Visit Costa Rica
May 1, 2020
The Facts about Costa Rica
Official Name: The Republic of Costa Rica
Official Language: Spanish
Location: Central America
Government: Unitary Presidential Constitutional Republic
Population: Around 5 Million
Covering a land mass of about 20, 000 square miles. Costa Rica lies to the south of Nicaragua in Central America. The name translates into “Rich Coast” in English. From Costa Rica, a traveler heading northeast would reach the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Heading southeast would take them to the border of Panama. The Pacific Ocean lies to the southwest. To the south, lies the country of Ecuador.
Costa Rica has long been known for its status as a stable democracy, an educated workforce, and a high percentage of English speakers within the population. It is also a hotbed of foreign corporate activity with many foreign entities operating in Costa Rica’s Free Trade Zones due to the benefits the receive in terms of investment and tax incentives
Fun Fact: Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949 after a short civil war. It is one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army.
Some Places to Visit in Costa Rica
- Poas Volcano National Park
- Nauyaca Waterfalls
- Cabo Blanco Beach
- Lake Arenal
- Arenal Volcano
- San Jose City
- Playa Avellanas
- Playa Negra
- Turu Ba Ri Tropical Park
- Playa Junquillal
- Tortuguero National Park
One by one…
Poas Volcano National Park
Poás Volcano National Park spans an area of approximately 16,000 acres. Established in 1971, the park gained notoriety as a place where visitors can walk all the way to the edge of the main crater of an active volcano. Even after frequent closings due to safety concerns, it still remains popular for the adventurous traveler. Nature lovers can participate in a 9-hour tour in the area.
On the pacific south coast of Costa Rica, within a canyon around 260 feet wide, a wayward traveler will happen upon the Nauyaca Waterfalls. They will be awestruck of the awesome sight of water free falling from heights of up to almost 150 feet. They will most likely be equally impressed with refreshing pool at the base measuring over 3,000 square feet with a depth of almost 20 feet. It is truly a treat whether you are a solo traveler, traveling with a group, or traveling with the family. There is plenty there for nature lovers to enjoy!
Uvita de Osa is a small town on the southern coast of Costa Rica. This are is known as the Whale coast (Costa Ballena). It is also the home of what some say is one of the world’s most beautiful beaches – The Whale’s Tail. If you haven’t guessed based on the name of the beach. Uvita is a very suitable place to see humpback whales in the wild. There are groups of whales that travel down from Northern California and Alaska. Most visitors will probably quickly note the large number of expatriates from North America and Europe living in Uvita.
Cabo Blanco Beach
The Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve part of the Tempisque Conservation Area in the province of Puntarenas. The nature preserve spans a total area of around 7,500 acres. It lies at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. It was the first major conservation project in the Costa Rica. Travelers will find beautiful white sand beaches that are sure to make an impression.
Lake Arenal is the biggest lake in Costa Rica. At around 33 square miles in size, it reaches depths of 200 feet. As the lake grew, it became necessary to relocate the town of Arenal. In fact, the origin town of Arenal is now completely covered by the waters of the lake. Travelers might be interested to learn that the lake actually tripled in size due to the installation of the hydroelectric dam. This dam generated 70 percent of Costa Rica’s electricity when first built but is now responsible for about 17 percent.
This Volcano suddenly erupted in 1968 after having lain dormant for centuries. As an active stratovolcano, it serves as a great attraction for curious travelers while in the north-western are of Costa Rica. The Arenal Volcano is situated around 56 miles northwest of the capital city of San José. It’s been dormant since 2010 after having been the most active volcano in the country. The are in which the volcano sits is a vital watershed for the aforementioned Arenal Lake reservoir which is used to power the Arenal Dam. In the midst of the potential power, this location provides some wonderful views for visitors.
San Jose City
San José is the capital of Costa Rica. It is also the largest city in the country. San Jose can be found right in the center of Costa Rica in the Central Valley. As capital, it is the seat of national government and the center of political and economic activity. Covering an area of over 17 square miles, the population was estimated at nearly 335,000 in 2015. Travelers will be delighted by the atmosphere created by a Latin American city with a high quality of life and a well documented level of security. San José haas been touted as being one of the safest and least violent cities in Central America.
Playa Avellanas is located in Guanacaste’s Golden Coast. The city is known for world-class waves for the surfer types and relaxing shores for those looking to chill. Travelers that surf well will be drawn to a particular surf break that is often called “Little Hawaii”. The waves there can get up to almost 20 feet high! Travelers might also be interested in meeting a local legend named Lola. She’s said to weigh nearly 900 lbs and can be seen wandering the beached taking in the sun and sand. Keep in mind, this is not the place for weak swimmers as the currents are incredibly strong.
Not far south from the town of Tamarindo lies the Playa Negra Beach. The nearest town is a very small town named Los Pargos (The Snapper). Visitors will note the pristineness of the beach. It’s perfect for the family to have a great time together. Solo travelers and family vacationers alike should consider putting this location on their schedule.
Turu Ba Ri Tropical Park
Turu Ba Ri Nature and Adventure Park could easily be considered the perfect destination for a Family Vacation in Costa Rica. Based in the nature preserve, it provides breathtaking views along with opportunities to have some fun. For the adventurous types, they have entertainment options that are suitable for the entire family. The options could range from something calm and quiet like a guided nature tour or a horseback ride to something a bit more daring like the Superman Zip line. You can find Turu Ba Ri Tropical Adventure Park about 50 minutes from San Jose.
In the province of Punteras, travelers will find a town which began as a small fishing village called Montezuma. This is the hotspot for tourist on a budget. Montezuma has become popular among travelers on a budget. Visitors will find Montezuma located on the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula. You will locals and foreigners alike mingling around the beaches, rivers, and beautiful waterfalls in the area. It’s a small beach town with a small town feel that you can traverse end-to-end in around 15 minutes.
Playa Junquillal, is another beautiful little beach town in Costa Rica that is surrounded by tropical beauty. It can serve as the perfect “home base” during your vacation. Ample relaxation is provided by the calm and serene beaches and tide pools all around. Meanwhile, the lush green tropical vegetation provides the optimal backdrop for stress-free living and adventure. Travelers will find Playa Junquillal a short distance to the west of Santa Cruz and south of Tamarindo. There are plenty of warm and friendly locals who are bursting with pride of the town’s Ecological Blue Flag status (quality and safety).
Guanacaste National Park
Guanacaste National Park is a World Heritage Site. Positioned in the northern part of Costa Rica, it sits beside Santa Rosa National Park and covers an area of over 200 square miles. Nature lovers will be delighted by the presence of 140 species of mammals, over 300 birds, 100 amphibians and reptiles, and over 10,000 species of insects. The marvelous Tempisque River runs through the park. There is also beauty and power to be seen in grand sights like the Orosi Volcano and the Cacao Volcano.
Tortuguero National Park
Within the Limon Province in northeastern Costa Rica rests Tortuguero National Park. The park holds the distinction of being the 3rd most visited park in the country, despite its remote location. You can only reach it by airplane or boat! With shores meeting the Caribbean sea, the park spans an area of over 77,000 acres with over 20 miles of coastline.
An Interesting History
Costa Rica is unique in that is has, for the most part, enjoyed greater peace and long-standing political stability than most of its fellow Latin American neighbors. After abolishing its military in the 40’s it began its long period of peace. Since that time, Costa Rica has held 14 presidential elections, the last being in 2018. There has been uninterrupted democracy dating back to at least 1948. Costa Rica is the Central America’s most stable country. This creates an ideal destination for travelers.