What is Costa Rica? It’s peaceful, promising, and natural. It’s Pura Vida. The good life. A diverse culture with the tradition and spirit of a booming and beautiful country, full of optimism and promise. Costa Rica is much more than you expected… it’s a lifestyle!
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You might be arriving to learn Spanish, take your wedding vows, or find your world record catch offshore. You might be coming to find that perfect left-breaking wave, zip through the air in a sea of green, or challenge a mighty mountain river. You might just be coming to escape, stretch out, relax, and enjoy the party. You will not be disappointed.
Costa Rica can offer you all that, and much much more. From beautiful laid-back beach towns to raging parties along the coast, from rich, thick rainforest to valley vistas over quaint mountain villages.
Costa Rica is unlike any other country on the planet, with a rich history of stunning natural beauty, staunch human decency, progressive social democracy, and youthful education, optimism and vigor. It’s not North America, and it’s not South America.
The rumbling never ceases beneath your feet, whether down on the ocean edge or on a mountain’s top, in the depths of the capital, or a rocky riverbank. Costa Rica rumbles with life. Volcanos, surf, life, and lust. Costa Rica never stops moving. Whether it’s the flutter of a billion migrating butterflies or the raging rapids surging down from a mountain rainforest, the pulse of nature never ceases. Life loves Costa Rica. And Costa Rica loves it right back.
The sounds of life fill her towering volcanos, and her deep rich waters, from the hot lava bubbling forth to the soulful song of a family of whales. From the music pounding in the cities to the monkeys fighting in the trees, Costa Rica sings with life, cherishes it, celebrates it. Costa Rica treasures its natural wonders, and fights to protect them. Her communities and people are engaging the world to build on the future of Costa Rica, the world, and her living natural treasures. Vacation, preservation, education, relaxation. That is Pura Vida.
More than one million tourists visit Costa Rica each year. What draws so many people to this lightly advertised destination? Natural beauty and diversity are the answers. Costa Rica covers only 0.03 % of the surface of the planet but it has about 6 % of the world’s biodiversity. Visitors encounter oceans, beaches, rivers, mountains, and an abundance of flora and fauna. Twelve major life zones provide habitat for over 10,000 kinds of flowering plants, 850 bird species, 3,000 butterfly species, and 209 species of mammals. Volcanoes like Arenal in Alajuela Province or Irazu in Cartago Province, rainforests, cloud forests, lowland jungles, the Pacific coastline, and tranquil Caribbean beaches stretch across seven provinces. Thirty percent of the land is protected by national and private reserves, which harbor more than five percent of the world’s plant and animal species.
The Caribbean region of Costa Rica in Limon Province is noted for its variety of aquatic eco systems and its beautiful white and black sand beaches, providing a picturesque setting for activities such as sport-fishing, snorkeling, and sun-bathing. The Pacific coast boasts some of Costa Rica’s most famous beaches for surfing.
Costa Rica boasts 20 national parks, 8 biological reserves, and a wealth of other protected areas to enchant those who marvel at the wonders of nature. It draws ecotourists from around the globe. Activities include horseback riding, hiking mountainous paths in the cloud forests, and guided birdwatching tours.
Ticos, as the people of Costa Rica are known, are famous for being hospitable, and are quite happy to live up to their reputation. They seem to be well aware that their country is a special place, and they go out of their way to accommodate their visitors, pointing them in the right direction when they get lost, explaining things that might seem foreign to a foreigner, and helping make their stay as enjoyable as possible.
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