When people think of Costa Rica, images of jungle tree houses, zip lining, beach vacations, abundant wildlife and lush mountain escapes often surface. It’s true that Costa Rica is rich in all of the above, and it’s a unique country because it borders both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, boasts three mountain ranges, and over 100 volcanoes in just under 20,000 square miles. Add in rain forests, waterfalls and cloud forests and you’ll see why we just can’t stop talking about Costa Rica!
The country enjoys a tropical climate, with two main seasons — dry and wet — though there are microclimates that vary from cool mountain temperatures to hot beach days. The rainy season runs from May to December, usually, and this is considered winter. The rain often keeps tourists away during these months, but the rain is of the tropical variety, only dropping down for a small part of the day (usually afternoon) and then clearing up again.
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The country can be divided into nine provinces: Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste, Northern Lowlands, Central Highlands, Central Valley, Central Pacific, South Pacific, South Central, Caribbean. Costa Rica itself is situation just north of Panama and south of Nicaragua, in Central America.
It’s often referred to as the Switzerland of Central America because Costa Rica is a democratic and peaceful country, and has remained so with no standing military for over 65 years. This speaks measures to the quality of safety in the country, and many have found it to feel safer than their home country.
The society is dedicated to family, education and health. You’ll see close bonds between families, friends and communities almost everywhere you go. Travelers often go for the adventure, but they stay because of the friendliness of the people.
The literacy rate is at 96% and the average life expectancy is 78 years, both of which are the highest numbers in Central America. Public school is free through the 11th grade, and the government provides free nationwide healthcare.
Not only are they committed to bettering society, but Costa Ricans are dedicated to the environment.In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced its plans to be the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, and they’re on their way to achieving that goal. Since more than 4% of the world’s biodiversity can be found on this small nation, we think that’s a smart decision.
Costa Rica Holidays:
January 1: New Year’s Day
March/April: Easter Week
April 11: Juan Santamaria day
May 1: Labor Day
July 25: Annexation of Guanacaste Day
Aug 2: Patron Saint Day
Aug. 15: Mother’s Day
Sept. 15: Independence Day
Nov. 2: All Soul’s Day
Dec. 25: Christmas Day
- Costa Rica is considered one of the “greenest” countries in the world and boasts a long history of eco-friendly policies.
- Costa Rica’s three largest cash crops are bananas, pineapples, and coffee.
- Nearly 25% of the country is made up of protected areas such as national parks.
- Costa Rica’s literacy rate is over 96%—one of the highest in Latin America.
- The government is a Democratic Republic.
- The official language is Spanish, though English, Creole and India are also spoken.
- Roman Catholic is the most common religion, with 77% of people falling under this category. The rest identify as Christian (16%), Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish and Agnostic (totaling 7%).
- Costa Rica has not had a military since 1949.
- Nearly 5% of the entire world’s biodiversity can be found there.
- It would be 200 miles to drive from the Pacific to the Caribbean (just a few hours!).