Costa Rica is known worldwide for its beautiful beaches, exuberant vegetation, lots of animal species and a great variety of extreme sports. Now, there are many important facts you probably don’t know and which will be useful to choose a Costa Rica Vacation Package.
Costa Rica is just 51,100 km2 long and it’s located in Central America between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
It borders with Nicaragua and Panama and even though it only occupies 0.03% of the world's surface, more than 6% of the planet's biodiversity inhabits here.
Estimated Population: 5 million people out of which about 500k are immigrants that have a temporary visa or residence and that have come to Costa Rica to improve their life quality.
The currency is the Colón but in most parts of the country the US dollar is accepted.
Official language: Spanish but there are still 5 Indigenous languages spoken in some remote places: Malecu, Cabecar, Bribri, Guaimi and Bocota.
It may surprise you that most Costa Ricans speak English and will love to communicate with you in that language if you don’t speak Spanish. Languages such as Portuguese, Hebrew, French, German and Italian are also spoken by some Ticos.
7 provinces with different "personalities":
San Jose: Our capital City, here where you’ll find several museums, art galleries, restaurants, theaters and shopping centers.
Guanacaste: located at the Northern Pacific Coast it is also known for its amazing beaches (at the top of our Costa Rica Beaches).
Puntarenas: at the Central Pacific and especially at the South Pacific you’ll see lots of animals: both on land and at sea (take a look at our Costa Rica Trip to Corcovado Vacation Package for some ideas).
Limon: At the Caribbean Side of Costa Rica; characterized by its beautiful beaches that are surrounded by jungle, its exquisite food and its Afro-Caribbean culture.
Cartago: Known for its fertile lands and Costa Rica Volcanoes.
Alajuela: The perfect place to practice many outdoor activities: zip lining, rafting, kayaking, canyoneering, hiking and relaxing at hot springs
Heredia: Is a very quiet area located in the mountains of the Central Valley. It’s ideal for hiking and visiting the Barva Volcano.
WEATHER- 2 SEASONS-When is the best time of year to travel to Costa Rica
Dry Season: From December till April. It’s the summer in Costa Rica, temperatures rise a bit and climate is less humid. Now, because it is Dry Season is High Season, hotel rates are much higher and you will find more travelers wherever you go.
Rainy or Green Season: From May till November. It’s considered winter because it rains more, but the temperature remains almost the same as in the Dry Season. Rates during Green Season are much lower and you will find lots of promotions. Plus, not many tourists visit Costa Rica during that period of time so service will be faster.
COSTA RICAN PEOPLE
Ticos is the nickname given to Costa Ricans because they add the tico diminutive to lots of words. For example, instead of saying “the car is Chiquito (small)”, they say: “the car is chiquitico (very small).”
Most Costa Ricans start their day early, getting up around 6 in the morning and usually go to bed early as well (10 p.m.)
They're friendly, they greet each other on the streets and also people they might not know.
Costa Rican Food is based on rice, beans, tortillas, lots of vegetables and fruits. The proteins they eat are mostly: chicken, meat and seafood (especially at the coast).
They love the beach.
They're soccer fans.
They consume lots of coffee and are proud of the quality of Costa Rican coffee.
They're PURA VIDA: Pura Vida is a very common saying used by Ticos that can mean many things:
He is very Pura Vida = He is nice, friendly
I’m Pura Vida = I'm feeling great
It can also be used to say thank you, hello and goodbye.
SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS
-1821: Independence of the Spanish colonization
-1869: Free and mandatory education
-1889: Universal Suffrage
-1948: Abolition of the army. Costa Rica is one of the few countries that doesn’t have armed forces
-1986: It was the first time a Costa Rican went to space: Franklin Chang
-1987: Former President Oscar Arias receives Nobel Peace Prize
-It’s the first country in the world that has set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2021.
The above are only a few of the things you should know before traveling to Costa Rica. If you want to know more, contact us!