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Costa Rica macaw

Costa Rica Travel Fast Facts

Getting there: regular flights from most major cities to Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO) located close to the capital San José.

Language(s): Spanish, although English is widely spoken in hotels and tourist offices.

What to see and do: wildlife and birdwatching, surfing, swimming, and beachcombing, rainforest eco-tours,

Costa Rica, or in Spanish "rich coast" is an apt description for this tropical paradise in Central America, bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.

Spanish is the main language in Costa Rica, although English is widely heard in tourist areas and often featured in informational brochures describing the country's lush and varied flora and fauna.

Meanwhile, a fairly well-established tourist industry offers guided tours throughout the country, mainly focused on a keen and growing interest in ecotourism.

With almost a quarter of the country given over to protected national parks, Costa Rica offers some of the most diverse natural wonders on earth - including mountains and volcanic areas to beaches and rain forests - inhabited by wildlife ranging from monkeys and jaguars to exotic tropical birds. More than 800 species make Costa Rica prime birdwatching territory, especially along the southern coast.

Costa Rica also offers world-class beaches and surfing along the Pacific coast, known for its idyllic locations and near-perfect conditions for catching a big wave. Parasailing and wind surfing, swimming and beachcombing are also favorite pastimes along either coast.

costa rica biodiversity
From the mountains to the sea, Costa Rica is an eco-tourism paradise.

DID YOU KNOW? Costa Rica Travel Fun Facts

52 varieties

• Costa Rica is home to over 52 species of hummingbirds.

• Costa Rica has a high life expectancy of 79 -- one of the highest in the world -- along with a high concentration of people over age 100.

• Ice cream is very popular in Costa Rica where exotic flavors might include lemon cream, fig, coconut, and even goat cheese.

• The national drink of Costa Rica is called guaro and made from sugar cane. It goes down easy, but beware of a giant hangover the morning after!

•“Pura vida” ("pure life") is a popular expression that perfectly sums up the spirit of Costa Rica. It is used for everything from hello and goodbye to "I'm fine, thanks, how are you?"

More about Costa Rica travel & tourism around the Web:


Costa Rica Tourism - The official tourism site offering photos and maps, information on top tourist attractions, trusted travel deals and tour operators, suggested hotels and where to go off-the-beaten track.

Costa Rica travel guide - Insider views to the country's social customs, food, hotels and main tourist attractions including surfing, birdwatching and national parks with travel safety tips, from Wikitravel.

Costa Rica Photos | Trek Earth - Galleries of breathtaking images, each worth at least a thousand words ...

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