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Costa Rica enjoys a staggering diversity of ecosystems, some of the world’s best beaches, and good weather year-round. It has coastlines on two major oceans, active volcanoes and five different types of forest. It has been a hot spot for eco- and adventure tourism for decades.
Costa Rica is in Central America, sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama, but has managed to escape much of the political turmoil of the region. It has a strong environmental track record with nearly 25 percent of the country set aside as national parks or conservation areas.
Hike up an active volcano, find pristine lagoons, and see all kinds of exotic flora and fauna. Adventurers can go mountain bike riding, zip-lining, and white water rafting. Nature lovers will feel right at home in Costa Rica, with several distinct topographical regions and highly varied weather patterns yielding a biodiversity found in few other places on the planet.
Visit many different types of forest, including cloud forests, which have frequent low-level cloud cover, and rain forests, known for high rainfall and moist vegetation. Spot monkeys, sloths and any of the several hundred species of birds and reptiles that live in the area.
Hit the beach to relax in the sun or go for a surf. You’ll find a laid-back atmosphere at Montezuma, fine-dining restaurants at Tamarindo, and oceanfront night clubs, bars and restaurants in Jaco and Dominical. San José, the capital city, is more developed and urban. Surfers should paddle out into the waters of the Central Pacific Coast and Guanacaste. Take a trip over to the country’s Caribbean side to find secluded and seemingly untouched beaches. You’ll see where the forest meets the sand and get the chance to see all kinds of animals.
The name Costa Rica translates as Rich Coast. As one of the greenest, safest and most-relaxed destinations in Central America, it lives up to its name.