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Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful and diverse country with a rich history and culture. Here are the top ten things you should know about Costa Rica:

Costa Rica Rio Celeste
  1. Geography & Biodiversity:
    • Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Despite its small size, it's home to about 5% of the world's biodiversity, making it a hotspot for eco-tourism.
  2. Capital and Largest City:
    • San José is both the capital and the largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the Central Valley, it serves as the country's political, economic, and cultural hub.
  3. Language:
    • The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. While many Costa Ricans, especially in the tourism industry, speak English, it's appreciated when visitors make an effort to speak some Spanish.
  4. Pura Vida:
    • This phrase, meaning ″pure life″, embodies the Costa Rican philosophy of living life to the fullest and appreciating the simple joys. It's used in various contexts, from a greeting to an expression of contentment.
  5. Economy:
    • Historically, Costa Rica's economy relied on agriculture, with bananas, coffee, and pineapples being major exports. However, in recent years, tourism, technology, and services have become significant sectors.
  6. Local Foods, Costa Rican cuisine is hearty and delicious. Some must-try dishes include:
    • Gallo Pinto: A traditional breakfast dish made of rice and black beans.
    • Casado: A lunch plate consisting of rice, beans, salad, a protein (like chicken, beef, or fish), and sometimes plantains.
    • Tamales: Corn dough stuffed with various fillings and wrapped in banana leaves.
    • Sopa Negra: Black bean soup often served with a boiled egg.
  7. Conservation:
    • Costa Rica is renowned for its commitment to conservation. Over 25% of the country's land is protected as national parks or reserves.
  8. Traditions & Festivals:
    • Día de los Boyeros: Celebrated in Escazú, this festival honors the country's oxcart drivers with a parade of brightly painted oxcarts.
    • Semana Santa: Holy Week is observed with processions and traditional foods.
    • Fiesta de los Diablitos: In Boruca, this festival represents the resistance of the Boruca people against Spanish conquerors, with locals dressing as devils and dancing.
  9. Currency:
    • The Costa Rican colón (CRC) is the country's official currency. However, US dollars are widely accepted, especially in tourist areas.

Visiting Costa Rica offers a unique opportunity to experience both stunning natural beauty and a warm, welcoming culture. Whether you're hiking in a rainforest, lounging on a beach, or exploring San José's streets, there's something for everyone.

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