Costa Rica – Information on the country
Translated literally Costa Rica means rich coast and is also known as the ‘Switzerland of Central America‘. In the North, Costa Rica shares a border with Nicaragua and one with Panama in the South. Due to the number of national parks and the mostly untouched beaches Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers and surfers.
National Parks in Costa Rica
As much as 25% of the basal area of Costa Rica is composed of national parks or reserves. Alongside the state protection, there are a vast number of private initiatives who are often supported and co-initiated by foreign organizations and/or universities. Most national parks charge a small entry fee that is used to sustain the parks. Here is a list with some of the sights found in different national parks:
Marine National Park
Ballena (Uvita) and Las Baulas in Guanacaste
Arenal, Irazú, Poás, Tenorio and Turrialba
Sea Turtles in Tortuguero
Tortuguero is located on the Carribean Coast of Costa Rica and is 40 kilometers ahead of the Nicaraguan border. There are no cars in Tortuguero. The small village can only be reached by boat or plane. Often, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys or sloths can be seen there.
Native tree species
Corcovado: The city of Corcovado is located on the western part of the peninsula Osa and covers roughly 42.000 hectare of land. Its national park has thirteen different ecological systems that are home to more than 500 different tree species, about 140 animal species and 370 different species of birds. In addition it is home to more than 150 types of orchids, 120 reptiles and amphibians as well as 6000 different species of insects.
Diriá, Manuel Antonio: With solely 7 kilometers, Diriá, Manuel Antonio is the smallest national park of Costa Rica. Nevertheless, the park has a lot to offer – with its beautiful beach and a bay the park invites its visitors for a swim or surfing experience. What is more, nature lovers can find more than 350 different species of plants and 109 mammal species there.
Cahuita is a small village with about 3.000 inhabitants. It is located on the Caribbean Coast and is home to the country’s second largest national park. Besides the beautiful beach and a great variety of animals, American crocodiles can be found in the neighboring Carara river.
Costa Rica is known as a paradise for surfers as it offers a great number of untouched beaches, which offer great fun to beginners and professional surfers. In addition, one can encounter beautiful natural sights and a variety of animals.
In Costa Rica, sport fishing is a very popular free time activity. Especially in places such as Samara, Manuel Antonio/Quepos, Puerto Jimenez, Tambor/Mal País sport fishing is very popular.
Costa Rica is home to a wide range of beautiful natural water falls. Many guided tours to water falls can be found online or on site. Nevertheless, most waterfalls can be easily found just using a map. Some offices offer tours on horseback which are a special experience for animal and nature lovers. Depending on the duration and route a tour on horseback can vary between $30-70.
Whale and dolphin tour
Depending on the region, whaling season lasts from August to October. Yet, in October the chances of seeing a whale mother with her new born calf are peaking, whereas dolphins can be seen all year long. In addition, combined tours can be booked, these include according to the individual offer, swimming or diving experiences, as well as whale watching. The costs for such tours can be up to $150 depending on the duration and activity.
Floating over treetops – many cities offer canopy tours during which you can travel across the treetops and view the beautiful and untouched nature below you. Costs may vary due to the duration of the tour.
Kajak and rafting tours
The many rivers of Costa Rica invite their visitors to extraordinary kayaking and rafting tours. Almost everywhere in the country you will have the opportunity to take part in a tour or rent a kayak. Take note however, that during monsoon season you should not go kayaking or rafting without a native to guide you through the rough streams! The prices for tours may vary heavily which is why you should compare prices and offers in advance.
The Costa Rican landscape offers places to dive for beginners as well as professionals. The beautiful underwater world of Costa Rica has a lot to offer. Next to beautiful reaves, various animals can be spotted. Depending on the region one can find whitetip reef sharks, bull sharks, mantas, eagle rays, squids and many more. Our tip: Diving in the area of Playas del Coco on the Golf of Papagayo.
Tourismus in Costa Rica
Die Wirtschaft in Costa Rica ist geprägt durch den Tourismus mit Schwerpunkt auf den Ökotourismus. Jeder 10 Costa Ricaner arbeitet im Tourismus. Durch die Chipfabrikfirma Intel erlebte Costa Rica auch im Bereich High-Tech-Sektor einen Aufschwung. Der primäre Sektor mit der Produktion von Kaffee, Ananas und Bananen ist für Costa Rica seit Beginn eine wichtige Einnahmequelle.
In Costa Rica steht vor allem der Ökotouismus im Vordergrund. Nicht zuletzt wegen seinen vielen Nationalparks und Schutzgebieten, in denen man: Regenwälder; Korallenriffe; Nebelwälder; Mangrovensümpfe; Trockenwald und sogar Páramo findet.
Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt liegt auf dem Familien- und Hochzeitstourismus. Der Familientourismus steigt weltweit immer mehr an und so gab es in den letzten fünf Jahren ein Wandel der Hotels, für familienfreundliche Urlaube. Der Hochzeitstourismus ist sehr stark verbreitet. Fast in jedem größeren Hotel gibt es das Angebote der Hochzeitsreise. Ob man in die Flitterwochen oder die Hochzeit vor Ort macht, Angebote gibt es viele bis hin zur Hochzeit am Strand in den Sonnenuntergang.
Jeder der in seinem Urlaub gerne aktiv unterwegs ist, ist in Costa Rica genau richtig. Angefangen von Surfen bis Wanderungen im Regenwald das Land hat eine Menge zu bieten. Der Aktivtourismus bietet für alle etwas an Land, zu Wasser und auch in der Luft.
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