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Costa Rica – La Pura Vida

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located in Central America, is a small country with great tourism potential and is rated as one of the most visited international destinations.

The country covers 0.03% of the planet’s surface, but has the great privilege of being the habitat of 6% of the existing biodiversity worldwide. 25.58% of its territory is protected in various forms of conservation.

Costa Rica
also offers an excellent setting for investment and the establishment of important international companies, thanks to its renowned academic standards, good standard of modern services and social and political stability.

Costa Rican culture is a reflection of the mixture of races that exist in the country. Their greatest influence comes from Europe, which is reflected in every aspect of their culture such as their official language which is Spanish-, architecture of churches and other historic buildings.


An important aspect of Costa Rica’s cultural legacy is their love for peace and democracy. The “Ticos” often point out that their nation stands out from the rest of Latin America simply because their politics have been dominated by a democratic system and not dictators.

The “Ticos” are proud to have more than a century of democratic tradition and more than 50 years without any armed forces. Their army was abolished in 1948, and the money the country saves by not having armed forces is invested in improving the standard of living for Costa Ricans. This in turn promotes social peace and makes Costa Rica a pleasant place to visit.

Although Costa Rica is small in size, this is offset by its beauty and its many things to do and see. Excursions, white water rafting, kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, rappelling, fishing and mountain biking are some of the adventures to which one can be free as you explore this green and splendid region.

With a handful of active volcanoes, a plethora of glorious beaches, dense forests that extend for miles and one of the world’s most exotic habitats, make Costa Rica a world apart along the isthmus that connects North and South America bounded on the right with the Atlantic Ocean on the west by the Pacific Ocean.


Major Cities


The Costa Rica’s territorial division includes seven provinces:
San José, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limón, which together offer an attractive tourist destination with almost unlimited potential. It include extensive rainforests, volcanoes, rivers traveling the mountains, beaches and natural resources safeguarded by an important organization of national parks and forest reserves.

San José: This is the most populous province. It is located in the Central Plateau, extending to the northeast, crossing the impressive mountains of the Cordillera Central, which includes national parks, forest reserves and fertile land with abundant coffee plantations.

The capital of Costa Rica, San José, is located in the Central Valley. It is a vast plateau guarded by majestic volcanoes and green hills that confirm the natural richness that exists throughout the country.

Heredia: With an area of 2 000 656 km2 and a population of 75 000 inhabitants, Heredia is the smallest province of Costa Rica, a town that is appreciated for its colonial tradition and architecture of yesteryear.

A number of mud houses can be seen along Heredia’s communities of Barva and Santo Domingo. The city of Heredia, known as the “City of Flowers”, was founded in 1706, following the lead of some 150 families living on that site.

Guanacaste: a generous and warm province, it is known for its livestock production and spectacular beaches. It is the driest region of Costa Rica, especially in the coastal areas.

Guanacaste became part of Costa Rica in 1824, until then it remained as part of the Capitanía General de Guatemala. Certainly, this territory has a very natural and cultural importance to the economy of Costa Rica. Some of the best beach hotels in the world are located in the beaches of Guanacaste.

Puntarenas: Known as the “Pearl of the Pacific”, is the largest province of Costa Rica, with an area of 11 thousand 276 Km2. Its main attractions are on the Pacific coastline, stretching over 500 kilometers to the border with Panama.

This vast province offers a variation of beaches, national parks and nature reserves with an extraordinary ecological importance; it is a transition zone between the dry tropical lands of Guanacaste and the green forests of the Central Pacific.

Cartago: Also known as “The Old Metropolis” was the capital of Costa Rica until 1823, when the title was taken by the city of San Jose. It’s a relatively small province, with only 3 000 124 km2 and almost 35 thousand inhabitants.

This is the most important region of Costa Rica in colonial art. Perhaps the best example is the temple of Orosi, dating back to 1743, and is a historic gem that has witnessed the birth of a nation.

Alajuela: One of the largest provinces of Costa Rica, and is known as the “Land of Mangoes”. It extends northward and shares its border with Nicaragua. It was founded in 1782 and is the birthplace of famous historical characters like Juan Santamaria, a national hero that burned down the Inn Rivas in 1856.

This province has an enviable natural wealth with its uneven topography ranging from lush rainforest to the northern plains. Visitors are offered two of the most impressive active volcanoes in the country: Arenal Volcano, in the city of San Carlos and the Poas Volcano in the Central Volcanic Cordillera.

Lemon: The Caribbean province is a natural paradise, formed by a combination of closed jungles, imposing mountains and pristine beaches. It has the highest percentage of protected land in Costa Rica, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. The vegetation is as abundant as the cultures that converge in the province.

The road to Limón from San José, crosses the majestic Braulio Carrillo National Park. At this point a beautiful journey begins to the Caribbean lowlands and one can experience a significant change in temperature and landscape.


Geography

Costa Rica Map

Costa Rica Map

You can find high areas in the country, with a height of thousand to 2 thousand feet above sea level. The Cordillera de Guanacaste, Cordillera Central and Cordillera de Talamanca are the main mountains of the nation.

There are also several volcanoes such as Arenal Volcano, Irazu Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and Turrialba Volcano. Costa Rica has a long coastline on both oceans the Atlantic and the Pacific, as well as a number of rivers.


Weather


In general, the climate in Costa Rica is very pleasant both in the dry season which lasts from December to April and in the rainy season which covers the months from May to November. In the latter, one can usually expect afternoon showers, while the mornings are sunny.

The climate is tropical with an average temperature of 22 º C which rises considerably in coastal areas. Temperature changes are constant and given the short distances of a small country, can be experienced, if timed correctly, in a single day.


What To Do In Costa Rica?

Tortuguero National Park
Rincón de la Vieja Volcano
Manuel Antonio National Park
Drake Bay National Park and Corvocado
Jaco and Playa Hermosa
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Arenal Volcano
Greece and Sarchi
Tamarindo and Playa Langosta
Cahuita National Park
Chirripo


Excursions In Costa Rica

Explore San Jose
Traditional Nights Old Town
Traditional Nights a trip to Costa Rica past
Manuel Antonio National Park
Canopy Adventure
Tortuguero National Park
Poas Volcano and Sarapiqui River
Rain Forest Aerial Tram
Coffee Tour
Arenal Volcano and hot springs
Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley and Lankester Gardens
Poas Volcano and Sarchi Craft
Tortuga Island Cruise
Visit to Greece and Sarchi
Visit to Inbio
Panaca Park visit
Waterfall Horseback Bijagual
Crocodile safari in the jungle
Experience horse riding in Cascajal
Rafting the rapids


Transportation


Costa Rica has an extensive network of roads, mostly paved, which allows access to everyplace in the country. The national bus system provides a comfortable, fluid and economical way to get to almost all areas and especially the tourist attractions.

Rental cars deals are very broad, thanks to the existence of many agencies, some of which extend their services internationally.

Taxi service to the various parts of the country, is modern, efficient and safe although it is advisable to use only well-recognized companies. The color that identifies such a fleet is red. In rural areas, taxis are often four-wheel drive vehicles for easy access to such areas. Orange colored taxis provide service to and from Juan Santamaria International Airport. Bus services are available, to both in-province and between them, as well as internationally.


Accommodation, Airport And Seaport

Costa Rica enjoys a wide range of hosting services in various forms, ranging from luxury hotels from major global chains, to eco-lodges and other more modest ones.

The main airport is the Juan Santamaria International, located in Alajuela. This is just 20 minutes from San Jose.

Other major airports:

Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste.

Pavas Tobias Bolanos Airport in San Jose, for domestic flights.

There are also landing fields for local flights in different parts of the country as: Limon, Tortuguero, La Fortuna, Tamarindo, Samara, Tambor, Quepos, Palmar Norte, Golfito and San Vito.

Visitors wishing to enter by sea can do so through the ports of Limon and Moin in the Caribbean, Puerto Caldera and Puntarenas on the Pacific Environment and Golfito and Quepos in the South Pacific.

Hotels


Almonds And Corals Hotel (Caribbean)
Arenas Del Mar Beach Resort & Nature (Central Pacific)
Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge (South Pacific)
Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn (Central Valley)
Harmony Hotel (North Pacific)
Parador Resort & Spa – Hotel (Central Pacific)
Aerial Tram Rain Forest Lodge – Atlantic (Caribbean)
Resort, Spa & Wildlife Refuge (Central Pacific)
White Cloud Forest Villa Hotel & Nature Resort (Central Valley)
Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa (Zona Norte)
Belmar Hotel (Monteverde)
Best Western Jaco Beach Resort (Central Pacific)
Beac H Bahia Del Sol Front And Suites Hotel (North Pacific)
Balmoral – Hotel (Central Valley)
Lobster Barcelo Beach Hotel (North Pacific)
Barcelo San Jose Palacio Hotel (Central Valley)
Best Western Hotel & Casino Irazú (Central Valley)
Borinquen Mountain Resort Hotel (North Pacific)
Buena Vista – Hotel (Central Valley)
Barcelo Palma Real (Central Valley)
Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge (South Pacific)
Turire House – Hotel (Central Valley)
Glass Whale Resort Hotel (South Pacific)
Cuna Del Angel Hotel (South Pacific)
Cusinga Lodge (South Pacific)
Cariblue Bungalows (Caribbean)
Condovac Coast Hotel (North Pacific)
Crowne Plaza Corobici (Central Valley)
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica (North Pacific)
Gaia Hotel & Reserve (Central Pacific)
Holiday Inn San Jose Hotel Aurol (Central Valley)
Hotel Punta Islita (North Pacific)
Hilton Papagayo Resort (North Pacific)
Hampton Inn & Suites Hotel (Central Valley)
Hilton Garden Inn Liberia Airport (North Pacific)
Jw Marriott Resort & Spa Guanacaste (North Pacific)
Los Sueños Marriott (Central Pacific)
Quality Hotel Real San Jose (Central Valley)
Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Europe (Central Valley)
Riu Hotel (North Pacific)


Airlines


International Airport Juan Santamaria, Alajuela:

Air Canada
American Airlines
Avianca
Condor
Continental Airlines
Aeromexico
Copa Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Frontier Airlines
TACA
IBERIA
Jet Blue
Spirit Airlines
U.S. Airways

Daniel Oduber International Airport, Liberia, Guanacaste:

Air Canada
American Airlines
Continental Airlines
Delta Air Lines
U.S. Airways
Local airlines:
Sansa
Nature Air

This small country summarizes the quality of life in a single phrase “Pura Vida”, or in other words “Life at its best”.

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