means friendship in Spanish. This international park
extends across the border into Panama, for that reason
it is international. The Panamanian portion is 207,000
hectares in area while the Costa Rican part has 193,929
hectares. The United Nations has declared it and surrounding
protected areas, as a biosphere reserve (1982) and
later (1983) as a World patrimony site.
This park merges directly with Chirripo National Park,
along the top of the Talamanca Mountain Range, which
in turn borders other protected areas, making it part
of a really big complex of protected areas covering
major parts of the two countries. It is also bordered
on the Caribbean side, by the Chirripó, Tayní
and Telire indian reservations; and the Ujarrás,
Salitre and Cabagra reservations on the Pacific side.
The park's area include some very wet forest as well
as cloud forest, paramo and bare rocky peaks. According
to the Holdridge Life Zones Classification, there
are 7 different life zones and 6 areas in transition.
This area lies right on the land bridge between the
North and South American Continents, and as such,
is biologically of great value. There are examples
of Canadian flora growing side by side with the northern
most examples of the great Andean Puyas.
Among the habitants in the park, there are hectares
of high elevation fern swamps filled with Spagnum
moss. There are impressive stands of the great Costa
Rican oak with branches bowed down with masses of
epiphytes. With its many poorly explored areas, La
Amistad Park is a fantastic resevoir of abundant wildlife.
It contains the watersheds of numerous important rivers
and will be a source of water for future populations
down in the coastal areas.