Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in Central America. It is safe and peaceful. Eco-tourism and Costa Rica are synonymous and there great opportunities for wildlife viewing, bird watching and other outdoor activities. Costa Rica’s stunning scenic heritage unfolds in an ever-changing panylwma of steaming volcanoes, forested mountains, dramatic skies and bucolic countryside. Dark lowland jungles give way to rolling savannas; Pacific surf crashes against rocky headlands, in sharp contrast to the tranquility of palm-fringed Caribbean beaches.
Volcan Arenal regularly spews molten rock, the Peninsula de Osa is crammed with virgin rainforest and wildlife, the beaches are phenomenal anf offer good surfing, and there more than 60 protected areas and National Parks.
Cloud Forest refers to the forests on the upper slopes of Costa Rica’s mountains and volcanoes which are frequently draped in mist and clouds. Algae, mosses and lichens get a foothold on the constantly wet surfaces, providing a place for orchids, bromeliads, ferns and innumerable other plants to cling to.
51,060 sq km (19,714 sq miles)
Spanish (official), English, others
Costa Rican Colón
Cerro Chirripó (3,810 meters)
Roman Catholic (76%), Evangelical (14%), Jehovah’s Witnesses (1%), other Protestant (1%), other (5%), none (3%)
Office hours are Monday - Friday 0800 -1700.
Costa Rica's wet season is from the end of April to mid-December. The rest of the year is dry season with bright sunny days and occasional showers. This is also the high season which means many crowded beaches and attractions. In the Central Valley, where the main centres of population are located, the average temperature is 22°C. In the coastal areas, the temperature is much hotter and humid, while the Pacific Northwest can be extremely hot and dry.
There are no area codes in Costa Rica. Public payphones exist, but they are becoming increasingly rare. Roaming agreements for mobile phones exist with some countries but the state telephone company ICE has a monopoly on service, which is available throughout much of the nation except remote mountain regions.
Costa Rica has a stunning variety of landscapes, microclimates, flora and fauna. Costa Rica's national parks are its greatest glory. As well as being a world leader in eco-tourism, Costa Rica caters for visitors looking for an adrenalin kick, with options including white water rafting, zip line tours through the rainforest canopy, surfing and quad biking. Tourists can glimpse all four native monkey species in Corcovado National Park, see the incredible orchids in the Monteverde Cloud Forest reserve or spot one of the country’s 840 species of birds. The official currency is the Costa Rican Colón and U.S.dollars are widely accepted. The current in Costa Rica is 120v, 60Hz. The flat two pin plug is the same as used in U.S.
Taxis are numerous and inexpensive in San José. The taxis are coloured red and are usually metered. Cycling in Costa Rica is to be take cautiously as much of the interior is mountainous with huge trucks and coaches on the narrow roads and hiring bicycles isn’t cheap. Public transport via road in Costa Rica ranges from the large coach companies to tiny little shuttle buses in the Nicoya Peninsula.