Costa Rica is one of the most unique destinations in the world. The country's lush rainforests
are teeming with incredible wildlife and its pristine beaches
attract thousands of visitors every year. While it may be one of the smallest countries in Central America, Costa Rica is also one of the most naturally diverse, and protection of this remarkable habitat is a priority for the nation's government.
Peaceful Costa Rica
Unlike some other Latin American countries, Costa Rica is renowned throughout the world for its peaceful, democratic government. The country formally disbanded its military in the late 1940s, and the nation's electoral process is widely regarded as one of the most transparent and democratic in the world.
Costa Ricans - also known as Ticos - place great emphasis on the value of education, and more than 96 percent of Costa Rica's population is literate, contrasting many similar Latin American countries. Costa Rica has a rich past and colorful culture, and this is evident in the many celebrations, festivals and national holidays that Ticos observe. Although the country is famed for its stunning natural beauty and diversity, the heritage of this Central American nation is almost as rich as its scenery.
The Costa Rican government
has made great progress in protecting and preserving the natural landscape and the creatures that inhabit it. The country remains one of the most popular destinations in the world for ecotourism
. More than one quarter of the country is categorized as protected land, and the national parks, reserves, refuges, sanctuaries and protected zones of Costa Rica
serve as a testament to the nation's commitment to the preservation of this precious natural habitat.
Ticos are known for their friendly and welcoming demeanor, and tourism plays a vital role in the country's economy. In addition to its breathtaking natural beauty, Costa Rica is an adventure tourism playground. Many of the country's most popular tourist activities, including white water rafting
, canopy tours
, scuba diving and snorkelling
and sport fishing
offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy Costa Rica's stunning landscapes and experience everything this unique destination has to offer.
In addition to the wide range of exciting activities, Costa Rica also provides tourists with several ways to relax and enjoy the laid-back "Pura Vida" lifestyle. During the past 20 years, the Costa Rican government has invested in the expansion of the tourism industry by building casinos
, luxury resorts, lodges, hotels and villas
, as well as world-class golf courses
and environmentally friendly accommodations