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National Parks of Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio National Park
|First Park||Poás Volcano National Park, 1955|
|Smallest Park||Manuel Antonio National Park, 16 km²|
|Largest Park||La Amistad International Park, 1991 km²|
There are currently 50 National Parks of Costa Rica, which are managed under the umbrella of SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion), a department of Costa Rica's Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE). All told, Costa Rica's protected areas encompass more than 25% of the country's total landmass. Many of these protected areas are national parks.
Costa Rica's progressive policies on environmental protection and sustainable ecotourism in the National Parks System have been lauded as a model for other countries. The rainforests, tropical forests, marine areas and wetlands of Costa Rica are the subject of many university and scientific organization studies. The enrichment of the world's knowledge of these important habitats is an invaluable contribution from the National Parks System of Costa Rica.
The Cordillera de Talamanca is home to an impressive collection of national parks and other preserved areas, including the La Amistad International Park, which extends into Panamá. On the southern Osa Peninsula is the internationally renowned Corcovado National Park, which preserves a remnant of sizeable lowland tropical rainforest that is unique in the world. Manuel Antonio National Park was listed by Forbes in 2011 among the world's 12 most beautiful national parks.