- 1 Overview of Costa Rica
- 2 Continent
- 3 Population
- 4 Size
- 5 Does Costa Rica Have Good Beaches?
- 6 How to Travel Sustainably in Costa Rica?
- 7 What could be improved?
- 8 How to Plan A Trip to Costa Rica?
- 9 What are Contiki’s sustainability credentials?
- 10 Are flights included in my trip?
- 11 What is Costa Rica Known For?
- 12 How is Costa Rica’s Economy?
- 13 What are the issues?
- 14 What are the luggage restrictions?
- 15 What documents do I need to travel?
- 16 What's not included that I should budget for?
- 17 Where to Visit in Costa Rica?
- 18 When you travel to Costa Rica the very first question you usually ask is where are we going to go?
- 19 Why Visit?
- 20 What is Costa Rica’s Culture Like?
- 21 What is Costa Rica’s Climate Like?
- 22 Why Visit Costa Rica?
- 23 What is Costa Rica’s Government?
- 24 What is Costa Rica’s Geography?
- 25 Why is Costa Rica So Sustainable?
- 26 Is Costa Rica’s Food Safe?
- 27 Who Are We?
- 28 Is It Safe to Drive in Costa Rica?
- 29 What’s working well in Costa Rica?
- 30 What do the Contiki team do?
- 31 Why Visit?
- 32 Why Visit?
- 33 Why Visit?
- 34 Where is Costa Rica?
- 35 When is the best time to travel to Costa Rica?
- 36 Will I be able to access WiFi on my trip?
- 37 Why Visit?
- 38 Why Visit?
- 39 What is The Currency in Costa Rica?
- 40 Why Visit?
- 41 When is The Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?
- 42 Why Visit?
- 43 Why Visit?
- 44 Why Visit?
- 45 Why Visit?
- 46 History of Costa Rica
Overview of Costa Rica
Like the rest of Central America, Costa Rica is sandwiched between two continents and two oceans, attracting an amazing diversity of plants and animals from each ecosystem.Located just north of Panama and just south of Nicaragua, Costa Rica occupies one of nature’s most incredible pieces of real estate.
The Latinobarómetro survey of 2017 found that 57% of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholics, 25% are Evangelical Protestants, 15% report that they do not have a religion, and 2% declare that they belong to another religion. This survey indicated a decline in the share of Catholics and rise in the share of Protestants and irreligious. A University of Costa Rica survey of 2018 show similar rates; 52% Catholics, 22% Protestants, 17% irreligious and 3% other. The rate of secularism is high by Latin American standards.
Costa Rica has again topped the Happy Planet Index rankings with a substantial lead – having previously come top in our 2009 and 2012 editions.Costa Rica’s GDP per capita is less than a quarter of the size of many Western European and North American countries, and is primarily based on tourism, agriculture and exports.This tropical Central-American country is home to the greatest density of species in the world.
Does Costa Rica Have Good Beaches?
Costa Rica’s beaches are great! Even better, there’s a beach for you – whether you’re looking to enjoy romantic interludes, outdoor adventure, or quiet, uncrowded bliss.
How to Travel Sustainably in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica already has lots of sustainability measures in place, making eco-friendly travel relatively simple.
What could be improved?
Income inequality in Costa Rica is particularly high – in part because Costa Rica’s tax system does not effectively redistribute wealth across the population.And while Costa Rica’s commitment to environmental sustainability is impressive, its Ecological Footprint isn’t yet small enough to be completely sustainable.
How to Plan A Trip to Costa Rica?
There are three simple steps to planning your Costa Rica itinerary.
What are Contiki’s sustainability credentials?
We believe that travelling sustainably and consciously, matters.Contiki Cares is our commitment to protecting the communities we visit, the wildlife we interact with, and the planet we all share.Our founding partner, the TreadRight Foundation was established 10 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting sustainable tourism within The Travel Corporation’s family of brands.From our Me To We volunteering trip in Ecuador to the shark saver initiative in the Galapagos, our projects in Latin America are all about giving something back.Find out more at https://www.contiki.com/uk/en/about/contiki-cares.
Are flights included in my trip?
International flights to/from the destination your trip starts and ends in are not included in the cost of the trip, and must be purchased separately.You can book these independently if you want to shop around for the best quote, or through your travel agent.Any flights you take during your Contiki are included in the cost of your trip.On certain Latin America trips we use planes to get you from A to B as quickly as possible, and all of this is included.
What is Costa Rica Known For?
A national motto of “Pura Vida!” or “Pure Life!”; delicious and hearty fresh food; succulent tropical fruit; great weather, friendly people, and outdoor adventure are all reasons why Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination.In terms of the country’s background, the nation is approximately the same size as West Virginia in the United States.Containing 4 percent of the Earth’s biodiversity, Costa Rica is one of the world's most biologically diverse countries.Scientists have estimated that close to 4 percent of the Earth’s species live in Costa Rica.The nation boasts rainforests and cloud forests (there is a difference), sunny beaches, mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls and rivers – as well as all of the action you would expect to find across these terrains.
How is Costa Rica’s Economy?
It’s great! There are many reasons Costa Rica’s society is so pleasant, and enjoying economic stability is chief among them.Costa Rica is a peaceful country, and has not had a standing army since 1948.The government provides free education for citizens through the 11th grade, as well as healthcare.Citizens of Costa Rica enjoy a high standard of living — there is a 96 percent literacy rate and an average life expectancy of 78 years.
What are the issues?
In Cocos Island National Park, fish poaching — especially of sharks, driven by demand for shark fin soup — remains a problem.In one out of every five surveillance patrols, officials find illegal activity.Although all fishing is prohibited in the marine protected area, small boats still routinely catch tuna and mahi mahi, a large fish common to tropical waters.Surveillance of these waters is a complex and expensive challenge, as local rangers have limited resources.About 25 rangers are responsible for all aspects of park management, and so cannot devote adequate time to surveillance.
What are the luggage restrictions?
On our Latin America trips, you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73cm x 50cm x 25cm (29” x 20” x 10”), with a max.weight of 20kg (44lbs).As with our other regions, luggage is restricted to only one reasonably sized backpack/suitcase plus one carry-on bag, and luggage policies are strictly enforced on our trips.Due to the large number of flights on Contiki Latin America trips, your luggage needs to meet the size and weight restrictions imposed by airlines.These limits are imposed by the airlines, not by Contiki.Check out www.lan.com for more.On some of our trips, it is necessary to use an overnight bag on the occasional nights when it’s not possible to unload your bags from the coach (like our Peru Jungle Lodge & at Machu Picchu).It’s a good idea to bring an overnight bag, or hand luggage that’s big enough to double up as an overnighter when needed.
What documents do I need to travel?
Depending on your nationality, you may require visas to enter certain countries on your
trip.You are fully responsible for obtaining all necessary visas that are required prior to the departure of your trip.Contiki is not legally permitted to knowingly allow anybody who does not have a valid visa to join a trip.Visa and other entry & exit conditions (such as currency, arrival/ departure taxes, customs and quarantine regulations) do change regularly.Your passport must have at least six months’ validity remaining when you arrive.Local immigration authorities may deny entry and deport people who do not meet this requirement, even if they only intend to stay for a short period.Important to consider:
• Visas can take up to six weeks and a fee is normally charged.• Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to miss part of your trip and will result in
you incurring considerable expense and inconvenience.• It is better for you to apply for all visas before you leave home.• It is very important that the entry and exit dates are correct on the visa.
What's not included that I should budget for?
There are loads of great things to spend your money on while you’re in Latin America – from a day trip to a beautiful coastal town, to a special dinner or an outfit that you just can’t resist…So how much money should you bring?
Remember your trip already includes plenty of things such as breakfast every day, many meals, lots of sightseeing, guided tours & activities & much more
Before you travel, it’s a good idea to read up on and get an idea of the Free Time Add-Ons you think you’ll want to do on trip, as these will form part of your overall budget.
Where to Visit in Costa Rica?
If it’s your first time visiting the country, you may be overwhelmed by how much choice you have – beaches, mountains, lakes, volcanoes, rainforests, cloud forests… Choose your own adventure when you explore the nation’s landscapes.
When you travel to Costa Rica the very first question you usually ask is where are we going to go?
Costa Rica’s diversity makes that a very hard question to answer.One thing is for sure you have come to the right spot.We will direct you to the best of the best in Costa Rica.Beaches, Volcanos, National Parks, Rainforests, and Waterfalls.The Beaches are for the surfers and sunbathers at heart only the best for you.Presently Costa Rica has five Active volcanoes, that means lava and lots of ash.The National Parks in Costa Rica are so famous because the variety of animals you find here.Costa Rica Rainforests to boast 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity.Lastly, the Cascading Waterfalls are the cherry on top of where to go.
Guanacaste is home to Costa Rica’s most popular beach destinations and all-inclusive resorts.If you are looking for a beach vacation, this is your destination for sun, sand, and surf.
What is Costa Rica’s Culture Like?
The word to best describe Costa Rica’s culture is: friendly – from the food to the landscape, the nation is friendly, beautiful, eclectic, outdoorsy, and extremely eco-friendly.Sustainability has become one of the cornerstones of modern-day Costa Rican culture; it is understood that to continue enjoying the land for generations to come, we must take care of it now.In the past 40 years, the Costa Rican government has demonstrated a keen awareness of the relationship between tourism and the environment.In order to maintain Costa Rica’s awe-inspiring biodiversity, the Institute of Costa Rican Tourism has implemented a system that rewards hotels and tour providers that implement green business practices.
What is Costa Rica’s Climate Like?
Seasonal, but mostly divided between a wet season and dry season – you won’t find the extremely harsh winters some regions endure in North America and Europe.With a variety of terrains and elevations comes many microclimates in Costa Rica, so although there is a general ‘best time of year’ to visit Costa Rica, the specific weather is likely to vary from coast to coast.
Why Visit Costa Rica?
You should visit Costa Rica because it is one of the most biodiverse and naturally beautiful places on planet Earth.Over 500,000 species call Costa Rica home – on land and in the sea.Countless plants thrive here, including more than 1,400 species of orchid flower, and hollow ficus or fig trees that you can scale from the inside.Outdoor adventure, relaxing by the beach, seeing animals in their native habitat, learning about a new culture, supporting sustainable travel and local family-owned businesses… When you vacation in Costa Rica, you’ll not only have an amazing time, you can actually feel good about where your travel dollars are going.
What is Costa Rica’s Government?
Costa Rica’s government type is a “Democratic Republic”.The nation has an “Executive Power System” which consists of a President, two Vice Presidents, and an extended Legislative Assembly.Much like the United States, Costa Rica has an Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, and Judicial Branch.The people electing their President is a large portion of why the nation enjoys strong governmental (and economic) stability.Another reason? A lack of military.
What is Costa Rica’s Geography?
Costa Rica is in Central America; the country's total area is 19,730 square miles (51,100 sq km), which is slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia in the U.S.The nation shares land borders with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south; the west coast is lined by the Pacific Ocean, while the Caribbean Sea dominates the east coast.
Why is Costa Rica So Sustainable?
What makes Costa Rica so sustainable is a firm commitment to sustainability – nationwide.This is one of the reasons why ecotourism and sustainable development in Costa Rica go hand in hand.However, living up to environmental virtues and sustainable development remains a constant battle throughout the country, whether due to lucrative contract offers, corrupt politics, or illegal poaching and logging.Nevertheless, Costa Rica has largely resisted opportunities to exploit its vast natural resources for valued commodities, despite having a high density of precious metals in the South Pacific, oil along the Pacific Coast, and rare hardwoods in the rainforest.
Is Costa Rica’s Food Safe?
Costa Rica’s food is not only safe, it’s delicious! Hearty helpings of chicken, rice, and beans make frequent appearances on restaurant menus.As a tropical Central American nation, the region also boasts superb fruits and vegetables.As for beverages, you’re probably wondering, “Is Costa Rica’s water safe?” More specifically, “Is Costa Rica’s water safe to drink?” Yes, on both counts! It’s safe to splash around in the water, and you can find clean tap water throughout Costa Rica and in most tourist destinations.You are also much less likely to suffer from stomach upset than in other countries in Central America.So, if the restaurant you’re in looks clean, feel free to order whatever strikes your fancy – and a nice cold drink to go with it.
Who Are We?
CostaRica.com is the leading travel, relocation, real estate and weather source of information about Costa Rica.We take you through the journey from preparing for your trip, finding out what you want to see and do in Costa Rica to booking your vacation with us or reliable operators.We operate tours that depart from San Jose and Guanacaste.
Is It Safe to Drive in Costa Rica?
Yes, it is technically safe to drive in Costa Rica.In truth, it is more accurate to say that driving in Costa Rica is safe if you are a defensive driver who is down for an adventure.Love a good road trip and figure you’ll take the scenic route during your getaway? There are a few things you should know about Costa Rica’s driving conditions first.Here, when the rubber meets the road you never know what you’re going to get – Costa Rica’s road conditions vary widely throughout the country.So, that road trip you’re envisioning will be less exploring dusty, open roads to beautiful beaches, and more driving on two-lane freeways.
What’s working well in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949, and has since reallocated army funds to be spent on education, health and pensions .In 2012, Costa Rica invested more in education and health as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product than the UK. Professor Mariano Rojas, a Costa Rican economist at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, attributes Costa Ricans’ high wellbeing to a culture of forming solid social networks of friends, families and neighbourhoods.
What do the Contiki team do?
People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best.Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business.But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood.
Our team in Latin America are all genuine Latin locals, and they can’t wait to show you their backyard.Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you.They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too.Local Guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.
The Osa Peninsula is truly an unexplored paradise and a must see for nature lovers.If you are looking to get off the beaten path and explore – this is the spot for you.
Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is where you’ll find the tallest mountains, pristine cloud forest areas, and a virtually unexplored paradise.Find a large variety of birds and just an endless array of biodiversity.
The Nicoya Peninsula is still largely undeveloped and home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches.Known for it’s laid back surfer vibe and boutique beach resorts.
Where is Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America.It is positioned in the Northern and Western hemispheres of the Earth.Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north; by the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, by Panama to the southeast and by the Pacific Ocean to the southwest.
When is the best time to travel to Costa Rica?
Costa Rica’s climate is defined by the rainy and dry seasons.The best time to visit is Costa Rica’s dry season which is December to April, March and April are the hottest months.The rainy season is May to November, the wettest months are September and October.In recorded history a hurricane has never made landfall in Costa Rica.
Will I be able to access WiFi on my trip?
Contiki’s Latin America accommodation is almost all hotels on a twin-share basis.You will stay in centrally located 3-star hotels & resorts that have been chosen for their particular character, charm, location & style.They’re all very comfortable & have some great amenities, like WiFi and en-suite bathrooms.
Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast is a rich cultural area offering a laid back tropical atmosphere.Experience what Tico Time truly is on this Afro-Caribbean influenced area.
Nicaragua is a unique country full of culture and historical parts.You can see a lot of the old part of the colonial age including the cobblestone streets and old forts.
What is The Currency in Costa Rica?
The Costa Rican currency is the ‘colon’, which hovers between 550 – 600 colones/ $1 USD.U.S.dollars are widely accepted, provided the bill is not too large ($50 and $100 bills are rarely accepted).Hotels and tours generally list their prices in dollars.
Costa Rica’s Northern Zone is home to the country’s most famous Volcano and Cloud Forest Areas.
When is The Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?
Anytime is a great time to visit Costa Rica! But odds are by “best time to visit” you mean, “When is Costa Rica’s Dry Season?” That’s going to be December to April on the country’s Pacific Slope, but keep in mind, that this is also the busiest time of the year – international sunseekers flock to the country in droves to beat the winter blues.On the Caribbean Slope, the dry season is July to October.Keep in mind that each coast is prone to occasional rain showers any time of year, and it is not uncommon for mountainous regions to be cooler than their lower elevation counterparts.
Panama is a totally different level of destination.It has so much to offer.You can experience history and modern architecture all in one in Panama City with skyscrapers and the old part of the city.
Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast is home to some of the closest beaches from the capital of San José, which are easily accessible from the highway.
Costa Rica, or “Rich Coast”, is a volcanic, lushly rain-forested Central American country located on the isthmus between North and South America Nestled between the coastlines of the Pacific Ocean to the West and the Caribbean Sea to the East.
Costa Rica’s Central Valley is home to the capital of San José and the Juan Santamaría International Airport.Steeped in History & Culture, many people use the capital as the jumping off point for their vacations.
History of Costa Rica
and it was one of the first countries where primary education became constitutionally
compulsory and publicly financed.