Caribbean - Costa Rica
Exotic Costa Rica is a small country of Central America with a moderate climate. Surrounded by Nicaragua on the North, and Panama to the South, Costa Rica is split in two by volcanic chains. The Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is 132 miles long, completely contained within the province of Limon, and provides Costa Rica some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The Caribbean nighlife is a relaxed environment influenced mostly by the reggae, calypso, and soca music played in clubs like Parque Vargas. The Afro-Caribbean culture, descending mainly from Jamaican ancestors, gives the Caribbean such foods as jerked chicken and curried fish. This was also where Columbus, in 1502, at Isla Uvita, named Costa Rica (Rich Coast).
Tourist sights in the Caribbean include Braulio Carrillo National Park and the International La Amistad. The Veragua Rainforest Park offers open tram trips through the rainforest. Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve is home to Cabecar and Bri Bri families whose ancestors originally settled the Talamanca region.
A popular tourist sightseeing location for bird watching and wildlife observation is Limon's Finca La Isla Jardin Botanico, a Tropical botanical garden.
One of the largest celebrations in the Caribbean, held annually, beginning on October 12, with music, singing, and dancing highlighting, is El Dia de la Raza, a four or five day carnival, commemorating Columbus landing on Uvita Island.
Spanish is the Native language, however, English, French, Italian, and German are found in the Tourist Areas. Summer in Costa Rica consists mostly of June and July, and rainy weather can occur at any time in the country.
Many “fiestas” occur Country-wide throughout the year in Costa Rica. Most of them are based on celebrating different Catholic occurrences. These celebrations include such events as Patron Saint Days and National Holidays. Included in these “fiestas” are good food, music, carnival rides, horse parades, and harmless bullfights.
Three locations Costa Rica vacations should include are Tortuguero, Cahuita, and Puerto Viejo.
Tortuguero National Park, located in the Limon Province, is the third most visited park in the country. Although only accessible by airplane or boat, the park contains rainforests, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. Sea turtles nest on the beaches and manatees, caimans, and crocodiles make their homes in the park's rivers. The Park entrance is accessed from the Cuatro Esquinas Center of Tortuguero in the Park's North End. The most popular river trail is called the Harold Trail. Just north of the Park are The Dr. Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge, and the Baia del Colorado Wildlife Refuge. The South end of Tortuguero relies heavily on its natural beauty for eco-tourism.
Cahuita, a small Caribbean beach village, is the first major tourist destination South of Limon. Beaches, forests, and coral reefs draw tourists to the Cahuita National Park. The Perezoso River is the best swimming area. Puerto Vargas offers a beautiful white-sandy beach. The Park is open from dawn to dusk and camping is allowed in the Park. Popular night spots include Coco's Bar, and the National Park Restaurant, with Disco music playing most nights. Souvenirs can be found at Boutique Coco Miko or at Boutique Bambata. Handmade jewelry is available at Cahuita Tours Gift Shop. Rent horses at Brigette, observe butterflies at Mariposario Cahuita, watch 330 species of birds, and sloths, at the Aviarios del Caribe and the Buttercup Sloth Rescue Center.
There are at least a dozen excellent beaches in Puerto Viejo. White water rafting on world famous Pacuare River provides exposure to wilderness, river gorges, waterfalls, tropical birds, and virgin rainforests. Caribbean Canopies and Zip lines carry tourists to the heart of the rainforest where they also enjoy a nature walking tour. A Caribbean Wet and Wild package, sea kayaking, day tours to the Talamanca Mountains, and night time leatherback turtle watching are popular attractions in Puerto Viejo. A Jungle Spa, an ATV Jungle Tour, and deep sea fishing expeditions on the Caribbean Ocean await tourists. Tour packages can be for single days or multiple days.
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