Paramos of Costa Rica

Chirripo Peak looming on a sunny day

Paramo: At the Top of the Hill

Paramo is the ecosystem that exists at Costa Rica’s highest altitudes, starting at around 9,800 feet above sea level. Paramos are typically dominated by grasslands and shrubs, occupying the space where trees stop growing and where snow begins falling. In Central America, paramos occur in Costa Rica and Panamá. They are called “isthmian paramos” to distinguish them from the Andean paramos further south. Costa Rica doesn’t have very tall mountains, so when you go to its highest peak you won’t find snow there. But you’ll find the paramo. In Costa Rica, the paramo is located in the highest part of the country’s largest mountain range: Talamanca.
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