Limited to Nicaragua in the North and Panama to the South and located between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, the Central American state Costa Rica is the home for about 4.7 million inhabitants. It is a politically rather stable country with its already for fifty years existing democracy. Even from an economic perspective Costa Rica is developing fairly well, growing in the fields of tourism, agriculture and industry. Despite its actually small size of 52,000 square meters the state shows an unbelievable varied and colorful countryside: Mountains and volcanoes as well as Caribbean beaches and rain forests. Everything is included! Also the fauna forms the habitat of many exotic animal species – for example monkeys, turtles, toucans, snakes and tapirs and many more.
Costa Rica offers numerous and very different destinations for travelers, this variety is also based on the varied vegetation consisting of mangroves, rain and cloud forests in the different zones of the country, but also many of the towns and villages are definitely worth to see.
For example San José – the capital with its colonial architecture – is famous for a number of monuments like the Teatro Nacional Costa Rica as well as for its great cultural offer. Another town travelers should see is Montezuma, located at the Pacific Coast the place is a paradise for water sports and beach lovers.
Besides the coast regions, the Costa Rican nature fascinates through its big national parks – like the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio or the Parque Nacional Corcovado. There you can explore the rain forests and detect the different animal species from a very close perspective during long hiking trips. A special and very popular nature reserve is the Cloud Forest Monteverde, located in the Cordillera de Tilaran, it is worth a visit particularly because of its enormous abundance of species and the varied vegetation. Climbing up the recently not active Volcán Arenal is always an adventure. At its top you can also see the thermal springs. As you can see, the list of possible destinations has no end, other marvelous places are awaiting your visit.
Costa Rica is located in the tropical climate zone, so that there are mainly two seasons during the year: the rainy season from May to November and the dry season from December to April. At the Caribbean coast it rains nearly twice as much as in the capital San José, located in the Central Valley. In the coast regions it is never cold, whereas in the mountains the temperatures are lower during the nights.
Spanish is the official language so that most of the Ticas – the word the inhabitants have chosen to call themselves – speak it as a native or second language. Like in many other Latin American countries the ‘voseo’ is a general known phenomenon. Besides at the Caribbean Coast many people speak Creole English.
Like in many other states in Latin America the main constituents of Costa Rican meals are rice and beans – often prepared as Gallo Pinto. As a whole, the local cuisine is rather good and solid, typical plates are for example the “picadillo” (mince with vegetables), patacones (fried plantains) or the olla de carne (soup with vegetables and beef).