Last updated: 13. December 2021
Costa Rica means “rich coast” in spanish. In terms of biodiversity, beautiful nature and grand experiences, this country, most certainly is extremely rich. A whole quarter of the country is preserved as national parks. Parks protected by law not to be used for industry or any activities destroying the nature.
As a pioneer of Eco- tourism, there is no other country you can travel as green, as in Costa Rica. Like many countries in Latin America, there’s potential for large petroleum production. The difference is that their government has chosen to keep the oil in the ground.
Not only have the present policies stopped deforestation. They’ve been able to grow new jungle, and made sure all species thrive. It’s the first country in the Americas to make all hunting illegal.
The seasonal differences are vast. Rain season usually stretches from May to November (most areas). December until April is the sunnier months, and therefore high season for tourism. There’s some differences depending on which coast you’re at (more about that later in the post).
If you’re in the height, mountains, or near a volcano, local differences are normal. Many find the temperatures more comfortable there during the warmest periods; February- April. These months it typically reaches between 70° and 81° Fahrenheit at the coasts.
Traveling in Costa Rica gives you access to a large number of activities. If you vacation by one of the many beaches, surfing lessons are basically mandatory. Santa Teresa is considered as one of the best places on earth to surf. If you’re an yoga enthusiast, this place is for you as well.
Rafting is available both nearby the beaches, as well as you in the mountains. In the mountains you can do tons of different exciting stuff as well. Monteverde has some of the most spectacular zip Lines and bungee jumping spots.
The designations are commonly used. Don’t worry about negative associations connected to these nicknames. The locals usually like the names. One of the largest media houses in Costa Rica is called Tico Times.
Pura Vida – translates to something like “Pure Life”. It can also be used to say ‘hello’, ‘good bye’, ‘no problem’s etc.
You’re probably going to hear this phrase several times a day. The more you mingle with the friendly Tico’s and Tica’s, the more the sentence makes sense. One can say Pura Vida describes their way of life. A relaxed and positive people. With a natural sense of well being, they make Costa Rica a comfortable country to travel in.
Most of the people working with tourism understand and talks english. Still, you won’t regret if you take time to learn some Spanish words. If you plan to use public transport, we highly recommend it.
The biodiversity is like no other place on earth. Costa Rica areal covers only 0,003% of the world. Still, 6% of all the different types of animals lives here. That’s a whopping 500’000 different species. Therefore it’s one of the most popular countries to travel for bird watchers and other animals enthusiasts.
The local, friendly dogs tend to come by to say hi. No need to be surprised if a monkey, ant eater, raccoon, parrot or deer does as well. Sometimes it can feel like being in a Disney movie.
There’s a lot of similarities between the two coasts. Still, some differences might be good to know before planning the trip.
Weather wise it’s usually less rain at the West coast during September and October. December it’s more rainy around Porto Viejo (Caribbean coast) compared to Pacific coast.
The Caribbian side is said to be more ‘hippie’. The infrastructure is less developed, than for example Guenacaste. The roads tend to be slightly bumpier or more dusty. Many of the cities by the Pacific coast tend to have more shopping malls, entertainment services and such.
Tico’s love food. There’s particularly two dishes you’ll find at most cafes and restaurants: Gallo Pinto and Casado. Gallo Pinto contains rice and beans often combined with eggs, fried banana vegetables and salad. Casado is similar, but typically served for dinner. Instead of eggs, you usually get the options between chicken, fish, meat or vegan.
Both dishes are tasteful, healthy and often quite cheap.
On December 1st. 1948 Costa Rica abolished their military. It marked the end of a civil war. The government agreed to Prioritize education and public health, rather than a standing army.
Many Tico’s proudly tells the fact that they do not depending on armed forces for their well being. However some have developed a peculiar hostility to their neighbors in Nicaragua. Often called Nica’s (not so friendly nickname). One explanation is that many come over for work. Therefore Costa Rica still has a lot of border controls in the north.
Life before the conquistadors came, is not as known as for example Mexico. Natives probably lived in typical hunter/gatherer societies, with local variations of agriculture, warrior culture and shamanism.
Historically there has been a lot of gold and Jade in Costa Rica. Some attributing the name “Rich Coast” to all the gold Europeans presumed existed there.
In San Jose each element has their museum. They’re great places to visit if you want to learn more about the natives.
– Pura Vida