Costa Rica is probably one of the few countries in the region that has managed to keep a stable political environment, despite its economic and social difficulties. The country has managed to become a recognizable traveler's destination because of its amazing, breathtaking rainforests.
Major cities include:
Christopher Columbus named it "the rich coast", or Costa Rica, because of the gold decorations that were used by locals at that time (1502). In 1987 Costa Rica's president Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez won the Nobel Prize.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Capital: San Jose
Climate: The climate in Costa Rica varies depending on where you are. On the Caribbean side it is extremely hot and humid, the mountains in the center are wonderfully cool, and the Pacific side of Costa Rica is warm and humid.
Currency: They run two currencies here--the Costa Rican Colon and the U.S. dollar.
Languages: Spanish and English.
Power: 120 V, 60 Hz
Time Zone: Standard Time -0600 UTC
This country offers a wide range of possibilities if you are into ecotourism. Ecotourism is such a big deal in this country that eco-friendly restaurants and car rentals can be found everywhere you go. Jaco is a great place to surf the waves. Even though prostitution and drugs are a problem here, this destination remains a perfect place for fishing and surfing. La Fortuna is an extremely relaxing place, where townspeople spend their everyday lives under the shadow of an active volcano. Cascading waterfalls and beautiful landscapes are everywhere. Liberia itself is not a main attraction, but it does snag tourists because of its condition as a provincial capital where the new international airport is located. It is also near the famous Nicoya's beaches and national parks like Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Rosa. Monteverde and Santa Elena are surrounded by two amazing cloud forests, making it one of Costa Rica's most popular ecotourist destinations. Playa Tamarindo has become a luxurious destination with a North American taste. Its amazingly blue sea and the turtle nests are its main attractions. Visit La Paz Waterfalls in Heredia.
Il Padrino: This restaurant offers delicious pizzas and other great italian dishes.
Triquicia: This restaurant has an amazing view and local specialties.
Glide Through the Rain Forest
If you are planning a vacation to Costa Rica, take the time to travel down the Sarapiki River. You can travel on the Sarapiki out to the Caribbean coast or visit Lake Nicaragua. While traveling along this rain forest waterway you will see many exotic birds and monkeys, an interesting display of reptiles and bats, and maybe a sloth or two. The lush forest is also home to a large variety of plants and flowers not seen outside such a tropical setting. This peaceful, exotic ride on the Sarapiki exemplifies the Costa Rican motto, "Pura Vida", which loosely translates into "all things good in life".
If you don't want to venture out on your own
there are many guided tours offered and the prices are a good value. Check with your hotel concierge or travel agent.
Pura Vida, my friends!