Adventure in Costa Rica: La Amistad National Park
The La Amistad National Park is located on the foothills of the Cordillera de Talamanca Mountains. It is nestled between the Las Vueltas ranges, Cartago Mountain and Echandi Mountain on the Costa Rican-Panamanian borders. This region is especially important for being the transitory area where the quaternary glaciers left an indelible hallmark of interbreeding of northern and South American flora and fauna.
Among the mountain formations found here, the Cordillera de Talamanca is the highest and most majestic non-volcanic mountain. It was formed through a geological process known as folding of the earth’s crust. The earth’s crust folding uplifts some large blocks of land and allows others to form deep valleys, hence the large divide between the Pacific and the Caribbean. The quaternary glaciation was also significant in forming the cirque lakes and steep slopes that make this landscape so beautiful. The Chirripo National Park is the only place in South America where you will find active glaciation.
The region is mainly characterized with tropical rainforests, which have covered the landscape for about 25,000 years. It also includes a lowland tropical forest as well as a cloud forest. However, what makes this park unique and differentiated from other regions is the peculiar vegetation and landscape that you find here including:
- · Subalpine Paramo Forests
- · Pure Oak Stands
- · Lakes of Glacial Origin and
- · High Altitude Bogs
The region also features all the 5 altitudinal zones that are found in all major tropics and due to the convergence of the north and South American species, there is not a place elsewhere on earth that can boast as much diversity.
Expect to see South American Felines such as puma, ocelot, jaguarondi, jaguar, tiger cat etc. You are lucky indeed if you see the rare green and black high altitude viper or the endemic bare necked umbrella bird, harpy eagle, crested eagle and the orange breasted falcon.
If you are more into archaeological sites, this place will not disappoint you. It is the kind of places that make you want to become a Costa Rican. Costa Rico is a pricey destination by the Central American Standards, but this is because the country is worth every dime you spend in it.