San Lucas Island is the latest region to be named a national park, taking the Central American country’s total to 30.
This means the percentage of Costa Rica’s landmass that is declared protected has risen from 26% to 28%.
San Lucas Island national park is located in the Gulf of Nicoya and home to a range of wildlife including howler monkeys, spiders, snakes, deer and pheasants.
The new park has seen an investment of more than £224,000, resulting in the addition of new walking trails, tourist facilities such as toilets, water and electricity systems, and a 24-hour surveillance system.
Serving as a prison until 1991, San Lucas Island also now has 50 tour guides available to showcase the isle’s history.
The objective of this new national park designation is to support sustainable tourism and contribute to the socio-economic development of the area.
Gustavo Segura Sancho, Costa Rica’s tourism minister, said: “San Lucas Island is part of Costa Rica’s history and heritage, so we are very pleased to re-open it as the country’s 30th national park.”
“It will greatly surprise visitors looking for quieter spots when on holiday”.
San Lucas Island is accessible via a 40-minute boat ride from the city of Puntarenas, which is 60 miles from San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital.