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Costa Rica - Country Information

Costa Rica - Means rich coastline and is also known as the "Switzerland of Central America".

Country Information

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.

Official language

Spanish

Capital

San José

Area

51.100 m²

Population

5.181.000 (2022)

Currency

Colón, you can also pay with US-Dollar in the most shops

Telephone code

+506

General information about Costa Rica:

Wildlife Projekt Costa Rica
Beach Cleaning Costa Rica Meeresschildrkötenprojekt
Meeresschildkröten Costa Rica

Climate:

The Costa Rican climate is tropical and rises up to 30°C and falls to approximately 20°C at night. In the mountains, however, the weather can be different and often a little colder. There are only two seasons in Costa Rica: summer (from December to April) and monsoon season (from May to December). In the summer time there is almost no rain, while in the monsoon season almost every afternoon there is rain which is often accompanied by thunderstorms. Still, most mornings are bright and sunny.

Flight information:

Several airlines fly from Germany to Costa Rica. These include: United, US Airways, American Airlines, Delta, Lufthansa, Air Berlin, Iberia, British Airways, KLM, Avianca, Air France, and Condor. For detailed flight information and individual offers please contact our partner travel agency (http://www.reisebuero-stadtmitte.de). If you have any further question please do not hesitate to contact us directly. Please take note that flights that via the US need an ESTA.

Exit:

On the day of your leave you should be at the airport two hours before the departure. Please note that there is an exit fee (US $29.00).

Language:

Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica. However, English is spoken in the tourist areas all over the country.

Taxes:

Taxes for hotels, restaurants and most services account for 13%.

Tips:

In general a tip around 10% of the overall bill is appropriate. However, most restaurants already include the tip in the bill. Usually, it is not common to tip cab drivers.

Water:

Despite the fact that the water is drinkable in all areas of the country, we recommend to buy bottled water.

Attractions

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

Volcanos

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.

Wildlife Observation

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
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.

Tours

Surfing

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.

Sport fishing

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.

Waterfall tours

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.

Canopy tours

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.

Diving

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.

Unser Tipp: Im Gebiet von Playas del Coco am Golf von Papagayo.

Tourism in Costa Rica

The economy

The economy in Costa Rica is characterized by tourism with a focus on ecotourism. Every 10th Costa Rican works in tourism. Costa Rica has also experienced an upswing in the high-tech sector thanks to the chip company Intel. The primary sector with the production of coffee, pineapples and bananas has been an important source of income for Costa Rica since the beginning.

Tourism

Ecotourism is the main focus in Costa Rica. Not least because of its many national parks and protected areas, where you can find: rainforests; coral reefs; cloud forests; mangrove swamps; dry forest and even páramo.

Another focus is on family and wedding tourism. Family tourism is on the rise worldwide and in the last five years there has been a change in hotels for family-friendly vacations. Wedding tourism is very widespread. Almost every major hotel offers honeymoon packages. Whether it’s a honeymoon or a local wedding, there are many options, including a wedding on the beach in the sunset.

Anyone who likes to be active on vacation is in the right place in Costa Rica. From surfing to hiking in the rainforest, the country has a lot to offer. Active tourism offers something for everyone on land, in the water and in the air.

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