Costa Rica is an astonishingly biodiverse country, with more than 500,000 species, accounting for nearly 4% of all the species in the world.
Located in Central America, Costa Rica shares borders with Nicaragua and Panama, and has two, very different, coastlines – one facing the Caribbean Sea and the other facing the North Pacific.
A rugged mountain range runs like a spine down the centre of the country, all the way from the north-west to the south-east. Within this range are a number of active volcanoes.
Around half of Costa Rica is cloaked in trees, with tropical rainforest, tropical dry forest and cloud forest types all found here. The country’s coastal waters are also home to a whole host of fascinating marine life, including sea turtles, manatees, sharks and rays.
Although Costa Rica has a fairly forward-thinking approach to conservation, its natural environment still faces a wide variety of threats including deforestation and conversion of natural habitat for farming, soil erosion, and pollution. Its rich seas are also coming under pressure – particularly from unsustainable fishing practices.