Nature Discovery Journeys
- In: Initiatives
- Updated 17 Sep 2013
Featured Destination - Costa Rica
"In Costa Rica we have a long tradition of receiving tourists with open arms. It doesn't matter what you are looking for: adventure or rest; beaches, mountains, rivers or volcanoes… I invite you to share all the richness that nature spread in this tropical land full of contrasts." - Carlos Ricardo Benavides, Ministro Turismo (VisitCostaRica.com)
Costa Rica, demonstrating its fierce dedication to peace and democracy, became the first country in the modern world to constitutionally abolish its standing army in 1948, and is today proudly the oldest and most stable democracy in Central America. Thirty-nine years after Costa Rica's declaration of peace with the world, the beloved leader of this peace-loving country, President Oscar Arias Sanchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. President Arias' efforts in promoting his "Peace with Nature" policy has inspired many Costa Ricans, who enjoy living with more trees per capita and per square kilometer than any other country in the world. Costa Ricans are also among the world's most enthusiastic tree planters, enriching their landscapes with a few million trees each year.
Literally translating to "pure life", if there were an official national motto of Costa Rica, this would likely be it. Trust us, by the end of your journey, it will be your favorite new expression. "Pura Vida is a word that identifies a Costa Rican wherever he or she may be. When you say Pura Vida the facial expression of the person changes and the person smiles. It is a word very meaningful to Costa Ricans. It reminds us of home and its' beauty."
Costa Rica is also en route to becoming the first carbon neutral country by 2021. The famous vow by the Costa Rican government, delivered in 2007, to become the first carbon neutral destination, raised the standard yet again for the global ecotourism community.
Visiting Costa Rica - The Essentials
Climate: With a climate that is diverse and varied, Costa Rica can be divided into several climatic zones, each of which are distinct and individual. Costa Rica has no real winter period, and the sun shines here throughout the year. With over 12 hours of sunshine a day, the sun rises at about 5 am and sets at about 6 pm consistently throughout the year. The main reason for the diversity in Costa Rica’s weather is the various elevations at which different parts of the country are located. more...
Geography: The highest point in the country is Cerro Chirripó, at 3,820 metres (12,532 ft), and is the fifth highest peak in Central America. The highest volcano in the country is the Irazú Volcano (3,431 m / 11,257 ft). Costa Rica also comprises several islands. Cocos Island stands out because of its distance from continental landmass (480 km from Puntarenas coast), but Calero Island is the largest island of the country (151.6 km² / 58.5 sq mi). more...
Biodiversity: 23% of Costa Rica's national territory is protected land. Costa Rica is considered to be one of the 20 countries with greatest biodiversity in the world. Its geographic position, its two coasts and its mountainous system, which provides numerous and varied microclimates, are some of the reasons that explain this natural wealth, both in terms of species and ecosystems. more...
Population: Unlike many of their Central American neighbors, present-day Costa Ricans, population approx. 4.3 million, are largely of European descent. An estimated 10% to 15% of the population is Nicaraguan, of fairly recent arrival. Few of the Indigenous peoples survived European contact; the Indigenous population today numbers about 29,000 or less than 1% of the population.