Mangrove Forest Costa Rica FAQs

Mangrove Forest Importance

In this blog post, Caravan Tours offers a number of interesting facts about the importance of mangrove forests in Costa Rica, which will help make your fully guided tour all the more enjoyable.

Our all-inclusive Cost Rica tour includes a guided Tarcoles River float trip through the Carara National Park mangrove forest in Costa Rica.

What is a mangrove forest?

A mangrove forest in Costa Rica consists mainly of mangrove plants. These are primarily salt-tolerant shrubs or small trees that live in the coastal intertidal zone. A Mangrove forest creates a unique habitat for migratory birds, mammals, Crustacea, and fish; like no other tree species can.

It is quite easy to spot the dense tangled root system of mangrove trees. Some even describe mangrove trees as looking like they are standing on stilts (actually roots) above the water.

Where are mangrove forests found?

Mangrove forests can be found throughout the world in the tropics and in subtropical areas. Typically, you will find mangrove forests between 25° N and 25° S of the Equator. Mangroves can’t withstand freezing temperatures so are limited to areas within these latitudes.

As of 2000, the total area covered by mangrove forests around the world was 53,200 square miles. The largest mangrove forest in the world is called The Sundarbans and exists on the delta of Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers in India.

Did you know that 75% of the world’s mangrove forests exist in just 15 countries around the world? North and Central America make up just 15% of these mangrove forests. In the mangrove forests of Costa Rica, the trees exist on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

How are mangrove forests useful to man?

The mangrove forests in Costa Rica are significant biomes creating highly unique and productive ecosystems. The mangroves provide several useful goods and services to humans, including:

  • Fisheries – Mangroves are home to fish, crab, shrimp, and mollusk species.
  • Timber and plants – Wood from mangrove forests is insect and rot resistant.
  • Coastal protection – The dense root systems of mangrove forests act as nets to trap and prevent sediments from flowing down the river and out into the ocean. Mangrove forests also help prevent erosion of the coastline.
  • Eco-tourism – Several countries now take advantage of showcasing their mangrove forests to tourists who are wowed by the exceptional snorkelling, wildlife, flora, and fauna.

Mangrove forests also provide shelter and food for fish and organisms needing protection from predators.

What lives in the mangrove forest Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, there are 6 main species of mangrove trees (out of the 80 species that exist around the world) including:

  • Red Mangroves
  • Black Mangroves
  • Tea Mangrove
  • White Mangrove
  • Buttonwood Mangrove

Wildlife that you can spot in the mangrove forest Costa Rica:

  • Crabs
  • Caimans
  • Crocodiles
  • Boas
  • Tree frogs
  • River turtles
  • Iguanas
  • Whiteface capuchin monkeys
  • Squirrel monkeys
  • Howler monkeys
  • Herons
  • Parrots

About Caravan Tours

As a family run business, Caravan Tours has been offering fully guided tours throughout North and Central America for over 70 years, since 1952! We celebrate out 70th anniversary in 2022!

Along with a visit to wetland refuges and reserves, this Caravan vacation includes an afternoon float trip through the mangrove forest in Costa Rica on the Pacific coast. The float trip offers guests a once in a lifetime opportunity to spot all kinds of exotic birds and wildlife, including tropical caimans, boas, and several monkey species.

Call toll-free at 1-800-Caravan (227-2826) to learn more about our tours.