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Staying in Costa Rica’s San Jose metropolitan area and looking for a fun, natural activity for the day? INBioparque is a great half-day trip close by that gives you an enjoyable and educational look at Costa Rica’s incredibly varied biodiversity all in one place.
Located conveniently in Heredia, only 20 minutes from downtown San Jose, InBioparque features a series of trails with representations of different types of Costa Rican forest: Rainforest, Pre-Mountainous Forest, Wetlands and Dry Forest. From a safe distance, you’ll observe wildlife such as vividly colorful poison dart frogs, butterflies, iguanas, sloths, caimans, birds, turtles, deer, fish, snakes, spiders and barnyard animals. Other interesting and popular stops along the tour are the stations with orchids, heliconias, bromeliads, a small working farm and medicinal and herbal gardens.
INBioparque is Costa Rica’s gateway to biological diversity and its National Parks. The National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio) was founded in 1989 as a private non-profit association dedicated to scientific research and to promoting the importance of conserving Costa Rica’s rich biological diversity. The theme park opened in 2000 to bring metropolitan residents, students and visitors into closer contact with Costa Rica’s natural resources in one location nearby.
The tropical zones of the American continent (Neotropics), where Costa Rica is located, contain a greater diversity of species and ecosystems compared with other tropical regions of the world. Obviously, this diversity is also much greater than that of temperate and cold regions. With a land area of only 51,100 km2 (0.03% of the planet’s surface) and 589,000 km2 of territorial waters, Costa Rica is considered to be one of the 20 countries in the world with the greatest biodiversity. Its geographic position, two coasts and mountainous system, provides an abundance of varied microclimates, which help explain its natural wealth of species and ecosystems. The more than 500,000 species that are found in this small country represent nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide. Of these 500,000 species, just over 300,000 alone are insects!
Thanks to the support of the private sector, which has created many private reserves, a little more than 25% of Costa Rica’s territory is under some category of protection. This is a conservation effort that few countries in the world have undertaken and in which Costa Rica has invested substantial resources for the well-being of present and future generations.
Learn all about the country’s conservation successes and challenges, and its national parks and reserves, during your day at INBioparque. They offer a guided half-day tour for 2 or more persons for $44 each, which includes round-trip transportation from your metropolitan-area hotel, park entrance, a short informational video, visit to the Biological Station, a guided walking tour through the park, and lunch at their Heliconias Restaurant. Regular entrance, which includes a guided group walking tour at set times, costs $23 per adult, $13 for kids ages 3-12 and $17 for students. Service facilities include 2 restaurants, souvenir shop, coffee shop, playground, an amphitheatre, ample parking and wheel chair accessibility.
INBioparque is open Fridays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, last entrance at 3:00 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, last entrance at 4:00 pm. The park is closed all other days. Guided Group Walking Tours are Friday through Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00 am, and at 2:00 pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Coming up on May 5 & 6 is a Garden Show. Arrange for your INBioparque day trip from your “home away from home” in the center of downtown San Jose, Hotel Ritzli.
This clean, comfortable, affordable and charming European-style guesthouse offers one of the best locations for seeing the metropolitan area. Hotel Ritzli is positioned only 2 blocks away from the Cathedral and Central Park, where the city’s main cultural centers converge.