Description of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America. It shares a border with Panama, Nicaraugua, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The country became a popular destination for tourists during the 1980s because of its well established national parks system and number of protected areas. These parks and protected areas cover nearly 24% of the land of the country. This is the largest amount in the world when it comes to a percentage of a country’s overall territory.
Costa Rica is the home of many fauna and flora. There are also many wonderful beaches on both coasts of the country. There is only a short distance to travel either by land or air to get to either side of the country. Costa Rica is also home to many active volcanoes that you can visit safely.
During the 1990s the country was the poster for ecotourism. According to the tourism board of Costa Rica almost half of the people that visit the country engage in some type of ecotourism activity including fauna, flora, trekking, and watching birds as well as visiting some of the rural communities. Many people that choose to visit the country are looking for adventurous activities, which are found all over.
Throughout its history, Costa Rica has managed to stay away from violence and political turmoil that plagued the nations that surround it. The army was abolished during the 1940s and the government is a long standing democracy. The country has remained one of the top Latin American countries in the Human Development index.
Costa Rica ranks third on the 2010 Environmental Performance index. It is first among the Americas. It has been ranked as the happiest nation in the world twice, once in 2009 and again in 2012. The New Economics Foundation also ranked the country as being the greenest on the planet.
Costa Rica offers a diverse climate, culture, fauna, flora, and landscapes. There are dry temperate forests, rain forests, beaches, high mountains, and volcanoes scattered throughout the lands.
Fauna and Flora
One of the reasons that the country is popular among eco-tourists is because of the biodiversity of the lands. A large amount of the country’s land is protected through a system of national parks and conservation areas. It is thought that Costa Rica may hold as much as six percent of the plant and animal species of the world, which is significant considering the size of the country, is about the same as New Hampshire and Vermont combined.
Some of the more impressive plants include the large ficus trees that have epiphytes abounding on each of their limbs that create around 1500 different types of orchids. The animals of the land are impressive as well. There are jaguars, which are the largest cats of the world, and the Margay, which is elusive and often hard to find. There are also many great species of birds including the scarlet and green macaws. There are several unique amphibians such as the giant cane toads or the poison dart frogs that are brightly colored and are sure to catch your attention.
What to See and Do
As mentioned, you should really see the wildlife that the country has to offer. There are mammals including sloths, tapirs, and monkeys as well as many wild cats that roam through the jungles. You can take a guided tour through many of the national parks. You can also view some wonderful plants throughout the country. Bird watching is quite popular when visiting Costa Rica as well.
Once you have witnessed the wildlife of the country you will definitely want to spend some time on one of the fabulous beaches that the country has to offer. Most of the tourist beaches are located on the Pacific side of the country, specifically near the San Jose area. Some of the lesser known tourist beaches are located in the south pacific coast area. If you are looking for a unique beach vacation you should consider some of the smaller beaches located off the beaten path or at the exclusive resorts of the country. Some of the beaches that you may want to visit include Corcovado, Dominical, Montezuma, Jaco, Playa Santa Teresa, Playa Grande, Tortuguero, and Tamarindo.
Some facts about Costa Rica
Gallery of Costa Rica
Costa Rica video guide
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Climate of Costa Rica:
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