Everyone planning to visit Costa Rica must know that the province of Guanacaste located in the northwestern part of the county is home to pristine beaches making it a site for world-class diving, adventure tours and fishing. Not only that, it is also a recognized World Heritage site. What does this mean?

Guanacaste was declared a World Heritage site in 1999 as a result of the World Heritage Committee’s efforts to preserve its great value to the locals’ cultural and natural diversity. The preserved site includes the Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge, Cocos Island National Park and Rincón de la Vieja National Parks. Why is this?

Important natural habitats supporting many diverse species are contained in these areas. These heritage sites are home to endangered animals including the False Vampire Bat, Saltwater Crocodile, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Jabiru Stork, Jaguar and many others belonging to the approximated 230,000 species in this area. The rare ecosystems of this area cause scientist from all over the world to visit Costa Rica.

The preservation of this area created a balance between tourism, fishery trades and the Ministry of Environment. An agreement was set up allowing local fishermen and tourist dive boats a limited access to the area. A strict set of rules back this privilege up which can be discontinued at any time.

Cocos Island National Park is a famous site for diving where large marine species like tuna, dolphins, rays and sharks abound. This is the only island in the entire tropical eastern Pacific to have a tropical rainforest. It also provides an essential habitat for marine wildlife.

It is true that Costa Rica is unique in its ecosystem and culture that the local populace and the government strive to preserve its environment. This makes even more people who appreciate nature’s beauty and mysteries visit Costa Rica.