If you’ve been thinking about visiting Costa Rica, this article is for you! You’ll find loads of important information in this short and practical guide to Costa Rican and all its attractions! In addition, discover the reasons why this destination should earn a top spot on your bucket list of places you’ve got to visit.
A ‘Tico’ History
For more than 30 years Costa Rica has nurtured and encouraged a cultural vibe of well being and acceptance. The “Pura Vida” lifestyle practiced by Costa Ricans, or ‘Ticos’ is infectious. The phrase is commonly used as a greeting or salutation, Similar to Hawaii’s Aloha. “Pura Vida,” also occurs in small talk and everyday life as a way of saying, “it’s all good.” As a result, this lifestyle contributes to Costa Rica’s rank as one of the happiest countries in the world. Certainly, the abolishment of their military, emphasis on education, and democratic political system also play a part in the countries peaceful state of being.
The Costa Rican culture will truly captivate you. The folklore, Afro-Caribbean heritage, gastronomy, architecture, dialects, and the Pura Vida spirit makes visiting Costa Rica a must!
The Costa Rican Coat of Arms captures the country’s varied and beautiful terrain perfectly. The three volcanoes represent the three mountain ranges and volcanoes of Costa Rica while the swaths of blue and green represent the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rican land, and the Caribbean Sea. Merchant ships tell a story of the country’s maritime history and the seven stars above it all to represent the 7 provinces of Costa Rica.
Each province has a beautiful story to tell with many amazing sights and history to take in.
A Few of The Beautiful Provinces in Costa Rica
Guanacaste, Central Americas Garden of Eden:
Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province is well-known for the diversity of flora and fauna in its dense tropical forests and beautiful beaches. Fall in love with the Rincon de la Vieja National Park and its relaxing hot springs. Hike around the ‘Old Woman’s Corner’ active volcano and see dozens of rivers carve their way through white volcanic ash from previous eruptions.
San Jose, The Paradise Capital:
Surrounded by the tropical beauty and good vibes of Costa Rica, the capital city of San Jose is considered one of Latin America’s most cosmopolitan cities. Located in the middle of the country, the dynamic city is the central hub for the rest of Costa Rica and it’s the ideal location to use as a point of departure to explore top tourist destinations.
Puntarenas, A Sun-Drenched Port:
Located along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. From the Osa Peninsula to Panamá, the South of Puntarenas is full of natural beauty thanks to its diverse flora and fauna. The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is the dream of adventure seekers due to its lonely beaches, making this place one of the best eco-touristic places in the country. Puntarenas’ coastlines are classified as one of the most impeccable in the country, and many of them are considered hotspots for surfers around the world.
Protect Nature When Visiting Costa Rica
The following section covers ways in which visitors of Costa Rica can help protect the environment while on vacation in this beautiful country.
- If you wish to know more about the protected wildlands, consult with a local tour operator or visit the National System of Areas of Conservation in Costa Rica website (SINAC, from its Spanish initials), in which you can find the 12 different categories of protection.
- While in tropical forests or National Parks, please use only the paths provided and respect the established demarcations.
- Do not feed the animals within protected wildland or forest areas.
- It is forbidden to smoke in protected wildlands. Costa Rica has an anti-tobacco law to make sure the air is free from it.
- Avoid any kind of disruption to wildlife. We invite you to lower your voice and to avoid touching plants during a hike or walk.
- When planning your trip, choose tour operators that offer quality guarantees that respect human rights as well as the environment. The Costa Rican Tourism Institute offers the Tourism Sustainability Certification (CST, for its Spanish initials) to touristic companies who successfully complete the vigorous certification course.
- Use natural resources, such as water and energy, in moderation. Remember that they are limited goods.
- Make sure that the only print you leave in a natural space is your footprint. Try to minimize waste generation since they are a source of pollution. When you need to get rid of waste, please try to do it the cleanest way possible by using the options provided by the facilities you are visiting. Cooperate with adequate disposal of waste by separating them and depositing them in containers and places assigned for this purpose.
- If you visit sensitive ecosystems, such as coral reefs or jungles, learn how to cause the least possible impact to avoid degrading them. If you are going on a fishing tour, make sure you follow all ‘catch’ or ‘release’ regulations to avoid impacting endangered species.
- When buying gifts and souvenirs look for products that are an expression of the local culture. It encourages cultural diversity and will favor the livelihoods of the local artisans. Do not buy historical and archaeological items or artifacts from Costa Rica’s rich historical past.
- Do not acquire flora and fauna protected by the International Trade Agreement for Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, for its Spanish initials), or products derived from such species. It is a crime and contributes to the extinction of native plants.
- In Costa Rica there is a Code of Conduct program, which seeks to apply zero tolerance to cases of Child Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking, do not contribute or facilitate sexual trade which is punishable by law.
- In your destination enjoy knowing the culture, customs, gastronomy, and traditions of local populations, it is important to mention that there are 23 indigenous settlements in the country, which preserve their millenary traditions and incorporate different dialects to the Costa Rican culture. Respect them and approach them, they have a lot to tell you.
Now you know, visiting Costa Rica should be at the top of your vacation list! Visiting a country that takes such pride in its people, culture, and environment is truly rewarding. Costa Rica and its wonders are waiting for you!