International Costa Rican-Panamenian Friendship Park (La Amistad)
From Costa Rica Travel Guide: Vacation and Travel tips
La Amistad International Park
The La Amistad International Park is a shared effort of Costa Rica and Panama. This park, better known in its shortened version, La Amistad, or Friendship Park, is the largest wilderness area in Costa Rica. It covers almost 200,000 hectares and is located in the Talamanca Mountain Range. The park protects a plethora of flora and fauna and the wildlife is particularly rich here. La Amistad's great biodiversity (seven life habitats and six transitional zones) comes from an immense variation in altitude, climate and topography. Vegetation changes from very moist forests and rainforests to cloud forests and paramo (high, exposed land with stunted trees) as the territory climbs from 150m on the Caribbean side and 850m on the Pacific side to the highest points at Cerro Kamuk (3549m) and Cerro Durika (3280m).
The park is home for many endangered species such as the jaguar, cougar, jaguarondi, ocelot, harpy eagle and other mammalian fauna such as white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, anteaters, sloths, armadillos, pacas, deer, and agoutis. The park has the nation's largest population of Baird's tapirs. The rainforest environment also includes collared peccaries, solitary eagles, resplendent quetzals, orange-breasted falcons, sulphur-winged parakeets, hummingbirds, clay-colored robins, and well over 300 other bird species. The number of insect species is innumerable.
There are two camping areas with restroom facilities, showers, drinking water and electricity. There is also an observatory and research center.
How to get to La Amistad
From San Jose- • Interamerican Highway to San Isidro de Perez Zeledon • then south to San Vito de Coto Brus • continue on to Cerro Punta and drive another 3 miles • you will find the La Amistad ranger station in the town of Las Nubes