Costa Rica Vacation guide
Costa Rica is a tiny Central American country that’s big on adventure, nature, and good ideas. Despite its mere 31,800 miles² size— roughly the size of West Virginia—this little stretch of land nestled between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans harbors close to six percent of the world’s entire biodiversity, due mainly to its astounding geographical complexity.
A chain of volcanic mountain ranges runs down the country’s middle giving rise to countless rivers and deep canyons that wind their way towards the oceans and 800 miles of scenic coastline. These diverse and dynamic landscapes harbor a whole encyclopedia’s-worth of ecosystems, habitats, and life zones.
Cloud and rainforests cover much of the central mountainous highlands, and dense jungles, wetlands, and mangrove swamps weave an intricate pattern of green, gold, and blue in the lowlands in the southern zone. To the north and west are arid, savannah-invoking grasslands and dry coastal foothills and forests, known reverently as Costa Rica’s cowboy country. Only the puffing cones of three sentinel volcanos–Rincón de la Vieja, Tenorio, and Miravalles– differentiate the sweeping landscape from the legendary Old West of its neighbor to the north.
Combine all of this stunning topography and what you get is the makings for the best eco and adventure tourism on the planet. From beach bumming, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, and sportfishing to steamy hot springs, waterfall treks, mountain biking, horseback riding, ATVs, canopy tours, zip lines, and more… Costa Rica undeniably serves up the best!
What about those good ideas? In 1948, following a violent and troublesome civil war, Costa Rica’s government under President José Figueres Ferrer officially abolished the nation’s army. He then declared that the resulting finances be reallocated to universal healthcare and education.
Costa Rica vacation Guide
Since embarking on that landmark decision, Costa Rica has evolved into one of Latin America’s most prominent democracies and boasts a socialized healthcare system rivaling Europe’s best, in addition to and universal (and compulsory) education for all.
Today, the peace-loving nation is putting conservation up there with education and wellbeing. At the forefront is the current President, Carlos Alvarado, whose administration is taking the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy seriously. Already, Costa Rica gets about 99% of its power from renewable sources like water, wind, and geothermal energy – thanks to those active volcanoes. And as an outspoken member of the Paris Climate Accord, Alvarado promises that Costa Rica be well on its way to carbon neutral by 2050.
Early on in the game, Costa Rica’s decision makers also figured out that cutting down the country’s massive rainforests wasn’t a sustainable option for its economic future. In another bold move, in 1970, the National Park System was founded to preserve for prosperity–and tourism it turned out–the priceless natural resources of the nation’s forests and their plant and animal inhabitants. Today, approximately 30 percent of the country’s land and marine territories are protected as national parks, wildlife refuges, or reserves.
Put all this together and what you’ve got is a truly remarkable country brimming with appreciation and opportunity. Not only is Costa Rica becoming one of the world’s most coveted vacation destinations but the availability of educated and healthy citizens has made it an attractive destination for foreign businesses, digital nomads, and retirees alike.
Let the journey begin!