Costa Rica comprises only 0.01 percent of the earth's landmass (less than 20,000 square miles), yet it is home to five percent of the planet's animal and plant species. There are more species of plants and animals per acre in Costa Rica than anywhere in the world. Biodiversity is evident everywhere: 10,000 species of plants, 850 species of birds, 800 species of butterflies, 500 species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
You don't have to travel far within the country to experience a different and unique ecosystem: mountains over 12,000 feet; active volcanoes; cloud and rain forests; waterfalls and tropical jungles; banana, sugar, pineapple, coffee, and papaya plantations; mangrove forest and coastal swamps; and beaches and marine environments that support a variety of water fowl, fish and crustaceans. Approximately 30 percent of Costa Rica is protected as national parks, biological and archeological reserves, and wildlife refuges.