Costa Rica

165 Total Protected Areas
69 With management effectiveness evaluations
Terrestrial Protected Areas
Marine Protected Areas
Other effective area-based conservation measures
0 Total Other effective area-based conservation measures
Polygons/Points ratio
Polygons 94%
Points 6%

Terrestrial Protected Areas Coverage

28.29% Coverage

14,609km2 Land Area Protected

51,636km2 Total Land Area

26% 6th National Report Coverage


20.36% With management effectiveness evaluations

10,511km2 Areas Assessed

Marine Protected Areas Coverage

2.61% Coverage

15,062km2 Marine and Coastal Area Protected

576,110km2 Marine Area Protected

3% 6th National Report Coverage


0.77% With management effectiveness evaluations

4,443km2 Areas Assessed

Disclaimer: These statistics might differ from those reported officially by countries due to difference in methodologies and datasets used to assess protected area coverage and differences in the base maps used to measure terrestrial and marine area of a country or territory.

IUCN Management Categories

Governance types

Sources (7)

  1. Wildlife Protected Areas, Costa Rica Updated: 2019 Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion (SINAC), Costa Rica
  2. UNESCO World Heritage Sites Updated: 2020 IUCN World Heritage Programme
  3. Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance Updated: 2020 Ramsar Secretariat, on behalf of Ramsar Contracting Parties
  4. Lapa Rios Reserve, Costa Rica Updated: 2015 The Long Run
  5. World Heritage Sites Updated: 2003 UNEP-WCMC
  6. UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve Updated: 2018 UNESCO-MAB
  7. UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserves Updated: 2012 UNESCO-MAB and UNEP-WCMC


National designations

  • National Park 28
  • Biological Reserve 8
  • Forest Reserve 9
  • National Monument 1
  • National Wildlife Refuge 54
  • Protected Zone 32
  • Absolute Natural Reserve 1
  • Wetland 11
  • Conservation Easement 1
  • Marine Management Area 2

Regional designations


International designations

  • UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 3
  • World Heritage Site (natural or mixed) 3
  • Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 12

Growth in protected area coverage

The graph excludes status years with no information reported (STAT_YR = 0).

Costa Rica Protected Areas

View all


UNEP-WCMC (2020). Protected Area Profile for Costa Rica from the World Database of Protected Areas, October 2020. Available at: