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Costa Rica National Park, Wildlife Refuge, And Biological Reserve Entrance Fees Set To Increase. Here’s How Much A Visit To Each Will Cost.

Costa Rica National Park, Wildlife Refuge, And Biological Reserve Entrance Fees Set To Increase. Here’s How Much A Visit To Each Will Cost.

NOTE: The content on this page was last updated on May 27th, 2017.

UPDATE: Given strong opposition from tour operators throughout Costa Rica, a freeze was put on the national park, wildilfe refuge, and biological reserve entrance fee increase originally set for August 1st, 2014. Unfortunately this freeze will soon be released, as the promised rate increase will take effect November 1st, 2014. Please see the list provided below for a confirmation of entrance fees applicable for visits starting November 1st, 2014 onward.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRICE INCREASE

Attention all travellers! Costa Rica’s national park, wildlife refuge, and biological reserve entrance fees are set to increase on August 1st, 2014 (thanks to decreto Nº 38295­ published at the end of April earlier this year). Here’s what you need to know about the price increase.

Ricky - Carara National Park
Ricky – Carara National Park

1. Entrance fee increases apply to everyone.

The entrance fee 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.

Nikki - Poas Volcano National Park
Nikki – Poas Volcano National Park

2. Very little change has been made to the operation of entrance fee payment.

In most cases, the where, when, and how details regarding payment remain the same (ie. the entrance fee 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).

Ricky - Arenal Volcano National Park
Ricky – Arenal Volcano National Park

3. There’s 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 the entrance fee 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 entrance fees 365 days per year.

Nikki - Tenorio National Park
Nikki – Tenorio National Park

4. The entrance fee 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 – its 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 is costing travellers, but the increase is a fair compromise to offset the mark that tourism leaves on the country and 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.

Ricky - Manuel Antonio National Park
Ricky – Manuel Antonio National Park

5. The entrance fee increase not only applies to national park sites but to other protected land areas too.

The following is a list of Costa Rican attractions, destinations, and sites together with their corresponding entrance fee rate as of August 2014 for international travellers:

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.

Ricky & Nikki - Irazu Volcano National Park
Ricky & Nikki – Irazu Volcano National Park

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

WILDLIFE/BIOLOGICAL RESERVE/REFUGE 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

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
Nikki & Ricky - Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
Nikki & Ricky – Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

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 Costa Rica protected land area visits.

Nikki and Ricky

DIY Costa Rica

Costa Rica tour discounts



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