The Andean Volcanic Belt is a major volcanic belt along the South American coast. The Ring of Fire is an area in the Pacific Ocean basin where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur due to the movement and collision of lithospheric tectonic plates.
Landforms of Costa Rica
Arenal National Park is located in Alajuela province in northwestern Costa Rica. The park encompasses the Arenal Volcano, an active andesitic stratovolcano. It was Costa Rica's most active volcano until 2010 and one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world.
The Central America Volcanic Arc is a chain of volcanic formations that extend from Guatemala to Northern Panama, parallel to the Pacific coastline of the Central American Isthmus. They range from major stratovolcanoes to lava domes and cinder cones.
Cocos Island lies off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and is the only island in the tropical eastern Pacific with a tropical rain forest. Surrounded by deep waters with counter-currents, Cocos Island National Park is admired by scuba divers for its populations of large marine species.
Coiba National Park, off the western coast of Panama, protects Coiba Island and 38 smaller islands as well as surrounding marine areas within the Gulf of Chiriqui. Coiba’s Pacific tropical moist forest maintains high levels of mammal, bird and plant endemism.
Cordillera de Guanacaste is a volcanic mountain range in northern Costa Rica, near the border with Nicaragua. The mountain range forms part of the southern region of the Continental Divide and contains a number of volcanic peaks as well as several protected areas.
The Cordillera de Talamanca is a mountain range that lies on the southeast half of Costa Rica and the far west of Panama. The range rises from sea level on the Caribbean side to over 12,000 ft and then drops back down to the General Valley on the Pacific side.
Golfo Dulce lies between the Osa Peninsula and the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Coronado Bay lies to the northwest. The peninsula contains a complex of national parks and protects one of the most significant stands of virgin rain forest in Central America.
Chirripó National Park is named for its most prominent feature, Cerro Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica. Five ecosytems found in the park include lowland tropical wet forest, premontane tropical wet forest, lower montane wet forest, montane wet forest and subalpine wet forest (páramo).
Nicoya Peninsula lies along the northern section of Costa Rica's Pacific coast. The Gulf of Nicoya separates the Nicoya Peninsula from the mainland of Costa Rica and encompasses a marine and coastal landscape of wetlands, rocky islands and cliffs.
Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park spans over 34,000 acres and helps protect both montane forests and dwarf cloud forests. Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, an active andesitic complex volcano, is set within the park and is one of six active Costa Rican volcanoes.