The Land of Natural Wonders and Friendly People
There are very few places in the world that can offer such an incredible diversity of scenery, climate and vacation pleasures as Costa Rica does. Especially when you realize that it is only 240 kilometers (150 miles) wide, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, and 400 kilometers (250 miles long from Nicaragua to the Panama border. With a national territory of 51,100 square kilometers (19,700 square miles), Costa Rica is approximately half the size of the state of Kentucky in the United States, or slightly larger than Switzerland in Europe.
Packed within its borders, however, are more than a dozen volcanoes, dry savannas, tropical dry and lush rain forests, cool cloud forests, several mountain ranges, countless streams and rivers and over 1,200 kilometers (755 miles) of coastline stretched along two oceans. Nearly a quarter of Costa Ricas territory is protected in a world-renowned system of national parks, biological reserves, wildlife refuges and other protected areas.
The nations twelve distinct ecological zones are home to an astonishing array of flora and fauna: Approximately four percent of all known species on Earth, including over 850 species of birds, 600 species of butterflies, 1,200 species of orchids and 237 species of mammals, including three-toed sloths, giant anteaters, coatimundis, peccaries and four species of monkeys.
Another experience for the visitor is the Costa Rican hospitality. Spontaneous smiles and a genuine desire to make you feel welcome will greet you wherever you go.
You will encounter a progressive society, known for its tolerance and social consciousness; one that has abolished its army and made health and education the most important priorities.
Although not a wealthy nation in comparison to some other Latin American countries, Costa Rica is well developed. Roads, electricity and telephones reach throughout the countryside. The cleanliness and neatness of the country is exceptional. Even the poorest farmhouse is nicely painted, often with beautiful flowers planted around the yard.
Variety is what makes Costa Rica such an exciting place to visit. Want to stroll down a palm-lined beach in the heat of the morning sun? Hook a marlin so big that you have to fight half an hour to get him near the boat? Paddle down a whitewater river lined with such gorgeous scenery that you can hardly keep your eyes on the rapids? Focus your binoculars on such spectacular birds as the toucan and scarlet macaw? Stand in awe at the foot of a volcano as it blasts incandescent boulders hundreds of feet into the sky? Costa Rica is the place where you can do all of the above, and more! No matter which of the countrys abundant attractions hold the interest of the visitor, its natural beauty and friendly citizens are sure to make any stay in Costa Rica an unforgettable one.
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