Costa Rica will keep its protected wildlife areas and all 29 of its national parks closed until at least May 1, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) announced Wednesday.
The measure is part of Costa Rica’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The country has also suspended mass gatherings, closed the borders to non-resident foreigners and has enforced strict driving restrictions.
“As long as the Environment Ministry (MINAE) does not have any instructions to the contrary, the protected wildlife areas will remain closed for the provision of ecotourism services,” said Pamela Castillo, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources.
“It is a measure that we will maintain as long as necessary, taking the health of all citizens as a priority.”
Costa Rica’s protected wildlife areas and national parks have been closed since March 20.
Park rangers will continue to monitor national parks and protected wildlife areas, SINAC said. The agency currently has 400 rangers stationed across 144 locations to protect against illegal activity.
Costa Rica has also closed all beaches nationwide and shuttered community gathering spaces — including most city parks.
The country has confirmed 483 cases of COVID-19, and health authorities have cited the national response as the reason for the relatively slow increase in cases.
Tourists who booked national park visits during the upcoming weeks should contact the appropriate email for rebooking options:
- Tortuguero National Park: email@example.com
- Chirripó National Park: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Poás Volcano National Park: email@example.com
- Corcovado National Park: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Isla del Caño Biological Reserve: email@example.com