Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. While the country has only about 0.1% of the world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. Around 25% of the country's land area is in protected national parks and protected areas, the largest percentual of protected areas in the world.
One national park that is internationally renowned among ecologists for its biodiversity (including big cats and tapirs) and where visitors can expect to see an abundance of wildlife is the Corcovado National Park. Corcovado is the one park in Costa Rica where all four Costa Rican monkey species can be found.
These include the White-headed Capuchin, the Mantled Howler and the endangered Geoffroy's Spider Monkey. They also include the Central American Squirrel Monkey, which is found only on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and a small part of Panama, and was considered endangered until 2008 when its status was upgraded to vulnerable.
Costa Rica is also a center of biological diversity for reptiles and amphibians, including the world's fastest living lizard, the spiny-tailed iguana.
Costa Rica has always been a country of extraordinary natural beauty and now it is also a country with a vision that could change the face of global conservation. Today, Costa Rica aspires to be the first developing country in the world to establish a sustainably managed and permanently financed protected areas system.