ABOUT COSTA RICA
Your Tropical Paradise Vacation
Life is good in Costa Rica, a friendly, democratic and peaceful country. It truly is the ideal tropical paradise for your next vacation! You can enjoy the pristine beaches, rainforest, volcanoes and mountains all in one trip! Nature lovers will especially enjoy the great variety of tropical plants while animal lovers will spot sharks, crocodiles, turtles, and toucans everywhere! For an action packed vacation you can surf, hike, raft, dive, deepwater fish, snorkel, and take canopy tours! For a relaxing time you’ll find beautifully unique golf courses and luxury spas.
You’ll also find many great accommodations in Costa Rica ranging from modern comforts to the most private and secluded environments, options available for any budget.
Costa Rica AT A GLANCE
Capital City: San Jose
Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April);
rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
Time Zone: GMT-6
Language: Spanish (official), English
Country Code: 506
DIVE IN DEEP TO COSTA RICA
Since the late 1980's Costa Rica became a popular nature travel destination, and its main competitive advantage is its well-established system of national parks and protected areas. It covers around 23.4% of the country's land area, the largest in the world as a percentage of the country's territory. This area is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, in a country that has only 0.03% of the world's landmass, but that is estimated to contain 5% of the world's biodiversity. The country also has plenty of world renowned beaches, both in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Its just a short distance between both coasts both by air and land, and several active volcanoes in between.
By the early 1990s, Costa Rica became known as the poster child of ecotourism. According to the Costa Rican Tourism Board, 46% of international tourists visiting the country in 2009 engaged in activities related to ecotourism, including trekking, flora, fauna, and bird watching, and visits to rural communities. However, most visitors look for adventure activities, which Costa Rica offers as well. Costa Rica was included by Ethical Traveler magazine in the 2011 and the 2012 list of The Developing World's 10 Best Ethical Destinations.
Costa Rica historically managed to stay away from the political turmoil and violence from which neighbouring nations still suffer. The nation constitutionally abolished its army permanently in the 1940s. It has also managed to be the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 oldest democracies, paying homage to its stance as a peaceful and politically stable nation. Costa Rica has also consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, and is cited by the UNDP as one of the countries that has attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels.
Costa Rica is ranked third in the world and first among the Americas in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index. And the New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica as the happiest nation in the world, both in 2009 and in 2012. This same organization (NEF) ranked Costa Rica as the "greenest" country in the world.
This nation has bewilderingly diverse culture, climates, flora, fauna, and landscapes. From rain forests, to dry tropical and temperate forests, to volcanoes, to Caribbean and Pacific beaches, to high mountains, and marshy lowlands.