La Amistad Biosphere Reserve
La Amistad Biosphere Reserve is located 40 miles NW of San Vito in southern Costa Rica. It is Costa Rica’s largest unaltered forest reserve with 1.5 million acres of protected area (12 % of Costa Rica’s territory). This vast extension includes many smaller protected areas such as La Amistad National Park, Chirripo National Park, Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve, Tapanti Wildlife Refuge, Wilson Botanical Gardens, and 8 indigenous reserves. It was declared world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983.
La Amistad Biosphere Reserve has seven different life habitats, and six transitional ecological zones, due to the great variation in altitudes, climates, and topography. Since is the biggest unaltered forest reserve in the country, as much as 70% of Costa Rica’s wildlife species. Among these species are giant anteaters, jaguars, tapirs, pumas, ocelots, tiger cats, 500 species of birds, 115 species of reptiles, a great number of insect species.