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Costa Rica Entrance Fees: How Much It Costs To Enter Costa Rica’s National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, And Biological Reserves

Costa Rica Entrance Fees: How Much It Costs To Enter Costa Rica’s National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, And Biological Reserves

NOTE: The content on this page was last updated on October 17th, 2017.

Update:

Given strong opposition from tour operators throughout Costa Rica, a freeze was initially put on the national park, wildilfe refuge, and biological reserve entrance fees increase originally set for August 1st, 2014. Soon after, the freeze was released; the Costa Rica entrance fees increase took effect November 1st, 2014. The below list of Costa Rica entrance fees is applicable for visits from November 1st, 2014 onward.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE COSTA RICA ENTRANCE FEES PRICE INCREASE

Attention all travellers! Costa Rica’s entrance fees, including national park entrance fees, wildlife refuge entrance fees, and biological reserve entrance fees increased in 2014 (thanks to decreto Nº 38295­). Here’s what you need to know about the price increase.

The Costa Rica entrance fees increases apply to everyone

The Costa Rica entrance fees increase means that each and every traveller (regardless of whether they opt to tour a protected land site on their own or with a guide) will be required to pay the current fee. For those who choose to visit a protected land site with a guide, unless the tour operator wishes to absorb the cost of the increased entrance fee on behalf of each traveller, it is likely that the cost of organized tours will increase too.

Very little change has been made to the payment of Costa Rica entrance fees

In most cases, the where, when, and how details regarding payment remain the same (i.e., the entrance fees may still be paid upon arrival at the protected land site by self-guided visitors and/or to a tour guide for those participating in organized tours). Exceptions to this rule include visits to Corcovado, Chirripó, and Caño Island, as these sites require advance payment (either via bank deposit by the traveller or via payment to a tour guide who will make the necessary bank deposit on the traveller’s behalf).

There is a loophole… but for Costa Rican nationals only

If, or inevitably when (as information tends to spread through online travel forums like wildfire) it becomes known that Costa Rica entrance fees payment may be avoided by visiting a protected land site on the second Wednesday of any given month, please note that this benefit is restricted to Costa Rican nationals only (the offering is a means to compensate local Costa Ricans for the increased cost of visiting their homeland’s protected land areas on any other day of any given month). Unfortunately international travellers are required to pay the increased Costa Rica entrance fees each and every day of the year.

The Costa Rica entrance fees increase is for good reason

As much as the travel community’s pocketbooks will bear the brunt of the change–a change that has been a decade in the making–its purpose is to better fund the protection of what draws most travellers to the country in the first place: Costa Rica’s stunning rainforest. Without proactive measures in place it would be difficult to maintain the country’s protected land areas and keep them as beautiful and as wildlife-ridden as they currently are, and as the cost of living increases, so too does the cost of protecting life in all of its non-human forms. Sure, the tipping point has been reached and the spillover has come at a cost to travellers, but the increase is a fair compromise to offset the mark that tourism leaves on the country, and it is nowhere as significant or as devastating as what it would cost the country, its inhabitants, and the environment if the protected land areas were not supported the way in which they currently are.

The Costa Rica entrance fees increase not only applies to Costa Rica national park entrance fees but to other protected land area entrance fees too

The following is a list of Costa Rican attractions, destinations, and sites together with their corresponding entrance fees following the August 2014’s increase:

Note:

  • Tax (13%) will be charged on top of the below entrance fee rates. For this reason, some tour guides/companies may increase their organized tour costs more than the entrance fee rates listed below in order to account for the additional tax expense.

Note:

  • The protected land areas marked in bold below are the most popular sites visited by international travellers.

COSTA RICA ENTRANCE FEES FOR NATIONAL PARK SITES

Listed in alphabetical order:

  • Agua Juan Castro Blanco National Park entrance fee: $10/person
  • Arenal Volcano National Park entrance fee: $15/person
  • Barbilla National Park entrance fee: $5/person
  • Barra Honda National Park entrance fee: $12/person
  • Braulio Carrillo National Park (Quebrada González and the Barva Volcano) entrance fee: $12/person
  • Cahuita National Park entrance fee: $5/person
  • Carara National Park entrance fee: $10/person
  • Chirripó National Park entrance fee: $18/person
  • Corcovado National Park entrance fee: $5/person
  • Diriá National Park entrance fee: $5/person
  • Guanacaste National Park entrance fee: $15/person
  • Irazú Volcano National Park entrance fee: $15/person
  • Isla Del Coco National Park entrance fee: $50/person
  • La Amistad National Park entrance fee: $10/person
  • La Cangreja National Park entrance fee: $10/person
  • Las Baulas National Park entrance fee: $12/person
  • Los Quetzales National Park entrance fee: $10/person
  • Manuel Antonio National Park entrance fee: $16/person
  • Marino Ballena National Park entrance fee: $12/person
  • Palo Verde National Park entrance fee: $12/person
  • Piedras Blancas National Park entrance fee: $10/person
  • Poás Volcano National Park entrance fee: $15/person
  • Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park entrance fee: $15/person
  • Santa Rosa National Park entrance fee: $15/person
  • Tapantí National Park (Macizo de la Muerte) entrance fee: $10/person
  • Tenorio Volcano National Park entrance fee: $12/person
  • Tortuguero National Park (RVS Barra del Colorado) entrance fee: $15/person
  • Turrialba Volcano National Park entrance fee: $12/person

COSTA RICA ENTRANCE FEES FOR WILDLIFE REFUGE AND BIOLOGICAL RESERVE SITES

Listed in alphabetical order:

  • Cabo Blanco Reserve entrance fee: $12/person
  • Camaronal Wildlife Reserve entrance fee: $12/person
  • Caño Island Biological Reserve entrance fee: $15/person
  • Caño Negro Wildife Refuge entrance fee: $5/person
  • Cipancí Wildlife Refuge entrance fee: $5/person
  • Golfito Wildlife Refuge entrance fee: $10/person
  • Grecia Forest Reserve (Bosque del Niño) entrance fee: $5/person
  • Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve entrance fee: $5/person
  • Iguanita Wildlife Refuge entrance fee: $5/person
  • Isla San Lucas Wildlife Refuge entrance fee: $12/person
  • Las Camelias Lagoon Wildlife Refuge entrance fee: $5/person
  • Maquenque Wildlife Refuge entrance fee: $5/person
  • Ostional Wildlife Reserve entrance fee: $12/person
  • Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge entrance fee: $10/person
  • Río Macho Forest Reserve (Villa Mills) entrance fee: $5/person

COSTA RICA ENTRANCE FEES FOR OTHER PROTECTED LAND SITES

Listed in alphabetical order:

  • Cerro Tortuguero entrance fee: $2/person
  • Guayabo National Monument entrance fee: $5/person
  • Tivives Protected Zone entrance fee: $5/person

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Which protected land site in Costa Rica is your favourite? Why?

Pura vida!

If you’re more of a visual learner, take a moment to view our gallery photos below from a handful of our visits to Costa Rica’s many protected land areas.

Costa Rica Travel Blog

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