrounded by various production activities such as agriculture, farming, and vast tourism development. It is one of the most scenic and beautiful national parks in the country.

LOCATION: Located on the Costa Rican Pacific, in Puntarenas.

SERVICES OFFERED: General information, potable water, restroom services, showers, picnic areas, swimming areas, hiking trails, lookout points, and local guides.

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
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2. CARARA NATIONAL PARK

PN Carara. Foto: Roberto RamosCarara is located in the transitional zone between the dry and moist forests in the Pacific region. It could be said that no other wildlife area in the country protects the abundance of plant and animal species that live in this bioclimatic region.

This wildlife area is considered an excellent living laboratory, where the structure and workings of the tropical eco-systems and the relationship between them can be studied.

This park has numerous vestiges of Pre-Colombian culture that have yet to be opened to the public.

LOCATION: Located 56 miles from San José, by the Orotina highway, along the Grandes de Tárcoles River.

SERVICES OFFERED: General information, bilingual staff, potable water, restroom services, and hiking trails (4), parking, housing for researchers and volunteers (reserved in writing 15 days beforehand, subject to availability), telephone services, local bilingual guide, and lookout points.

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
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3. LOS QUETZALES NATIONAL PARK

PN Los Quetzales. Foto: Roberto RamosQuetzals abound in this national park named after the Mesoamerican bird that, according to the World Union for Nature, is currently endangered.

The park has beautifully preserved oak tree forests, as well as springs, a high water production due to humidity from the Pacific Ocean, species native to grasslands above 3300 meters (10,826 feet), and flora and fauna that include protected species such as the quetzal, Goldfinch, Yellow-Bellied Siskin, Peccary, Agouti paca, Persea vesticula and Mountain Cabbage Palm (Euterpe precatoria).

LOCATION: Located on the Pacific slope in the Talamanca mountain range, in the San José province, south of the capital.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Its natural wonders are found in the magnificent cloud forests or oak trees, as well as dwarf forests and grasslands, where you can find a large number of flora and fauna species, some of which are endemic to the Talamanca area.

SERVICES OFFERED: General information, potable water, restroom services, parking, hiking trails.

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4. LA CANGREJA NATIONAL PARK

PN La Cangreja. Foto: Roberto RamosIts name comes from the shape of Mount La Cangreja which towers over the park at 4,281 feet. Native legend speaks of a large crab that settled on the hill and blocked the passage of locals traveling to other towns, until one day a warrior fought back and was able to cut off its leg in a rage. Facing defeat, the crab decided to change into a rock; thus, according to legend, part of the mount became a rocky formation.

It shelters 15% of the vascular plants known in the country, of which 44 endemic plant species are noteworthy.

LOCATION: It is located in Puriscal, San José, in the Chiris and Mercedes Sur districts. Its neighboring communities are: Concepción, Mastatal, Zapatón, Vara Blanca, San Martín, and Santa Rosa.

SERVICES OFFERED: General information, hiking trails, administrative offices, restroom services, potable water, parking, picnic area, and public transportation to the park.

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
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