During 2021 and 2022, Costa Rica’s government added a staggering amount of over 16 million hectares (around 39 million acres) of land to its protected areas, with a brand new Wildlife Refuge, located in Coto Brus, Puntarenas, near our border with Panama.

Coco Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, increased its area from 203000+ hectares to 5.4+ million hectares of a very important biodiverse maritime area. Right next to this protection area, our country has the Bicentennial Marine Management Area, which now extends to our maritime border with Ecuador, with over 10.6 million hectares.

In Cocos Island marine waters coexist 57 types of crustaceans, 600 marine molluscs and 250 species of fish. White-tip sharks, hammerhead sharks, yellow-fin tuna, parrot fish, mantas, and many more.

Cocos Island.
Cocos Island.

This island is located 550km (342 mi; 297 nmi) southwest of the Costa Rican mainland.

In our Mainland, Ena Hill, with an area of 501 hectares, was added to the Chirripó National Park, home of Costa Rica’s highest Mountain, Chirripó with 3,821 meters (12,536 feet) high.

View from Mount Ena, in the Chirripó Area.

Chirripó is a natural wonder of our country, with different ecosystems that offer visitors a totally new perspective of Costa Rica. On clear days, on top of Chirripó, visitors can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Further south, very near the border with Panama, the Bicentennial of the Republic Biological Reserve opened in late 2021, an area known to be home of the three-wattled bellbird, is thought to have one of the loudest bird calls on Earth, audible to humans from over 0.5 mi (0.80 km) away.

Costa Rica makes all these efforts to expand its protected areas as part of the High Ambition Coallition, an intergovernmental group of over 90 countries co-chaired by Costa Rica and France and by the United Kingdom as Ocean co-chair, championing a global deal for nature and people with the central goal of protecting at least 30 percent of world’s land and ocean by 2030.

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