La Amistad International Park

La Amistad International Park

La Amistad International Park is called an international park because it actually stretches into western Panama. At 765 sq miles it is the largest park in Costa Rica with miles of trails and lots of wildlife. This park has more virgin forest than all the other Costa Rica national parks combined! Also, 2/3 of all total species found in Costa Rica can be found in this park. Access to La Amistad International Park can be extremely difficult and not advisable for inexperienced hikers. Hiring a guide is suggested. You can camp in the park for a fee of $5.00 per person with reservations.

Elevations range from 3280′ to 11,480′ and you will need a 4 wheel drive to get to the park which is about 20 miles west of San Vito on the road to Paso Real. Lat – 9.4314, Long – 83.1298. La Amistad International Park is located in the Talamanca mountain range and is equally split between Costa Rica and Panama. It is the largest natural reserve in all of Central America, but it is largely unexplored due to the wild terrain.

Weather on the lower Caribbean side is hot, wet and humid, but on the higher Pacific side it is cool and damp. The average temperature on lower slopes is 79 degrees F, but can be below 32 degrees at night on the high peaks. The driest months are February and March.

The trip to La Amistad International Park will reward the hardiest hikers with a wealth of wildlife. All 6 species of neotropical cats live here: pumas, jaguars, margay, oncilla, ocelots, and jaguarondi. You will see monkeys, coatis, over 600 species of birds and 115 species of fish, over 300 reptile and amphibian species.

There are no paved roads in La Amistad International Park, and most people get here by horseback.

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