When in 1492 Christopher Columbus reached the region of todays Central America, he immediately noticed all of the Costa Rica's wealth. Costa Rica means 'rich country', because the local natives possessed large quantities of gold, and the land is also amazingly rich and abundant. It is a home of many animal species that linger in the trees of rainforest, which stretches from Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea.
After many ups and downs today Costa Rica can celebrate its victory. Some call it Switzerland of Central America, because of its high standard of leaving, colourful nature and moreover, because it represents the ideal of coexistence of man and nature.
Why visit Costa Rica
If you only crave for dreamy beaches and worm temperatures, you can save yourself last part of the trip and stop in one of the Caribbean Islands or Hawaii. Ultimately, you can also head east to the Philippines or Seychelles. Costa Rica offers much more than just sunbathing and enjoying white sandy beaches. It is one of the best destinations for fans of ecotourism, volcano tourism, lovers of luxury and rugged nature, biologists and gourmets, who want to feel simplicity of Caribbean natives.
Nature parks in Costa Rica occupy 1/3 of its land. In one of the lushest rainforest live more than 800 species of birds, capuchin monkeys, sloths, weird spiders, the cutest tropical frogs and much more.
One of the most beautiful bays in the world are a home to many turtles, that each year bury their eggs in white sand. If you are lucky, you can see the miracle of life when hundreds of small turtles hatch and rush into the sea for survival.
If you'll ever take a trip to Costa Rica, be sure to visit the museum of gold - Museo De Oro Precolombiano. There you will find a handful of what Columbus was so intrigued by when he first laid eyes on this country and its wealth.
If you like to treat yourself with some cultural experience when you are on vacation, we advise you to visit the National Theatre - Teatro Nacional in San José, which modelled on the Paris Opera.
Although Costa Rica use to exported mainly chocolate, it is now famous by different exports such as coffee, bananas, sugar, textiles and electricity. As a tourist you can visit many plantations that will help you understand the process of growing one of the most popular foods and who knows... Maybe you won't take them for granted anymore.
If you are going to be in Costa Rica for a long time, you can sign up as a volunteer and help orphaned or homeless children, endangered species or try yourself as a teacher and teach language, arts or sports.
Getting to know some locals and see the glimpse of their daily life can be super rewarding and interesting when visiting a foreign country. You can spice up your vacation by joining fishermen at their work, take the apprentice apron at some native cooking class, or join the group tour to one of many volcanoes. There are almost 100 of them, but only 5 of them are still active.
When to visit Costa Rica
Costa Rica has two seasons - summer, which begins in December (referred to as the dry season), while the winter (rainy season) lasts from May to November. Top season lasts from December to May, but certainly there is always a good time to visit this country. Over the whole year, the average minimum temperatures are around 18 degrees Celsius, and the maximum around 27 degrees Celsius.
Hiring a car in Costa Rica
Although in Costa Rica most roads are one-lane and in quite poor condition, we still think that being independent and have all the freedom to explore this beautiful green land, rich with waterfalls and volcanoes, is extremely worth it. Many beaches and hidden places you can access much easier if you are mobile and on your own. However, we recommend that you rent a vehicle with 4 wheels drive.
Restrictions on the roads are 40, 60 and 80 km/h, but those who have already experienced roads in Costa Rica say, that most of the time you drive much slower than regulations suggests. But you will endure everything if you will choose a good, capable car. Even if driving will be experience itself.
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