Information AboutCosta Rica.
Costa Rica is Central America's special jewel. It has a reputation for being an oasis of calm among its turbulent
neighbors, but there's more to Costa Rica than a stable status quo. The country's natural attractions, wildlife and reputation for
enlightened conservation draw tourists from all over the world, and the ticos know it. Successive governments have made a real effort
to preserve the country's image as an ecotourism heaven, making Costa Rica one of the best places to experience the tropics naturally
and with minimal impact.
But if trudging through knee-deep streams for hours on end to catch a glimpse of some lazy three-toed tree-hanger
isn't your idea of a good time, don't write Costa Rica off as a waste of 51,100 sq km (19,929 sq mi). Not surprisingly for a country
which is mostly coastline, Costa Rica has some of the region's best surfing, beaches galore and a climate that encourages slothfulness
in all species.
|Full country name:|
Republic of Costa Rica
51,100 sq km (19,929 sq mi)
San Jose (pop 340,000)
96% Spanish descent, 2% African descent, 1% indigenous Indians, 1% Chinese
Spanish, Creole English and Indian dialects
85% Roman Catholic, 14% Protestant
|GDP per head:|
Tourism, electronics, coffee, bananas, sugar, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
|Major trading partners:|
USA, Germany, Italy, Japan, Guatemala, Mexico
Costa Rica. San Jose
The cosmopolitan capital of Costa Rica is the
transportation hub of the country, so most visitors spend at least a few days in
the city. It has a more North American feel to it than many Latin American
capitals, with department stores, shopping malls and fast-food chains. However,
it also has several excellent museums, some great restaurants, colorful markets
and a fine climate.
The best of the museums are the Museo Nacional, which has displays of Costa Rican archaeology, colonial furniture,
costumes and religious art; the Museo del Oro Precolombino, which houses
a dazzling collection of pre-Columbian gold pieces; and the Museo de
Jade, with the world's largest collection of American jade sculptures. The
most impressive city building is the Teatro Nacional, built in the 1890s.
It hosts plays, operas, ballets and performances by the National Symphony
Orchestra. The best market is Mercado Central, which bustles rather than
buzzes, but has a range of goods from live turkeys to leatherwork, and some of
the cheapest meals in town.
Most of the cheaper hotels and eateries are west of
Calle Central, between Avenidas 1 and 2.
Costa Rica. Arenal Volcano
Northern Region of Costa Rica
This area encompasses not only the Arenal Volcano, protected by a 5.208 hectare national park, but also, a reservoir and the Arenal Botanical Garden. Cloud and Tropical Forest encircle the base of the volcano, which is
six km from Fortuna. Arenal Itself is some 1.633 m high and has been active since 1968. Every night lava pours down the side of the volcano and boulders shoot into the air. Lake Arenal is perfect for water sports and fishing for
Costa Rica. Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio National Park attracts tourists from all over the world.
It has spectacular views of the blue Pacific and rocky little islands.
Wonderful beaches are surrounded with exotic rainforests home to white
face monkeys, three-toe sloths and hundreds of species of birds.
Costa Rica. Central Pacific Puntarenas & Jaco Beach
The road that follows the coast south from Punteranas not only winds past
some impressive panoramas, it leads to two of the country's most popular
beach resorts: Jaco and Manuel Antonio. The sugar-sand beach of Jaco was
one of the first in Costa Rica to be developed as a resort. The area's
natural attractions are worthy excursions for travelers tired of beach