La Amistad International Park, also known as the Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves, is one of the premier ecotourism destinations of Central America. Shared between Costa Rica and Panama, La Amistad is one of the definitive wildlife reserves of Latin America. Most famous as being home to one of the largest numbers of species of tropical birds in the world, the reserve is also famous for its population of large cats.
The area around the Talamanca Mountains, one of the largest and most prominent ranges in Central America, was spared the worst ravages of the Colonial era thanks to dense forestation and relatively inland location. In what is now Costa Rica, as well as parts of Panama, many habitats remained intact that were badly damaged in other nearby countries. The international park was established in 1988 to protect the area from modern-day encroachments.
The Talamanca Mountains are the heart of what is left of Cental America’s native fauna. Over six-hundred species of tropical and sub-tropical birds can be found here, making it one of the world’s premier birdwatching destinations. Five species of large cats inhabit the park, including both Jaguar and Puma.
La Amistad International Park covers over 4,000 square km, roughly split between Costa Rica and Panama. The closest major city is San Jose on the Costa Rican side, approximately fifty miles to the west. The park is world famous for its ecotourism, especially on the Costa Rican side. The park is open year round. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: www.costaricabureau.com/nationalparks (official website).