Situated in Central America, Costa Rica is surrounded by coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific and covered in rainforest. Costa Rica is renowned for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity. Almost 25% of the country is protected jungle, which is home to some amazing wildlife such as spider monkeys and quetzal birds. It is estimated the 5% of the world’s biodiversity can be found here. The locals call it “pura vida” which translates as “pure life”.
In 1502 Christopher Columbus embarked on his final voyage to the New World. His journey led him to Costa Rica where he was greeted openly by the indigenous people. Plenty of gold was discovered upon exploration of the island, and it earned itself the name of Costa Rica, or "Rich Coast".
Today Costa Rica is home to nearly 5 million people. Its major export is coffee and it is now one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in Central America.
- Visa - Not required - you can stay for up to 90 days on a tourist visa
- Currency - The currency of Costa Rica is the Colón. Major credit cards are widely accepted
- How to Dress - The climate of Costa Rica is tropical but there are several micro climates which means the weather can vary depending on which region you visit. It is advisable to pack several lightweight layers which you can add/remove where appropriate
- Cultural Differences - Costa Rican's live by a mantra of “Pura vida”, meaning “pure life” which represents taking a more simple, relaxed, and happy approach to everyday life. Costa Rica is politically stable and the country has a strong sense of community and family values
- Language - Spanish is the predominant language of Costa Rica
- Tipping - Tipping in Costa Rica is not mandatory, though restaurants will often add a service charge on the final bill of 10%.