The country of Costa Rica is beautiful with long stretches of undeveloped beaches and dense jungles overflowing with exotic wildlife. Costa Rica also is home to active volcanoes, lush valleys and crystal clear rivers and lakes. The country not only offers a great climate but it also has a neighborly atmosphere with a low cost of living, excellent health care and a stable democracy.
Costa Rica receives over 2 million tourists yearly, all who enjoy the relaxed environment lounging on beaches, surfing the waves or zip lining across tree canopies. Most tourists however tend to stick to the well-known beach towns and the Central Valley.
San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital is oftentimes dismissed as an ugly urban sprawl; however, the city features some excellent cafes and restaurants along with a wonderful arts scene. The Valle Central region is the country’s agricultural belt and is home to several of the finest volcanoes in the country, including the Volcan Poas and the dormant Volcan Irazu a peculiar lunar landscape high above the regional capital Cartago.
Costa Rica’s tourism season runs from late November to late April, which coincides with the winter season in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.
The country is predominantly Roman Catholic and as a result, most of the nation’s holidays are religious based. Holy Week (Easter Week) is one of the biggest holiday times in Costa Rica and will see many people, both native and tourist trekking to the beaches for vacation.
How to Get There
Getting to and from Costa Rica is quite easy as most international airlines have daily flights.
Fun Tips about Costa Rica
Before you pack your bags to head out to this popular destination spot in Central America here are some quick facts you should know:
- Costa Ricans are mostly of European descent, an estimated 10 % of the country’s population is however Nicaraguan. Local indigenous tribes the Boruca, Chorotega, Guaymi, Bribri, Kekoldi and Cabecar account for 1% of the total population.
- Education is free and mandatory for all Costa Rican citizens. Their education system is rated the best in all of Latin America.
- A 1949 constitution guarantees freedom of religion although the official state religion is Roman Catholicism.
- Costa Rica is the second smallest Latin American country.
- It was ranked the “5th Greenest Country” in 2012 by The Environmental Performance Index (EPI).
- The country has gained international recognition for its modern health care system and is ranked number 36th by the World Health Organization (WHO). It has one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates at 77 years.
- Costa Rica is rich with natural resources and generates 78% of its own renewable energy by hydroelectric means.
- Costa Rica is a relatively homogenous society, however, the Caribbean province of Limon is home to thousands of Afro-Costa Ricans who observe the culture and traditions of their Jamaican ancestors.
- Since Costa Rica is situated in close proximity to the equator, the sun rises and sets at roughly the same time throughout the year. There is no daylight savings time.