Costa Rica is a country located in Central America that has unlimited tourist potential and is ranked as one of the most visited international destinations.
One of Costa Rica’s main sources of income is tourism. Costa Rica is a democratic and peaceful country, and it has not had an army since the year 1949.
Although the country is small and it covers only 0.03 % of the surface of the globe, it proudly shelters a 6% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world. 25.58
% of the country is composed of conservation and natural protected territory.
Costa Rica is also an attractive country for investment and it offers great potential for the establishment of important multinational companies, thanks to the outstanding academic level of its population, as well as the high standard of modern services and social and political stability.
Heritage and Culture
Costa Rican culture is in many ways a reflection of its racial diversity. The predominant influence has long been European, which is reflected in everything from the official language -- Spanish -- to the architecture of the country's churches and other historic buildings. The indigenous influence is less visible, but can be found in everything from the tortillas that make part of a typical Costa Rican meal, to the handmade ceramics sold at roadside stands.
An important aspect of Costa Rica's cultural legacy is their love for peace and democracy. The Ticos like to stand out that their nation is the exception in Latin America, where military dictatorships have long dominated politics.
They take pride in having more than one hundred years of democratic tradition, and almost half a century without an army. The army was abolished in 1948, and the money the country saves by not expending in military issues is invested in improving the Costa Ricans' standard of living, which has fostered a culture of social peace that makes it such a pleasant place to visit.
The Ticos, as Costa Ricans are commonly known, are famous for their hospitality, and are quite happy to live up to their reputation. They are well-educated and hard working people, who are quick with a handshake and a smile. They are well aware of the special land they have, and most likely they will help foreigners when they get lost, even explaining things that might seem bizarre to foreigners, and making their stay as enjoyable as possible.
People say the Ticos are their nation's greatest asset, and once you've experienced their friendliness and spontaneity, you'll have no doubt to that regard.
Rugged highlands are found throughout most of the country, ranging from approximately 1,000 to 2,000 meters (3,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level). The Guanacaste Mountain Range, Central Mountain Range, and Talamanca Mountain Range are the main mountain ranges extending the entire length of the country. There are several active volcanoes (Arenal Volcano, Irazu Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and Turrialba Volcano) and the country’s highest mountain (Chirripo Hill) with a height of 3,819 m/12,530 ft. The country has a relatively long coastline in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as a number of rivers and streams that attract specialist kayakers and rafters from all over the world.
In general, the climate in Costa Rica is very pleasant not only during the dry season, which extends from December to April but also during the rainy season, which runs from May to November. During the rainy season rain can be expected in the afternoons, on the other hand the mornings are usually sunny.
Costa Rica has a tropical climate with an average temperature of 22 degrees C (72 degrees F) that increases considerably on the coastal areas. The changes in temperature are considerable and due to the short distances in this relatively small country, they can all be experienced in just one day.
Due to factors such as the geographical location, the weather conditions, the formation of mountain chains, mountains, and valleys, this country experiences different microclimates that give a home to different types of vegetation.
The following climates in the country can be categorized in the following regions :
* The high and cold region: With an elevation of 3,000 to 3,100 meters in altitude with temperatures of 0 degrees C.
* The hot region: The elevation is above 1,500 meters in altitude, with temperatures between 14 degrees C and 18 degrees C.
* The humid tropical region: The elevation is up to 1,100 meters in altitude with temperatures between 25 and 26 degrees C.
* The tropical region: Pertaining to the dry season, with temperatures between 26 and 27 degrees C.
* The inter-mountainous valley region with an elevation between 1,000 and 1,100 meters in altitude which is a characteristic of the central valley, with temperatures that range from 14 to 18 degrees C.
Due to the weather characteristics and the topography of the country, different types of forests can be appreciated: the cloud forest, the rain forest, the dry forest, and the transition forest.
Enjoy the sun, but carefully
Going to the beach is a must when traveling to Costa Rica and a nice suntan is always possible. It is not advisable however, to try to tan in just one day because it takes 24 to 48 hours for the skin to produce melanin, a dark pigment that reduces the aging process caused by sunburn. The healthiest thing for you to do is to use a PABA-free suntan or UV sun blocking lotion.
Costa Rica’s richness also lies on the cultural diversity of our people. Throughout our history, the indigenous population of pre-Hispanic origins have been added movements of immigrants which settled in these lands, making it their home. Populations of European origin, mainly Spaniards, persons of African and Asian ascendance, as well as people from different places of the American continent have interacted among them, enriching the cultural backgrounds in the process.
Currently, besides the predominant half-breed component, there are ethnical-national groups and colonies of immigrants recovering their particular cultural heritage: African descendants, Chinese, Hebrew, Lebanese, Italian, etc.; as well as the indigenous populations of the Bribri, Cabecar, Maleku, Teribe, Boruca, Ngöbe, Huetar, and Chorotega.
* OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
The official language is Spanish. The second language for a large portion of the population is English.
* OFFICIAL RELIGION
The official religion is Catholic. Freedom of religious choice is respected.
* OFFICIAL CURRENCY
* NATIONAL SYMBOLS
Guaria Morada (National Flower)
The Purple Orchid: Guarianthe skinneri (Bateman, 1838). It was decreed as the national flower by Agreement number 24 on June 15, 1939.
Arbol de Guanacaste (National Tree)
Guanacaste Tree: Enterolobium cyclocarpum. It was declared as the national tree of Costa Rica, on August 31, 1959.
Yigüirro (National Bird)
Yigüirro: (Clay-Colored Robin National Bird) urdus grayi. It was decreed as the national bird on January 3, 1977.
National Symbol of Labor. It was decreed as the National Symbol, on March 22, 1988.