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Costa Rica rainforest-covered national parks afford endless opportunities to hike, bird-watch, horse-ride and get closer to nature in magnificent scenery.

Perhaps the most well-known of all of the country’s national parks is Arenal, located around two hours north of the capital San Jose. The park is centred around the perfect conical peak of the Arenal volcano and the azure lake that accompanies it. Chato is the second volcano within the boundaries of the park and features a tree-covered crater filled within a spectacular emerald lagoon. Visitors here can enjoy spectacular hikes and horse-rides as well as walking over hanging bridges, thundering down exhilarating zip-lines and taking a relaxing dip in the hot springs.

For wildlife lovers, the national parks of Totuguero, on the Caribbean coast,and Corcovado, on the Pacific,are must-visits. Tortuguero is famed for the green sea turtles that lay their eggs on the shores of the park. Seeing the young hatch and make their first perilous journey to the sea is one of the best experiences you can enjoy in this extraordinary country. Corcovado is one of the premier wildlife destinations in Latin America, home to crocodiles and caimans, ocelots and margays, pumas and jaguars as well as lizards, snakes and various types of monkeys.

On the Pacific coast is Manuel Antonio Park, offering the perfect blend of stunning scenery, outstanding nature trails, exotic wildlife and idyllic beaches.

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