Costa Rica

Category: Resorts » International » North America » Costa Rica | Author: alex | Views: 11772 | 2-10-2011, 14:40
Costa Rica
Official name: Republic of Costa Rica

Capital: San Jose

Location: Central America

Area: 51,100 sq km

Population: 4.1 million

Religion: Roman Catholic (76%), Evangelism (14%) and Judaism

Language: Spanish (English is the second popular language)

Form of Government: constitutional democracy

Currency: Colon

Area code: 506

Отели Кубы Hotels in Costa Rica   Туры в Кубу Tours to Costa Rica     Курортные города Кубы Resort cities of Costa Rica

Другие места отдыха на Кубе Other places of rest in Costa Rica    Рассказы туристов о Кубе Stories of travelers about Costa Rica



Costa Rica

Flag of Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Map of Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Coat of arms of Costa Rica


Information about Costa Rica

Costa Rica (translated from Spanish as Rich Cost) - is a wonderful corner of the wild nature and a tropical paradise for your holiday. Every year one and a half million of tourists visit Costa Rica and enjoy its clean beaches and watch the frolicking dolphins and whales. Active tourists are attracted by hiking, rafting, canoeing, diving, deep sea fishing and scuba diving. Tropical forests and mountains offer many opportunities for eco-tourism. Costa Rica is famous for its variety of exotic animals and tropical plants, from beautiful orchids and butterflies, giant but kind turtles to ferocious crocodiles and sharks.


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The geographical position

Costa Rica is located in Central America, and is washed by the Pacific Ocean in the West and by the Caribbean Sea in the East. The distance between them is approximately 153 miles, which is equals to 3 hours drive. It borders with Nicaragua in the North and with Panama in the South. 


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History of Costa Rica

More than 10000 years ago ancient tribes lived in the tropical forests of Costa Rica. Unfortunately, we know little about ancient civilizations, as their remains have been washed away by heavy rain and destroyed by Spanish conquerors. Some mentions about 20 small Indian tribes, which had belonged to the Meso-American culture, have been preserved till our days. Archaeological finds, such as the remains of paved streets, water supplies and decorations, witness about a high level development of these tribes, and the monolithic stone spheres, up to 36 tons, gave rise to the theory of extraterrestrial intervention. European intervention began in 1502, when Christopher Columbus landed on the shores. During his stay he made friendship with locals and they even exchanged gifts.


When he returned home, he said that he had seen a lot of gold, so the Spaniards called the area "La Costa Rica", which translated from Spanish as "rich coast". To the disappointment of the Spanish conquistadors area was not rich in gold, and the locals were not friendly. Tropical diseases and warlike tribes made a strong resistance to the invaders. Pestilent swamps, jungle and volcanoes turned a paradise of Columbus into the Spanish hell. Despite these obstacles, the conquistadors attacked villages, killed and slaved the inhabitants. In 1560 Costa Rica became the official Spanish colony. Finding no gold, the Spanish conquerors turned to agriculture, which was based on the cultivation of coffee and bananas.
In 1821 Costa Rica joined other Central American provinces in the declaration of independence from Spain. The era of peaceful democracy began here in 1899, after the first in this country free and fair election. Democratic trend has been continuing to this day (with exception in 1917-1919 - Federico Tinoco dictatorial rule, and 1948 - an armed revolution led by Jose Figueres).


Flora and fauna of Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a rich and diverse flora and fauna. There are more than 200 species of mammals, 850 species of birds and almost 200 species of amphibians and reptiles there.
Fauna of Costa Rica is represented by monkeys, pumas, jaguars, tapirs, armadillos, porcupines. Coastal waters are full of fish: flying fish, swordfish, tuna, and sailfish.
Sarapiqui River (rio Sarapiqui) is very good place for watching iguanas and basilisks. You can rent a motorboat with guide there. There are rivers with crocodiles in Costa Rica. One of them is Tarkoles (rio Tarcoles). There is a Cahuita National Park (Parque nacional Cahuita) on the Caribbean coast, 40 kilometers south of town Limon. There you can find raccoons, monkeys, lizards, crabs and many birds.

Costa Rica is famous for its extraordinary abundance of flora ( it has more than 800 species of ferns). Some of ancient ferns were food for terrestrial dinosaurs. Large fern trees are called Rabo de Mico ("monkey tail"). Tropical forests and plantations live side by side. There are many mangrove forests at the Lagoons. Costa Rica is also called the kingdom of flowers. It is home for Begonia, Anthuriums and Blood of Christ, this flower took its name because of the red spots on the underside of leaves. Many plants lure insects at night, so their scent fill the warm tropical night with special aroma Costa Rica has also more than 2,000 species of bromeliads (including pineapple).


Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica
Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica


The climate of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of those countries where you can experience three seasons in one day. It is always cold in the highlands. In San Jose and Central Valley reigns "eternal spring", and it is hot all year round on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

As a rule, the best time to visit Costa Rica is the dry season from December to April. Locals call it Verano (summer). In May, the rainy season (inverno or winter) begins. The first months of the rainy season is also suitable for a trip to Costa Rica, however, the roads are gradually eroding and it creates big obstacles for transportation.

Choosing a trip, decide its purpose. For example, it is better to go to the Pacific coast from September to October and in the Caribbean from November to May to catch the best waves for surfing. Go from February to October to watch the turtles. Birds make tourists happy all year round, but spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) is the best time for observing migrations of birds.

Where to go in Costa Rica
  • Preserve Monteyerde Cloud Forest - beautiful tropical forests in the mountains, where the humidity is usually 100%. This area has approximately 3,000 species of plants and animals.
  • Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs - the most active volcano in Costa Rica. Fiery Arenal - is an amazing sight. Hot Springs - a natural hot springs where you can relax and clean your body and soul.
  • Drake Bay National Park  and  Corcovado – Osa is located on Peninsula. Corcovado National Park is one of the biologically richest places on earth. Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park is a center of ecotourism.
  • Manuel Antonio National Park - tropical beaches, variety of birds and animals make the park one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
  • National Park Tortuguero - is home to four from eight species of turtles. Local rivers and lagoons are home to manatees.
  • Nosara - here you can find beautiful beaches which are located close to the coral reefs. It is an ideal place for surfing and diving. On the beaches you can see different shades of sand: white, yellow, gray and black. This product is a permanent collapse of shells from the coral reefs.
  • Puerto Viejo and Cahuita National Park - suggests beautiful beaches, surrounded by tropical forests. Here you can enjoy world class surfing, snorkeling and diving in the reefs. There is one of the most beautiful coral reefs near Cahuita. 
  • Volcano Rincon de la Vieja - an active volcano, which has more than a million years. This area is proud of its beautiful scenery, roaring waterfalls, relaxing hot springs and boiling mud pits.
Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica
Costa Rica Costa Rica Costa Rica


What to do in Costa Rica

  1.  A kayaking trip in the sea. Such trips are the most popular in the Caribbean, but we recommend you to try one in the Pacific Ocean at sunset. 
  2. Going to a fishing tour, you can take your gear or you can ask the operator in advance and he will give you everything you need. 
  3. Rafting is very popular among tourists. It is slope on inflatable boats along the Mountain Rivers. The most suitable rivers for rafting are the Pacuare and Reventazon. 
  4. Diving. North-East coast of the Pacific Ocean and Coconut Island are perfect places for this kind of sport. Here you can admire the amazing beauty of the reefs and their inhabitants. 
  5. Ecotourism. Ecotourism is developing very quickly in Costa-Rica. There are 15 national parks and 70 nature reserves, where you can go camping, ride horses, bike, and walk or just enjoy nature. Also, many tourists are attracted by the uninhabited Cocos Island, Cano, Negrito and Los Paharos. 
  6. Surfing. The best conditions for surfing can be found at Lake Arenal, as well as in the bays on the Pacific coast. 
  7. Wildlife Watching (birds and turtles) - Braulio, Carrillo, Monteverde, Talamanca and Osa Peninsula are the best places for bird watching. Almost everywhere you can see hummingbirds, doves, sloths. You can also watch snakes and giant lizards. Local guides will show you the places where these species are seen often in order for you to watch them, or, vice verse, to avoid them. Every year on the Atlantic and Pacific coast, one can observe turtles laying eggs in the soft sand. Excursions are organized to show you the process without damaging the turtle. 
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Some prices in Costa Rica (2010)

In Costa Rica you will find a wide range of hotel services and cafeteries. You can choose a comfortable hotel or just a bed for sleeping. In addition, there is a choice of mountain cabins, beach hotels and lodges in the jungle.

Some prices in Costa Rica:

  • Hostel bed - $ 8 to $ 15 (including breakfast)
  • Double room in the hotel - 22 $ -40 $
  • Dinner in not expensive restaurant - 3 $ -7 $
  • Taxi in City - 3 $ -8 $ (in Latin America there are many cases of stealing in taxi so order a taxi in big companies and ask operator a number of the car )
  • Entrance to National Parks - 7 $ 15 ($ 15 - with a guide)
  • Rafting - 65 $ -100 $ (including lunch)
  • A trip in mangroves - 60 $ -90 $
  • Diving - $ 60 $ -75
  • Horse ride Excursion -45 $ -70 $ 


Costa Rican cuisine

Costa Rican cuisine, or as the locals call it - "komida tipika" is based on a mixture of Spanish and Indian cuisines. Its main ingredients are beans, rice and meat, and many herbs, vegetables and spices. Spices are served separately, in the form of sauce or herbs. Fried or baked bananas are served to many dishes as garnish. Salads from fresh vegetables, rice with vegetables and meat, rice cooked in coconut milk, meat in banana leaves and snacks "Bocas" from meat, fish and greens are also very popular.
The traditional dish is called Casado, it is a mixture of products: black beans and rice, fried bananas, cheese slices, lettuce, fish, beef or chicken. It is served with tortillas for wrapping.

Other popular dishes:

  • Seviche - sliced raw fish or shrimp mixed with onions, tomatoes and cilantro, and marinated in lime juice
  • Chilera - spicy sauce made from pickled onions, peppers and vegetables
  • Tres Leches – cake with three kinds of milk
  • Flan - a soft cream caramel
  • Arroz with milk (or rice pudding) – rice with warm milk and sugar, cinnamon and other spices
  • Refrescos (frescoes) - fruit cocktail with milk.

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What to buy in Costa Rica

  • Handicrafts (bags, hammocks, and various souvenirs)
  • Costa Rican stamps with butterflies, flowers and birds
  • Costa Rican coffee (it is better to buy in specialty stores)
  • Wine, which is famous for its delicate taste and rich aroma


Interesting facts about Costa Rica

Costa Rica takes only 0.03 percent of our planet, but it is home to 5 percent of all plants and animals of the earth!
Costa Rica in numbers:

o 118 volcanoes
o 74 Reserve
o 10 species of forest
o more than 10,000 species of plants
o More than 6,000 species of butterflies
o more than 894 species of birds
o More than 1,600 species of fish
o more than 175 species of amphibians
o more than 225 species of reptiles
o More than 120 species of snakes
o More than 250 species of mammals
o 25% of protected areas

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