6) The Biggest Rainforest in Costa Rica
La Amistad International Park (PILA) is not only the biggest natural park in Costa Rica with almost 200,000 hectares, but also the only bi-national park, created by the governments of Costa Rica and Panama in 1982. It could explain the name La Amistad, which means friendship in Spanish. The total extension of this amazing portion of protected land in both countries is nearly 400.000 hectares, which covers a great variety of humid, rain and cloud forests in the Pacific and Atlantic sides, as well as indigenous reserves.
The Talamanca region, a big portion of the park, was a refuge in colonial times for indigenous people who were resilient from the Spanish colonizers’ repression. The isolation of the region, thanks to the difficult geographical conditions, allowed its inhabitants to safeguard most of their traditional ways of life and costumes.
The enormous cultural richness and extraordinary natural habitats, result of different altitudes, soil and microclimates, was the reason why the park was also designed Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.
Species in great danger of extinction such as the jaguar, the largest feline in the Americas and third largest world-wide, live in the park as well as a great variety of wildlife, which includes 400 species of birds, 263 species of amphibians and reptiles and 213 of mammals. Many other species are found only in this giant rainforest.