About 25 percent of tiny Costa Rica’s land area has been set aside in national parks and protected areas — perhaps not surprising given the government’s goal for it to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. Its features include mountains, volcanoes, waterfalls, lakes and islands.
Its largely tropical climate supports a rich variety of flora (including numerous orchids) and fauna (from monkeys and sloths to birds and reptiles).
Costa Rica has created the country’s biggest marine protected area.
Five of the seven species of sea turtles live in the Pacific or Caribbean shores of Central America.
Natives of the Talamanca Indigenous Reserve sustain their way of life by sharing it with visitors.