Tropical, jungle-laden Costa Rica is one of the world’s most beautiful tourist destinations. Its cities are almost as exciting as its natural treasures, offering culture, glamour, relaxation and variety. From volcanos to cruises, to museums and theatres and coffee plantations, Costa Rica offers everything any traveller could wish.
The “Rich Coast”
Located in the narrowest part of central America, Costa Rica has 1,290 miles of gorgeous coastline. If you enjoy the ocean, you’ll love scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing in their legendary waves. Local winds average twenty-four miles an hour, making windsurfing ideal. If you prefer something a little less strenuous, lounge on the beach, or enjoy one of the many cruises which take you through estuaries and inland canals such as Tortuguero, Caño Negro, and Damas.
National Parks Inland
Twenty-five per cent of the land in Costa Rica is dedicated to parks and nature reserves that boast an extraordinary range of plants, wildlife and birdlife. The Corcovado National Park is famous for its biodiversity, including all four varieties of Costa Rican monkeys. Torteguero National Park has rare and giant turtles, and is the largest nesting site for the endangered green turtles. At the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, birdwatchers will find more than 400 varieties of birds, and botany enthusiasts may see 2000 species of plants. Some of the most exciting tours you can take have to do with the rainforest canopy. Ride a gondola over the great trees, or for the adventurous, a zip line. These forests are also filled with rivers and waterfalls that provide terrific whitewater rafting, hiking and viewing.
Not least among Costa Rica’s natural attractions are their live volcanos. Irazú Volcano is the highest in the country, but the most popular (and until recently, most active) is Arenal, named after the country’s largest lake. These volcanoes in turn have created natural hot springs, several of which have spas built around them.
Culture and History
For those who want to enjoy the international flavor of the South American culture, Costa Rica has wonderful live music, and there are festivals being held somewhere at nearly any part of the year. You might see bull fighting, parades, exhibits of local traditional dress and dancing, religious celebrations and more. You’ll also have access to fantastic museums dedicated to the history and culture of Costa Rica. The city of San Jose, for instance, features the National Museum, the Jade Museum and a Children’s Museum. Visit their National Theatre to catch live performances.
Another unique experience that Costa Rica offers to curious westerners consists of tours of coffee plantations. The Costa Rican economy has always thrived on coffee production and exportation, and some of the finest coffee beans in the world are grown in Costa Rica–Tarrazú, Jamaican Blue Mountain and Guatemalan Antigua. If you love coffee, you may enjoy seeing where it is grown and how it is processed, not mention drinking a cup right on location.
To find out more details about the delights which Costa Rica can offer, visit an informational site like http://costarica.org.uk/ which will help you plan the trip of a lifetime.