With a territory of 19,652 square miles this small country proudly shelters 5% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world and 25.58 % of the country is composed of conservation and natural protected territory. This tropical paradise is considered one of the most developed and stable countries of Central America and also and one of the most
competitive countries in Latin America, mainly due to tourism. Central America is usually associated with political instability and insecurity but Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949 and is one of the safest in the region and its economy is the 11th largest in Latin America.
Costa Rica is also one of the happiest and greenest countries in the world, it regularly appears top – or near the top of international surveys and was the first developing country to state its aim of being carbon neutral. It is the country with the world’s largest protected area. The importance of natural resources of Costa Rica transcends borders and protects livelihoods and wildlife in danger of extinction. All this makes the country to become one of the favorite destinations for ecotourism.
According to the ICT (Costa Rica Tourism Board), in 2012, more than 70% of the tourist who entered Costa Rica by air, practiced activities related to adventure tourism, such as canopy, surfing, rafting, sea kayaking, diving and bungee jumping. Geographic and natural characteristics of Costa Rica (volcanoes, rain, cloud and tropical forests, great rivers, etc.) make it easy to carry out such activities and the opportunities to attract tourists who prefer adventure are many.
Ø Some Facts:
- Spanish is the official language. However, English is spoken by a large segment of the population, thanks to bilingual education provided in schools. In many tourism board/offices, especially hotels: French, German and Italian are also frequently used.
- Costa Rica’s capital, San José, is in the Central Valley.
- Costa Rica’s official currency is Colon
- The official religion is Catholic. Freedom of religious choice is respected.
- Costa Rica’s territorial division includes 7 provinces, which are: San José, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limón.
- Costa Rica is the country in Latin America with the highest life expectancy rate at 77.75 years old
Time zone: GMT -6