Cuenca Embalse Arenal

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Cuenca Embalse Arenal

  • Country: 
    Costa Rica
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    67,296 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    10°30'N 84°51'W
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Cuenca Embalse Arenal.16/03/00; Guanacaste, Alajuela; 67,296 ha; 10°30'N 084°51'W. Includes Protected Areas. A predominantly human-made lacustrine wilderness area, the site plays a significant hydrological, biological and ecological role in the natural functioning of the Embalse Arenal water catchment in the central part of the country. It holds special value for one or more endemic species or communities of flora and fauna in each of seven protected areas and contains 1,131 species of flora, 884 of them of potential ornamental use. It contains populations of endemic bromelia Pitcairnia funckiae and sustains threatened and endangered species of fauna, such as the mammals Tapirus bairdii (Baird's tapir) and Leopardus pardalis (ocelot), and birds such as Cephalopterus glabricollis and the Amazilia boucardi hummingbird. The wetland provides benefits related to hydropower generation, irrigation, tourism (water sports), recreational fishing and consumption, grazing, domestic agriculture and irrigation, agriculture and aquaculture. A management plan was implemented in 1997. Approximately 80% of the existing legislation is being enforced to regulate activities in the wetland and other protected areas. Environmental education programs are being implemented to involve organized groups, farmers, community leaders, teachers and schoolchildren in the search for better opportunities for the wise use of natural resources. Ramsar site no. 1022. Most recent RIS information: 2000.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • national conservation area incl. 7 wildlife areas and 2 " wetlands"
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)