It’s been often said that taking a nature walk has great benefits. For those who are often stressed or are just looking for an activity to unwind, taking a walk in a forest can be very helpful. And yes, although recent academic studies have emphasized on the positive aspects of hiking, this is not new knowledge.
Great philosophers like Henry David Thoreau spoke wonders of human’s relationship with nature. In “Walden”, for instance, the philosopher used his experience of living in a cabin in the woods to help him focus on his personal growth.
Yet most people cannot afford to live two years, two months and two days in a forest (as Thoreau did), there are many other ways people can find a moment of silence in their daily grind. One of the easiest ones: taking a few minutes to skim through a book. The best photography books have the ability of transporting you to some of the country’s most beautiful scenery without having to move from your
You would think that Costa Rica is a relatively easy place to photograph, as it is such a small country. But there is a lot to do and see here.
All About Costa Rica National Parks
Of the 51,100 kilometers that make up the national territory, some 13,000 (25.4% of the national territory) is made up of conservation areas, mostly reserves and national parks. These territories protect the natural heritage and safeguard areas of great cultural, historical, architectural and political interest.
Under Costa Rican jurisdiction there are 11 conservation areas or regions that concentrate protected wildlife areas. At the national level there are about 160 protected areas, 28 of which are currently national parks. Although the range of biodiversity on offer is very broad, there are a number of parks that concentrate a greater number of visitors.
If you can’t visit the rainforest, take the forest with you.
In 2017, for example, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute indicated that the five most visited national parks are Manuel Antonio National Park (with 360,176 visitors per year), Poás Volcano National Park (339,542 visitors), Irazú Volcano National Park (139,862 visitors), Marino Ballena National Park (143,861 visitors) and Tortuguero National Park (57,658 visitors).
However, some picture-perfect parks, also amply photographed in some of the country’s best photography books, aren’t in this list. So which are they?
Where The Best Photography Books Are Born
La Amistad National Park is the largest national park in the country and one of the most diverse in the ecological, cultural, geological and political sense. It covers some 199,147 hectares and stretches from the province of San José to the Panamanian border. The vast majority of these hectares are in the Caribbean sector, although a small percentage is in the Pacific. In other words, it is the only national park that covers both coasts.
Created in 1982, this national park is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. It has also been declared by this same organization as a World Heritage Site for the great biological diversity it contains. The region has almost all types of forests and life zones present in the area.
If Parque La Amistad sounds too vast for you, maybe Cerro Chirripó - or any of the 8 other peaks that do not go under 2900 meters above sea level - could ring a bell? Since Cerro Chirripó requires a hefty hike and a good physical condition, not everyone can go. But seeing it from above is a completely different story.
Great Spectacles in Los Quetzales
Located in the Central Pacific Conservation Area (ACOPAC), Los Quetzales National Park is in the district of Copey, in the canton of Dota. This park, which has an area of 5021 hectares, was made up of vacant land and the various forest and biological reserves that make up the area. The best thing about this park: it is not far from the capital!
One of the ecosystems protected by this national park is the páramo or moorland. The moor, just as the Chirripó, is known for its solitude and peaceful scenery. It is also the home of one of the most beautiful birds in the Neotropics: the quetzal. Watching, not one, but a flock of them, fly from one treetop to another is truly one of nature’s greatest spectacles. You can see this, and many other beautiful events, in Ojala Ediciones’ Greatest Wildlife Spectacles.
Wildlife miracles occur every day.
The greatest number of quetzal sightings occur during the months of January and February. This is one of the many reasons why this area is particularly important. In addition, Los Quetzales National Park contains 13 other ecosystems and has helped in the protection of the Savegre River basin.
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