'Rich coast' by definition and certainly by nature, this rather diminutive country can nonetheless lay claim to a staggering 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity, making it one of the most rewarding destinations for natural world encounters. An extraordinary cocktail of smouldering volcanoes, cloud forests, national parks and two uniquely different coastlines, Costa Rica certainly packs in a tremendous variety of highlights and sights, which can be easily taken in on one adventure and excitement fuelled trip.
Situated in the heart of Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica has a different identity to its counterparts. Its friendly population, or ‘Ticos’ as they are better known, have a proud heritage of conservation and protecting their natural resources, which underlines who they are and what they stand for. Their widely used greeting of ‘pura vida’, loosely translated as ‘this is what life is all about’, is common throughout the day, reflecting their happy and exuberant outlook on life. After all, they live in a prosperous, safe and peaceful country blessed with tremendous natural wealth.
With 25% of the country’s total landmass consisting of protected National Park, it is unsurprising that over 9,000 species of plant, 400 reptile species, 200 mammals and 850 known bird species call it home. These figures speak for themselves and you are likely to make full use of your camera whilst travelling this rich biodiverse haven. Sloths are frequently spotted, as are quetzal, toucan, macaw, tree frog, iguana, howler monkey, tree snakes, hummingbird, turtles and countless more endearing jungle inhabitants.
Most visitors will want to visit Arenal volcano during their visit, which although resting since 2010 still looms over the region with great surrounding trails. Also in the interior, Santa Elena and Monteverde have some magnificent cloud forests with canopy walks and here you can also partake in some of the world’s most scenic zip lining adventures. Ride the raging rapids of Siquirres, then head to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast, where at the right time of the year you can see the Atlantic Green Turtle. Over on the Pacific Coast, the rugged beauty of the Manuel Antonio National Park and the peaceful Nicoya Peninsula are perfect places to unwind. Well-established for tourism with great infrastructure and English widely spoken, there are many memorable jungle and beach hotels and boutique properties with a handful of rooms and some serious character which we can use to blend the perfect holiday to this tropical paradise.
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