Costa Rica is a destination internationally renowned for its friendly and genuine people and spectacular nature. While it may seem remote, Costa Rica is easily accessible from the United States and Canada, and attracts more eco-friendly and holistically oriented tourism each year.
Costa Rica occupies a territory of around 20,000 square miles in the southern part of Central America, and includes several small islands mostly on the Pacific side.
The country is only about 200 miles long and 70 miles wide at the narrowest part with 2 long coastlines. Even though Costa Rica is a very small country and only accounts for about 0.25% of world’s landmass, it has almost 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Much of the country is set aside forever into protected National Parks, wildlife refuges and nature reserves.
The population is approximately 4,000,000 people which includes 40,000 natives who belong to eight different cultural groups. The official language is Spanish, but many of the people speak some English, a required course in all schools. Costa Ricans are affectionately known as Ticos (TEA-coes) – and you would be hard pressed to find a more friendly and welcoming culture.
Costa Rica has not only become known for its beauty and ecological tourism, but also as a country whose values reflect many of ideals embraced by those of us interested in world peace, environmental preservation, excellent education, and a high standard of health care. It is unique in Central America as it has the longest uninterrupted democracy, no standing army in more than 50 years, and a 95% literacy rate.
Costa Rica is at the forefront of environmental stewardship in Central America. It is committed to a major initiative to decrease its ecological footprint and become a leader in the “green” movement, as the effects of global warming are becoming more pronounced and the environmental status around the world is worsening daily. The government has placed global warming at the top of its national agenda and has already implemented an extremely successful forestation plan.
Costa Rica has initiated a program to become by 2021, the first carbon neutral developing country on Earth – and has already made significant progress in lowering its overall CO2 emissions.