Rica is a small country situated in Central America surrounded by
Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Caribbean to the
east, and the Pacific to the west.
Rica is a beautiful and peaceful country that some have referred
to as the "Switzerland of the Americas". This impression of Costa
Rica has come about due to its reputation as one of the most stable
countries in Latin America. Political turmoil is unheard of in this
country. The last major political crisis Costa Rica experienced
was during the civil war in the late 1940's. Following its conclusion,
Costa Rica established a strong democratic system and did something
unheard of in Latin America, abolished its armed forces.
major reason why Costa Rica is such a great place to learn Spanish
relates to its people. "Ticos," as Costa Ricans are known, are generally
very open and friendly towards visitors. These people love to "show
off" their country to foreigners. Guide books are both helpful and
recommended, but when you want the best information about something,
ask a "tico". For those individuals studying Spanish, you will find
that "ticos" are very patient and helpful.
average Costa Rican is very well educated. In fact, Costa Rica lays
claim to one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America. Also,
unlike most other Latin American countries, there is not a wide
divergence seen between rich and poor. Costa Ricans, like Americans,
tend to have a middle class mentality. They believe that through
hard work, one can succeed.
Rica resides completely within the tropics yet boasts over 12 distinct
climates. Generally speaking, there are two seasons: The rainy season
(May - November) and the dry season (December - April). If you plan
on attending a program during the rainy season bring an umbrella.
Showers are frequent, and it only takes a minute or two before you
are completely soaked! In the central valley, the average temperature
is 72 F, while on the Caribbean side it is 82 F, and on the Pacific
side 89 F. Of course different locations have their own micro climates,
so plan accordingly when you travel in Costa Rica.
countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, or Peru, Costa Rica does not
offer much in the way of indigenous cultures. There are no ruins
to speak of, and the culture of Costa Rica does not exhibit the
influence of local peoples like you would find in Guatemala for
example. Whatever Costa Rica may lack in this aspect, is easily
made up for in its abundance of natural resources. Costa Rica is
the link between North and South America, and its wealth of plants
and animals reflect this. There is an "estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000
plant and animal species in Costa Rica. The country is home to over
850 bird species -- one tenth of all known bird species (The U.S.
and Canada combined have less than half that number)." Source: Costa
Rica Handbook by Christopher Baker.
Rica has many different type of forests ranging from tropical dry
forests to rain forests. Monteverde Reserve for example, offers
travelers the opportunity to visit what is known as a cloud forest.
Everywhere in Costa Rica there are various kinds of forests which
in turn offer different types of habitats to an incredibly diverse
array of plant and animal species.
Rica is the perfect destination for those who wish to have the opportunity
to experience nature at its finest!
country is also know for its geologic attributes: volcanoes and
earthquakes. Both are a result of the fact that Costa Rica lies
at the convergence of two tectonic plates. Small quakes and tremors
are frequent occurrences, though most are not perceptible. Currently
the country has seven active volcanoes which are very popular tourist
destinations. Arenal for example, is one of the most active volcanoes
in the world. At night, rivers of lava and eruptions are easily
visible to anyone in the surrounding area. It is an awesome sight
that should be high on your list of things to do in Costa Rica.
those interested in water activities, Costa Rica has much to offer.
There are over 200 rivers located in this small country, and many
are considered to have some of the best white rafting in the world.
Costa Rica also has an abundance of pristine beaches, located both
on the Pacific and the Caribbean. If enjoying the sun on the beach
is not for you, then consider thefact that the Pacific side offers
world class deep sea fishing.
If you are looking for outdoor
activities, Costa Rica has something for you!
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