Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The Area de Conservación Guanacaste site in Costa Rica was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999. The site has the most intact inshore Pacific marine ecosystem between the Panama Canal Zone and Mexico, with major nutrient-rich upwelling currents, resulting in high biological productivity. The area includes key habitat for notable threatened or rare animal species, such as the jaguar (Panthera onca), jabiru stork (Jabiru mycteria), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtle, pictured here.

Today, over 40 World Heritage sites are listed for their marine values. Together, they can be considered the "Crown Jewels of our Ocean" and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. Learn more about this and other marine World Heritage sites.