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If you can imagine beautiful beaches, palm trees, an assortment of exotic plants and animals, blue, sunny skies and warm weather, then chances are you're thinking about Costa Rica. If you are planning on traveling to any Central or South American country then put Costa Rica at the very top of your list. Costa Rica, officially The Republic of Costa Rica, is one of the most beautiful Central American countries. The two countries that border Costa Rica are Panama and Nicaragua. Costa Rica is also touching both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The Spanish name, Costa Rica, literally translates to "Rich Coast" and its coastlines are breathtakingly beautiful!
Costa Rica has an amazing assortment of plants and wildlife. About 25% of the total land mass of the country are protected parks and areas and the flora & fauna is abundant for that reason. It is the most biodiverse place in the world with over 10,000 plant species identified and more than 36,000 animals, reptiles and insects. Costa Rica has 8 Wildlife Refuges, 9 Forest Reserves, 7 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 26 Protected Forests, 20 National Parks and 1 National Archaeological Monument. If you are a nature lover, this is a "must visit" place for you. The country of Costa Rica has a total of 12 ecosystems in all. From dry forests to tropical wetlands to the mangrove swamps, Costa Rica has it all and it's a place where you can really discover Great Mother Earth!
Because of the diverse lands, animals and plants, you are sure to find some very diverse weather and climates in Costa Rica as well. Costa Rica is considered to have a tropical climate, it has no winter and the sun shines 12 hours a day, everyday, consistently throughout the year. There are dry climates, misty foggy climates and everything in between. The temperature averages 70-80 degrees all year round. The hottest months are March, April and May and the coolest months are usually from November until January. The rainy season ranges from May to November with the last few months having the most torrential rains. The Caribbean Coast stays hot and humid all of the time and it rains quite often year round.
Costa Rica has a long and rich history stemming back to Spanish Conquerors who arrived in the 16th century, with Christopher Columbus being the first European to arrive in 1502. Costa Rica was once inhabited by indigenous Indians although there is little indigenous influence in Costa Rican culture today, as many natives died from disease and mistreatment by the Spanish settlers. The Caribbean Indians that were native to Costa Rica wore gold bands in their noses and ears which was an inspirational factor for the name which was given to the country by Gil Gonzalez Davila.
A very unique fact about Costa Rica is that it's a country without an army. The Costa Rican army was constitutionally abolished in the year 1948 and the country has done very well avoiding the widespread violence and political issues which plague Central and South America. Costa Rica is one of the most stable and one of the safest countries in the region.
Costa Rica is also known for its wonderful health care system, and it is said to have one of the best health care systems in the world. Prescriptions are not needed for most health care products in Costa Rica and the costs can be up to 80% cheaper than prices in the United States. The tropical climate and foods that are eaten in Costa Rica are said to be good for your health. The people of Costa Rica have a longer life span ranging from 76-81 for both men and women and they are in overall better health. Costa Rica offers a free health care system and a very low cost health care system. Doctors are very professional and still make house calls, you can even find doctors in most pharmacies as well which makes it much more convenient for everyone involved. The quality, availability and cost of health care in Costa Rica makes it a wonderful place to visit and live. It has an excellent welfare system going above and beyond many other countries all over the world.
Places to Visit
There are so many fun, fascinating and exciting places to visit in Costa Rica. It has several famous national parks and wildlife reserves where you can find animals and plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It has gorgeous sandy beaches and beautiful, blue, tropical waters that are home to reefs and a vast variety of colorful and amazing sea life. It has tropical rainforests where new plants and animals are being discovered everyday which span all the way to the mangrove swamps, with its many species of amphibians and reptiles. If you're looking for a place where the people are friendly, the sights are amazing, the food and drinks are delicious and there is always something new and exciting to experience, then Costa Rica is a wonderful place to visit.
Keep in mind that the national language of the country is Spanish so it would be a very good idea to freshen up on your basics in Spanish before visiting, although you will find that many people do speak English as well, including most doctors in the region.
Spending time in Costa Rica will definitely be an occasion to remember and one of the best experiences in your lifetime. Be careful when you visit Costa Rica though because you might want to stay and become a permanent resident! Who wouldn't want to live in a country like Costa Rica which is rich in history, wildlife and culture. You have to experience Costa Rica for yourself.
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1. History of Costa Rica
2. Costa Rica's Cultural Scene
3. Costa Rica’s Culture and Traditions
4. Explore the Culture of Costa Rica
5. Top 5 Historical Sites in Costa Rica