Travel Tips and Resources
Discover the real meaning of "pura vida" in Costa Rica, a diverse slice of Central American paradise. Picture verdant pastures and a lush rain forest alongside Costa Rica's largest, most breathtaking lake. A mighty volcano that still smolders and spurts.
A sunny peninsula that beckons with soft sand beaches and gentle surf. And a country inhabited by some of the friendliest people on Earth. On knobby-tired bikes, we pedal over rugged terrain through several ecological zones, stopping for a break in a remote village or on an inviting beach. Come evenings, we settle in at a lake front villa and oceanside retreat where relaxation is easy.
More than a quarter of Costa Rica's land has been set aside in some capacity or other by human beings to protect it from the potential exploitation and ravages of other human beings. No other country in the world even comes close to such a statistic. Over twenty-seven percent of Costa Rica is designated as national park, biological reserve, wildlife refuge or some other category of protected area, both private and public.
Amazing numbers define Costa Rica's ecology: somewhere between 500,000 and a million total species of flora and fauna; hundreds of thousands, perhaps even a million species of insects; 2,000 species of orchids; 208 species of mammals; 850 species of birds; endless thousands of species of moths and butterflies. In a space that occupies less than three ten-thousands of the earth's surface are 5 percent of all of the plant and animal species on the planet.
Some developed for tourism while others are remote and rarely visited. Costa Rica's charm is embodied in its forests, its unpredictable volcanoes, its endless shores and its underwater marvels. If you haven't walked at least one of its jungle trails, you can't claim to have visited Costa Rica, for therein lies the essence of the country, its inner meaning, its vibrant skien of life woven between its enchanting shorelines to cover its craggy mountain chains. You can't reach out and hold it but there's something there, so that, once you've felt it, you'll never really leave Costa Rica behind, no matter where your body goes.
Costa Rica has something for everyone. From hiking in rainforests and mountains, relaxing on beaches, to snorkeling through tropical reefs and surfing some of the best waves in Central America, Costa Rica is a natural wonderland. With both a Pacific and Caribbean coast, there are plenty of beaches in Costa Rica.