Amazingly, the Republic of Costa Rica has been known to be the top nature travel destination since 1980. This could be traced by their evident rich biodiversity. Added to this also is their edge of having a well-established system. The preservation and promotion of national parks and protected areas have invited so many tourists to drop by this beautiful country. Surrounded by the blue colors of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, this added more to the magnificent views of the country where world renowned beaches could be seen. With all these and more, you could engage in many eco-tourism activities that only Costa Rica could offer!
Important and Interesting Facts About Costa Rica
- There are more than 121 volcanic formations in Costa Rica, and seven of them are active. Poas Volcano has the second widest crater in the world and Arenal is one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world.
- Costa Rica (slightly smaller than Lake Michigan) is in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua on the north and Panama on the south, the Pacific Ocean on the West, and the Caribbean Sea on the East.
- There are 800 miles of coastline in Costa Rica between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
- One of the most eco-minded countries in the world, 25-percent of land in Costa Rica is protected.
- Butterfly Sanctuary. Approximately 10-percent of the world’s butterflies live in Costa Rica.
- Bananas and coffee are the two primary agricultural exports from Costa Rica.
- The altitude varies from sea level (much like the state of Florida) to well over 12,000 feet. The mountainous region is in the north and central part of the country. There are more than 200 volcanoes, and about half of these are active at times.
- Shrouded in clouds, the stunning Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has a unique air of mystery to it. A distinctive mountain rainforest where the humidity is usually 100%, Monteverde is home to more than 3000 species of animals and plants.
- One of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica, the beautiful Arenal is indeed a sight to behold. Visit La Fortuna, a tiny town near the base of the volcano and you will not regret the sheer beauty. While here don’t forget to check out the marvelous Hot Springs, a tropical paradise where you can relax both your mind and body.
- Tamarindo, Playa Langosta & Playa Grande. Located along the north Pacific Coast, Tamarindo and its surrounding beaches are some of the most easily accessible beach towns in the region. Boasting crystal clear turquoise water and pristine weather, Tamarindo is one of the most popular tourist destinations for good reason. Tamarindo has a little something to offer everyone. Whether a family is in search of an adventurous getaway or a couple is looking to relax on their honeymoon, this town has the amenities and serenity of several other destinationsin one locale.
- Manuel Antonio & Manuel Antonio National Park. What this park lacks in size, it makes up for in the incredible wealth of attractions found here. Stunning tropical beaches, an amazing array of birds and wildlife, rich dense forestation, easy accessibility and a plethora of things to do, all make this park one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.
- Tortuguero National Park. A key turtle breeding ground in the Caribbean, the Tortuguero National Park is the habitat and nesting ground of four of the eight species of marine turtles in the world. Known for its meandering rivers and lovely lagoons, this area is also home to the endangered West Indian manatee.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts About Costa Rica
- There are about 52 species of hummingbirds in Costa Rica, making Costa Rica a true hummingbird capital.
- Monkeys are one of the most common mammals in Costa Rica – next to bats. The four common species are the Howler, Spider, White-Faced and Squirrel.
- Bug-phobist, look out! There are about 750,000 species of insects that live in Costa Rica, including about 20,000 different types of spiders! Also, more than 10% of the world’s butterflies live here.
- Names are confusing in Costa Rica. Ticas do not take their husband’s last name. The woman uses her full maiden name for life. No changing of national ID cards, drivers licenses, etc. She also adds her mother’s maiden name. Children take their father’s name.
- The older generations of Ticos are not tall, so most furniture, like chairs, couches, beds, etc. are built 6-8 inches lower than in the US.
- Locks (on houses, doors, and gates) almost always work backwards.
- Milk, eggs, and other perishable items are often sold unrefrigerated. t is common to buy wine in little paper boxes, which you do refrigerate.
- Oftentimes milk is sold in a little plastic bag, and you have to cut the edge with scissors to open it, which often results in inexperienced gringos covered in milk and putting water on their cereal.
- A soda is a small, informal restaurant that serves traditional meals like chicken, rice, beans and salad.
- The sunset is very punctual. The sun rises and sets at the same time in Costa Rica – 365 days a year!
- Ice cream flavors in Costa Rica are interesting and sometimes slightly weird. Flavors include coconut, goat cheese, wild blackberry, peanut, sour cream, chipotle blueberry, chocolate almond, and more.
- There are usually no street names or addresses. So people simply get accustomed to giving directions via landmarks. When giving someone a home address,ticos usually say something like, “It’s the blue house just south of where the cow is tied up,” or “Its 500 meters north of the big tree.”
Historical and Cultural Facts About Costa Rica
- The staples of the Costa Rican diet are rice and black beans, along with bread, chicken or meat, vegetables, salads, and fruits. Rice and beans mixed together for breakfast is called GALLO PINTO.
- Costa Ricans refer to themsleves as “Ticos” (males) and “Ticas” (females). Foreigners are often called “Gringos” (males) and “Gringas” (females).
- Costa Rica has no standing army. It was constitutionally abolished in 1949.
- “Pura vida” is the national saying, which means “pure life,” a sunny, feel good expression used as a greeting, goodbye, or if someone asks how you are doing.
- On the Atlantic Coast, the Caribbean side, most of the population is descended from African roots, like Jamaica, and speak Spanish as well as a patois.
- A Costa Rican female swimmer won a gold medal in the 1996 summer games in Atlanta.
- A pulperia is a neighborhood store that sells essential foodstuffs like canned goods, eggs, milk, bread and some produce.
- In 1986 the first Costa Rican/American, Franklin Ramón Díaz Chang, traveled to outer space aboard the space shuttle Columbia.
- Blowing your nose in public is frowned upon in Costa Rica—in fact it’s seen as downright impolite and disgusting.
- A previous president of Costa Rica, Óscar Rafael de Jesús Arias Sánchez, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 due to his great efforts to promote peace throughout the Central Americas.