INTERNATIONAL PARK LA AMISTAD
This park is located in the Range of Talamanca, is consider as the largest forest mountain system of the country, cover by unchanged tropical forest, which elevations ranging from 100 meters above sea level; the Kámuk hill with 3.549 meters and the Dúrika hill with 3.280 meters.
The park was created by Executive Order No. 13324-A, of February 4, 1982. Has an extension of 193,929 land hectares. It is called "International" because it spreads to neighboring Panamá in the territory of which 207,000 hectares are protected. The park is surrounded by the Indian Reserves Chirripó, Tayní, Telire and Talamanca of the Atlantic side and by the Indian reserves Ujarrás, Salitre and Cabagra of the Pacific Side of the Range of Talamanca. In 1982 the UNESCO declared Biosphere Reserve La Amistad and in 1983 as World Heritage Site, because of its outstanding universal value both from a scientific standpoint and the conservation and natural beauty. Its area includes wet forest, rainforest and cloud forest, as well as regions topped with peaks and rock masses where cold bogs are restricted to small areas of high altitude.
According to the classification of Holdridge life zones in the park there are seven life zones and six zones of transition. This feature added to the fact that Costa Rica serves as part of the biological bridge and iflter between North América and South America, is the great value of this park equipped with a high biodiversity in which we find an extraordinary number of habitats as a result of the differences of altitude, soil, weather and topography, such as moors, marshes, oak forest, strawberry trees forest, fern and mixed forest. The mixed or cloudy forest, high and wet cover the largest part of the territory and even the big oak forest whose branches remain loaded with epiphytes.
The fern forests are mostly composed by the fern Lomaria sp, of two meters high and for the sphagnum Sphagnum sp. Some of larger trees are: the oak, sweet cedar, the amarillon, the tirra, the candelillo, the ira rosa, the cypress parrot and the match. There have been observed more than 263 amphibians and reptiles, the most common are the lizard, the salamander and frogs. Among the mammals are the tapir, puma, jaguar, the white-faced monkey, the ocelot, the tolomuco and the jaguarundi lion. The birds are represented by 400 species, among which stand the quetzal, the crested eagle, the black guan, the acorn woodpecker and the harpy eagle.
It should be noted that the PILA protects the middle and upper basins of the rivers Ceibo, Cabagra, Mosca, Guineal, Singri and Canasta which main collector is the river Grande de Térraba in the Pacific side. In the Atlantic side stand the rivers Banano, Telire, Coen, Lari and Urén, which main collector is the river Sixaola. The capacity of these basins to provide drinking water to nearby communities is undeniable, especially considering that the population increases rapidly.
It also has to be considered that the mountain description system favors the raid of the moisture from the oceans, leading to the constant torrential rain, increasing the risk of landslides and floods. Hence the great value to justify the creation and existence of this park.
Park facilities and hours
The La Amistad International Park station at Sector Pittier is reached via San Vito de Coto Brus. Trails lead to Rio Canasta, La Catarata, Cerro Pittier and Valle del Silencio. The Tres Colinas Sector has trails that lead to Cerro Kamuk and Sabanas Esperanza. The Altamira Sector (near Buenos Aires, Puntarenas) has trails that lead to Valle del Silencio, Gigantes del Bosque, Canasta and Sabanas Esperanza.
There are two camping areas with restrooms, showers, drinking water and electricity. Also an observatory and research facilities are available.
Our reception desk will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about these or other tours. Tours can be booked through our receptionists prior to or during your trip.
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