Costa Rica Information

Capital San Jose
Government Democratic Republic
Currency Costa Rican colon (CRC)
Area 51,100 km2
Population 4,509,290 inhabitants as June 2009
Language Spanish (official), Creole English spoken around Puerto Limon and English as a second language well spoken country wide.

Costa Rica is a country in Central America. In the north it borders Nicaragua and in the southeast Panama. To the west, there is the Pacific Ocean and to the east, the Caribbean Sea. Understand Costa Rica has bewilderingly diverse landscapes, flora, and fauna. From rain forests, to dry tropical and temperate forests, to volcanoes, to Caribbean and Pacific beaches, to high mountains, and marshy lowlands. Costa Rica is one of the world's most popular destinations for eco-tourists because of its biodiversity. It has been stated in various places that Costa Rica may contain as much as 5% of the world's plant and animal species in an area the combined size of the U.S. states of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Caribbean Costa Rica Less visited region of the country, due to its relative isolation, which has great opportunities for whitewater rafting, surfing and sea turtle sightseeing.

Central Valley The population center with about two thirds of Costa Rican population. Some important national parks are located here such, Braulio Carrillo National Park and IRAZU & Barva volcanoes among others.

Central Pacific Home to the biggest and best portion of Costa Rican beaches.

Guanacaste The "dry region" of Costa Rica, with few rains any time of year, fabulous beaches and surfing, and some large volcanic and dry forest parks in the North by the Nicaraguan border.

Plains of the North A sparsely populated, but beautiful and mountainous region, most famous for its active volcano, ARENAL, and the surrounding hot springs and volcanic lakes.

South Costa Rica Enter the Costa Rican rainforest; one of the most biodiversity environments on the planet, full of exotic endemic flora and fauna, and some of the planet's most beautiful and remote tropical beaches.

Wildlife - Costa Rica is world famous for having an incredibly high level of biodiversity throughout its tropical forests (this covers what you may hear referred to as rain forests, cloud forests, and dry forests). There are tropical mammals such as monkeys, sloths, tapirs, and wild cats as well as an amazing assortment of insects and other animals. With 35% of the country been national parks and private protected areas, there are still many places you can go to see the abundant wildlife and lush vegetation of the country. Just like anywhere, the farther you get off the beaten path, the more likely you are to see a wide variety of flora and fauna. There is such biodiversity in Costa Rica not only because it's a land bridge between North and South America, but also because the terrain is so varied and there are weather patterns moving in from both the Pacific and Caribbean. There are impressive volcanoes, mountain areas, rivers, lakes, and beaches all throughout the country. There are many beautiful beaches - most of the popular ones are on the Pacific side but the Caribbean has excellent beaches as well.

Bird Watching - One of the most wonderful activities for people who love nature is bird watching. You can enjoy bird watching in many areas of Costa Rica. Due to the great diversity of climates, temperatures and forest types in Costa Rica, there is a wonderful variety of birds, with 893 species. Some helpful field guides available on bird watching are Birds of Costa Rica by F. Gary Stiles and Alexander Skutch or Field Guide to Birds of Costa Rica, by Richard Garrigues. These books can be found at certain bookstores in San José or before coming to Costa Rica.

Unless you are an experienced neo-tropical birder, it can be a lot more productive to go out with an experienced birding guide. Do not forget to bring a hat, rain gear, boots, binoculars and camera. In hot areas, an umbrella can be more useful than a poncho or jacket.

Volcanoes -Costa Rica is one of the most seismological active countries in the western hemisphere, and as a result several volcanoes have sprouted over the years- most notably volcanoes POAS, IRAZU, TURRIALBA and ARENAL.

Beaches Costa Rica is a country with an extraordinary wealth of things to do, but regardless of your travel interests, you're would love to spend time at one of the country's great beaches. The majority of beach tourism is concentrated on the Pacific side, in the Central Pacific region near San José, the Nicoya Peninsula, and in the dry tropical forests of Guanacaste. Less touristic, but no less beautiful are the beaches in the tropical rainforest of the southern Pacific coast near Corcovado National Park, or on the exotic, Rastafarian, eco-tourism paradise of the Caribbean side.

Fishing Costa Rica has some of the best Sport Fishing in the world and is the first country to practice catch and release fishing. The Pacific side has incredible fishing for Sailfish, Marlin, Dorado, Tuna, Wahoo, Roosterfish, Snapper, and more. The Caribbean side and Northern regions of Costa Rica are famous for big Tarpon and big Snook. Over sixty-four world records have been caught in Costa Rica. Half day, Full day and Multi-Day Trips are available.