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Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park Makes Global Top Ten List

top-10-national-parks-in-the-world

The world’s first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Congress created the U.S. National Park Service 44 years later (on August 25, 1916), with a mission “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Over the past century, the concept behind what documentarian Ken Burns called “America’s best idea” has been applied to more than 6,ooo national parks in nearly 100 different countries around the world. For US-based travelers , whose disposable income and vacation time are tighter than ever, national parks offer a great return on investment in terms of nature, wildlife and outdoor recreation.

But not all national parks are created equal. Some are too crowded. Some fail to measure up to visitor expectations. Some are simply too remote to fit into most travelers’ budgets. Still, a “must-see” list of national parks would number in the hundreds, if not thousands. So consider this our subjective guide to the Top 10 National Parks in the World, and please share your favorites in the comments!

Top 10 National Parks- Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Corcovado National Park (Costa Rica)

Referred to by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity,” this 164-square mile national park on the Osa Peninsula is Costa Rica’s largest. Within its borders are diverse ecosystems, including montane forest, cloud forest, prairie and mangrove swamp.

The volume and variety of wildlife you’ll find there is unbelievable. All four Costa Rican Monkey species, two kinds of Sloths, two types of Anteaters, Collared Peccary, Caiman, Crocodiles, Poison Dart Frogs and hundreds of colorful bird species are commonly seen. It’s also home to rare species such as the Baird’s Tapir, Jaguars and Harpy Eagles.

Just off the coast of the park you’ll find Caño Island, which offers exceptional snorkeling and Scuba diving opportunities. The protected waters are home to countless Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Sharks, Rays and even Humpback Whales, who come there to breed each winter.

Top 10 National Parks- Galapagos Islands National Park

Galapagos National Park (Ecuador)

Named the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, this archipelago of volcanic islands 563 miles off the coast of Ecuador has fascinated mankind since Charles Darwin’s day.

The landscapes are dynamic and remarkably diverse, from the lush green flora of the Santa Cruz highlands (where the famed Galapagos Tortoise roams wild) to the harsh, alien lava fields on Bartolomé. It’s also home to some of the world’s most fascinating endemic species, from ocean-feeding Marine Iguanas to comical Blue-Footed Boobies and diminutive Galapagos Penguins.

This is the only place in the world where wildlife has virtually no fear of humans: Curious Galapagos Sea Lions swim right up to you, and birds such as the Waved Albatross and Flightless Cormorant nest right beside marked hiking trails. In short, it’s a must-see for anyone who loves nature and wildlife.

Top 10 National Parks in the World- Grand Canyon

Photo by Tobias Alt via GFDL

Grand Canyon National Park (USA)

There’s a reason this age-old family favorite is the second most visited National Park in America, attracting over 5 million people each year.

It’s big– 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, a mile deep– encompassing over 1900 square miles. Considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, its resplendent colors are the result of 5-6 million years of geologic history revealed by the mighty Colorado River.

Tourists crowd the rim in summer, but hiking into the canyon reveals ecosystems ranging from desert to forest. In addition to wildlife such as Black Bear, Elk and California Condors, the canyon has historically been home to the Pueblo people, who consider it a sacred site.

Top 10 National Parks in the World- Great Barrier Reef

Photo by Sarah Ackerman via CC BY 2.0

Great Barrier Reef National Park (Australia)

Considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, the planet’s largest coral reef system is also one of its most endangered. This is in large part due to accelerated coral bleaching caused by global warming, and an increase of tourists eager to see it while it’s still relatively healthy.

The Great Barrier Reef is actually composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretched out across an area of around 133,000 square miles. Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, it’s home to 30 species of cetaceans, over 1,500 species of fish, six species of sea turtles, and around 125 species of sharks and stingrays.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site also includes mangroves and salt marshes on the coast, which provide fertile breeding grounds for saltwater crocodiles and frogs. Its islands serve as temporary or permanent homes to around 1.5 million birds (215 species) for nesting and roosting.

Top 10 National Parks in the World- Jim Corbett National Park

Photo by Soumyajit Nandy via CC BY-SA 3.0

Jim Corbett National Park (India)

Established in 1936 (when it was known as Hailey National Park), India’s oldest national park was created to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. Named after the British/Indian hunter-turned-conservationist, the park was the first to come under the Indian government’s Project Tiger initiative.

Located in the sub-Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, the park’s 201 square miles includes diverse landscapes such as hills, rivers, marsh, grassland and a lake, with elevations ranging from 1,300 to 4,000 feet. Dense forest covers nearly 75% of the park, with 110 types of tree, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species.

Corbett National Park is one of 13 areas in India and Nepal protected by WWF’s Terai Arc Landscape Program. In addition to the Bengal Tiger, the program aims to preserve flagship species such as the Asian Elephant and the Indian Rhinoceros by restoring forest corridors for improved migration between parks.

Top 10 National Parks- Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park (South Africa)

One of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park covers over 7,500 square miles. It’s part of the UNESCO-recognized Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve (3rd largest in the world), which encompasses over 4.8 million hectares of savannah, grassland and forest on the border with Mozambique.

South Africa’s oldest national park (est. 1926) is home to an exceptional array of animals, including 517 bird species, 147 species of large mammals, 114 reptile species, and plenty of rare wonders (including Black Rhinos and the gorgeous, but Critically Endangered, African Wild Dog).

With 9 main gates allowing access to the various camps within the park, it’s easy enough to visit for a day. But with over 27,000 Buffalo, 11,000 Elephants, 5,000 Giraffes, 3,000 Hippos, 2,000 Hyenas, 150,000 Impalas, 2,800 Lions, 2,000 Leopards, 6,000 Rhinos and 17,000 Zebras in the Kruger Park area, you can easily spend a week or more and never get tired of exploring its vast expanse.

Top 10 National Parks in the World- Manu National Park

Photo by Corey Spruit via CC BY 2.0

Manú National Park (Peru)

Located just 3 hours from Cusco, this 11,800-square mile park located just 3 hours from Cusco is rapidly emerging as a world-renowned hotspot for birdwatchers.

The biosphere reserve, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, contains over 1000 different species of birds (from Andean Cock-of-the-Rock and Hoatzin to Macaws and Spix’s Guan)– more than the United States and Canada combined!

But Manú National Park’s remarkable biodiversity doesn’t end there: With ecosystems ranging from tropical rainforests to montane grasslands at elevations of nearly 14,000 feet, it’s also home to exotic wildlife such as Jaguars, Pumas, Giant Otters, Brazilian Tapir, Capybaras, Spectacled Bears, two species of sloths, and 14 species of monkeys.

Top 10 National Parks- Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park (Tanzania)

Though it’s not nearly as well-known as Serengeti National Park or the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire won our hearts thanks to the impressive array of wildlife we saw during our short visit.

The sixth largest park in Tanzania at 1,100 square miles, its key draw for animals is the Tarangire River, which becomes the area’s only source of water during the dry season. This may explain why the area has become a huge draw for Elephants, which we saw by the dozens during our 2015 visit.

The park has a number of other unique features, including massive Baobab trees, massive termite mounds that often serve as home to dark mongooses, and the famous tree-climbing lions. It’s also a major draw for bird-watchers, as the swamps on Tarangire attract one of the world’s most stunning arrays of breeding birds (over 550 species).

Top 10 National Parks in the World- Tikal National Park

Photo by Chensiyuan via GFDL

Tikal National Park (Guatemala)

The only national park on this list that’s more focused on history and culture than nature and wildlife, Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites of pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Located in a rainforest in northern Guatemala, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Inhabited from the 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D., the city included around 3,000 structures covering an area of over six square miles. Among the impressive limestone ruins are the remains of temples that towered over 230 feet high, large royal palaces, numerous smaller pyramids, inscribed stone monuments, seven pok ta pok ball game courts.

The massive city is obviously the main attraction here, but Tikal National Park also boasts natural wonders worth exploring. Part of the much larger Maya Biosphere Reserve, the park includes 57,600 hectares of wetlands, savannah, tropical broadleaf and palm forests that are home to Jaguars, Pumas, several species of monkeys and anteaters, and more than 300 species of birds.

Top 10 National Parks- Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park (Chile)

This gem in Chilean Patagonia is part of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado de Chile (National System of Protected Forested Areas of Chile). Encompassing 242,242 hectares and averaging around 150,000 annual visitors, it’s among the largest and most visited parks in Chile.

Its attractions are many. There’s the blue icebergs of Lago Grey that break off from Grey Glacier, part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field (the world’s second largest contiguous ice field outside of the poles). There’s wildlife such as Foxes, Huemul Deer, Guanacos, Pumas and the massive Andean Condor. There is the archaeological history of the Milodon Caves, and ancient wall art along the Fauna Trail.

But the park’s most distinctive features are the three granite peaks of the Paine Massif, which rises 9,350 feet above sea level. The surrounding valleys, rivers and lakes provide the scenic foreground, but these “Towers of Blue” (for which the park is named) are Patagonia’s most majestic natural wonder.  –Bret Love; photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett unless otherwise noted

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Top 10 National Parks in the World

BIO: Bret Love is a journalist/editor with 23 years of print and online experience, whose clients have ranged from the Atlanta Journal Constitution and American Airlines to National Geographic and Yahoo Travel. Along with his wife, photographer/videographer Mary Gabbett, he is the co-founder of ecotourism website Green Global Travel and Green Travel Media.

Learn more about touring Corcovado National Park with private bilingual, local guides at www.crocodilebay.com

Costa Rica Fishing Report – July 16, 2013 – Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica

Roosters  Rampage and Sailfish “Fly High” in July!
Costa Rica Fishing Report- July 16th, 2013

by Will Briegel
from  www.crocodilebay.com

Sailfiish Fly High In July

 

Will Briegel Costa RicaThe   last few weeks of fishing have put the “sizzle” in our summer season for families,  couples, and avid anglers who visited us looking to do some amazing fishing, relax in our Spa or  enjoy the intense bio-diversity our area has to offer.

Mother  Nature decided to pull the bait and switch “ON US” for once and  delivered anglers flurries of high-flying sailfish instead of the black marlin  that usually start to trickle in this time of  the year. As a matter of fact the blue marlin have been sticking around with the sailfish and several anglers released Blues to 300lbs as well. Mrs. Nature also decided that everyone deserved a shot at lots of   yellowfin tuna, roosterfish, snapper and pompano.

At least two of our guests  hit grand slams and one of them was only 15. As forecasted by Todd Staley, the humpback whales have also moved into the gulf and are giving anglers and other guests great photo opportunities and the memories of a lifetime.

Large Cubera Snapper Costa Rica

Blue DiamondYvonne and Ferrell Jones
(growers and producers of famous “Blue Diamond” Smoked Almonds) decided to bring their  grand children Cody and Clayton Cornell down for the fishing adventure of a lifetime. The fish may have thought they were “off the  hook” and  able to school these youngsters, but 15-year-old Cody Cornell  decided he wanted to catch every last one of them, and  almost did. Cody  caught several Roosters to 60lbs, a monster cubera snapper in the 50lbs range, several  large sailfish (90 to 130), and countless tuna to hit the Grand Slam landing himself a spot on  our coveted Wall of Fame (See Cody’s pic aobove of the big cubera Snapper that landed Cody on our Wall of Fame!)

Sailfish Costa Rica


Young Clayton is missing his two front teeth, but that didn’t seem to stop the sailfish from biting!

Mrs. Yvonne Jones proved that she can take on large costa rican billfish any day with this large sailfish. It seems people of all ages young, and elderly had great luck with inshore and offshore species this week.

Wave
Cody, Clayton and Grandma grin at Cody’s larger than life Roosterfish

Enjoying Sashimi
Their final night at the resort they enjoyed…what else?? Fresh Sashimi!!!


Here’s a homespun video shot by young Clayton of his brother releasing a sail!

Tony  Giorgi came to Crocodile Bay to target a single species: Roosterfish,considered by many to be the toughest fighting fish pound for pound – and  one of the most glamorous with its shimmering black stripes and 7 point  comb-over. Roosterfish can be caught year-round at Crocodile Bay Resort and  when  the roosters are on a “run” anglers  can get into hours of non-stop fighting action.

Costa Rica Roosterfish

Tony  released seven (7) Roosters one day and on other days did battle with sailfish and several plates of previously  swimming sushi that he was kind enough to share with members of the Crocodile Staff,  myself included!  
Thanks Tony!

Costa Rica Roosterfish

Costa Rica Sailfish

Tony  Giorgi owns a hunting and Bass fishing guide service called BassNBoars in northern California and is rumored to be among the  top Bass guides in the area – if you’re ever out that way, pay him a visit  www.bassnboars.com
Father  and Son tandem Alan and Robert Brightman who took a chance looking for Sailfish  in July landed sailfish daily with young Robert pictured here with a monster  Sailfish. The next day the dynamic duo went 4 for 4 on sails and left with the tell tale “Crocodile Smile” on each of  their faces! Robert has fished all over the world and was very pleased with the amount of sailfish we put him on! Hope to see back next year!

Sailfish
Another youngster, Allan Brightman releases his first sailfish!

African Pompano
If you haven’t tried African Pompano, you’re missing a real treat! One of our favorite inshore species to catch and eat!

Roosterfish Costa Rica

Tuna Time

Mr. Jenkins owner of a Marriott Residence Inn Hotel In Daytona brought his son Kieth down for the Crocodile Bay “Tails and Whales” Package and have been getting plenty of both! On inshore days they caught nice pompano, roosters, and jacks and actually saw this young humpback close to shore..watch out – Breach, don’t beach! Offshore it was tuna galore following spinner dolphin closely, they also raised and released several sails.

This  time of year we also welcome guests who like to mix the fishing with adventure eco-tours and or a luxury spa experience! National Geographic    has been quoted as saying our area the Osa Peninsula is “the the most biologically intense place on Earth”. Our award winning eco-director Dennis Atencio loves to  prove this fact to any guest who doesn’t’t believe it with one of our full day rainforest tours. Check out  his monthly eco-report here that shows  the amazing diversity of wildlife and scenery to be found in our very own back  yard! Monkeys, birds, sloths, and other amazing species!

Wave
Hello! A Humpback whale waves to our guests as they look for tuna!

The Humpback whales inside our gulf have been spotted  daily (a calf pictured below gets very close to shore). The whales have started  to move in for their annual migration and their numbers and your chances to see them only increase as  me move into August, September and October. This weekend we also saw more black  and blue marlin moving into the area as well as some floating logs with birds on top that  usually turn into nice pick-up joints for Dorado! Tuna continue to run with the porpoises which have kept plates full and chopsticks chopping. Some of our guests including Dave Jenkins from Florida had  sashimi right on the boat…how fresh is that (drool).

Wave

August Rooster Rally at  Crocodile Bay Resort! Don’t miss your shot at a complimentary Replica Roosterfish Display from  Gray Taxidermy (replica mount) – a trophy and gift from Crocodile Bay –  for the angler who catches the MOST  roosterfish in August – his or her largest Roosterfish(or roosterfish of choice) will be immortalized by Gray’s Taxidermy and shipped to his or her home!(shipping charges not included)

People have been having so much fun catching  Roosters within the past couple of weeks we  decided to make the entire month of August a Rooster Rally. All you have to do to qualify and enter is sign-up HERE, show-up  and catch LOTS of Roosterfish. August is also a great month to target Marlin  and several inshore species like pompano, snapper, amberjack, and  Spanish mackerel.  In September we’re also  offering 25%  off peek season rates to curb your flight costs to our beautiful country.
The Legendary Todd  Staley will return from his birthday and visit to the ICAST Fishing Show in Las Vegas next  week for the August Costa Rica Fishing Report.

Until then, tight lines and crocodile  smiles to everyone. Hope to see you all down soon doing some catching  in Costa Rica!

Will Briegel

Filling in for Todd Staley,
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
www.crocodilebay.com

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April Spools! Costa Rica Fishing Report – April 1st 2013

This is no April Fools! – Offshore fishing heated up this past week for the Red Bone/Boomer Esiason tournament to “Catch the Cure” to Cystic Fibrosis. “The month of March has brought the best fishing for sailfish I have seen in 7 years.” – Todd Staley.

Costa Rica Fishing Report March 2013 by Todd Staley:

Todd Staley Costa Rica Fishing DirectorProbably one of the most memorable days in Mitch Krenk’s life was winning a Super Bowl ring with the Chicago Bears in 1985. Another shining moment he probably won’t soon forget is taken the celebrity division in the recent Boomer Esiason – Redbone Tournament fundraiser held here at Crocodile Bay  Resort, Costa Ruca. After a slow start on day one, Krenk’s boat landed 12 sailfish the second day of the 2 day event, and Krenk who had never caught a sailfish before finished with 6 releases.

 

 

 

 


Chicago Bear Mitch Krenk hams it up with a “mullet” hair piece.

Total points champion for the event which consisted of points for billfish and roosterfish went to Kelly Fiaman who scored with 7 roosterfish. Another NFL great Dave Rimington, fishing with Fiaman, finished with 5 roosters. Teammate Rob Hodel added the clincher and the team took first place in the inshore division with 13 roosterfish.

The tournament which was formally known as the Costa Rica Classic is over a decade old and has raised millions for Cystic Fibrosis and the children afflicted with the disease here in Costa Rica. Former Denver Bronco lineman Mark Cooper and tournament comedian also was on hand to keep everyone’s sides hurting.

The month of March has brought the best fishing for sailfish I have seen in 7 years. Boats have been raising double digits consistently, with days of seeing 15 to 20 sails per boat more common than a rarity. Several boats raised 30 or more sails a day. Every time it slowed for a day and I thought the run was over, the next day the numbers were right back up there again.

Roosterfish have been a different story. We have had to work hard for the prized inshore gamefish and most anglers gave up early and ran offshore for the sure bet on sailfish. Yellowfin tuna also haven’t showed lately but with so many sails making drags sing, no cares.


Dave Rimington who spent his career knocking people on their keesters in the NFL gently handles a baby rooster before letting it go

Costa Rica Roosterfish
Inshore champion Kelly Fiaman with one of his many roosters


Closing Awards Ceremony – Dave Rimington Right

Spring Specials at Crocodile Bay Resort!

“Spouse on the House” Fishing Package Get a free $1,595 Spa vacation for your wife FREE when you book any fishing package of three (3) days or more!

Don’t take our word for it – Here is a testimonial from Brian Tooms on his fishing trip with his wife Trish this past week at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica!

“We honeymooned in Crocodile Bay in 2007 after getting married in Los Vegas on the way down.
This year to celebrate my retirement from 37 years of being a Locomotive engineer with Canadian National Railways my wife said we could go pretty much anywhere in the world for a trip. She knew it would be a fishing trip and she was surprised and pleased that I picked Crocodile Bay.
My wife has a severe water phobia and she has been getting a lot better and this last trip you would never know. That is due in a large part to the professionalism of the guides, captains and mates that helped her and made her feel relaxed and comfortable on the water.
Trish surprised herself by going out in a kayak for the first time and having a fantastic time. The spa is a huge plus and she is always telling her friends about it, and the animal sanctuary where she returned to see her buddies Sweetie and Poppy.
The whole setting, wildlife, friendly staff, the other guests that you meet, all make it a fantastic experience for couples. On the water we saw the whale sharks, hundreds of dolphins surrounding the boat, pilot whales and scores of birds.
The fishing was amazing, some days were slower than others and Trish caught her first sailfish during a doubleheader that was incredible. She is so proud of being able to do it herself she bought a carved sailfish and a picture frame to put on her desk at work.
I am addicted to the take of a billfish on a fly rod, it’s the ultimate dry fly fishing and anything else doesn’t measure up so you have ruined me for any other fishing:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I caught a 200lb blue marlin on the fly on our honeymoon that was my fish of a lifetime.