COSTA RICA IS MORE THAN A TRAVEL DESTINATION
About Costa Rica
This small nation is a great universe; it has a wonderful variety of scenary, weather, protected areas and culture, considered one of the 25 most biodiverse countries on Earth. Costa Rica offers lovely beaches, beautiful landscapes, impressive volcanoes, national parks, a vibrant culture and friendly people. No wonder why Costa Rica is a small Paradise.
Costa Rica is a peaceful country without an army. Its rich culture and friendly people are some of the landmarks that makes us a unique destination.
Our territory extends over 51,000 km2 and it’s situated in Central America. Lies north of Panama and south of Nicaragua, flanked by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
Over the last 40 years, Costa Rica has established a well-developed protection system, not only nature wise, but also concerning its social and cultural riches.
Within the limits of this nation, you can discover over 500,000 plant and animal species.
Costa Rica is one of the planet’s most biologically dense countries; and according to Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute (INBIO), the biodiversity in Costa Rica represents close to 4% of the total species on Earth.
Catholicism is the official religion in Costa Rica. Evangelical Protestantism, (most Protestants are called Evangelicals in Latin America), is also a widespread religion. Orthodoxy has increased in recent decades, and the freedom of religious option is respected. Every town and every city has a Catholic Church. Religion has an important part in the daily life of the Ticos. There are many remarkable churches in Costa Rica, some over three hundred years old. The most important church is the “Basílica Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles” located in Cartago City.
Climate and weather are important points to consider when traveling to Costa Rica.
The average temperature is 70°F (around 21°C) in the highlands and San Jose City, The Capital. Lowland temperatures range from the high 70’s to the low 90’s (21 to 28°C). The rainy season goes from May to November, whereas the dry season lasts from Mid November-December to April. But, consider that even during the rainy season we have sunny mornings; also expect as well sporadic rains during the dry season.
December, January and February are the best months to travel to Costa Rica – High Season, which means nice weather conditions. This is the peak season for tourism from United States and Latin American.
In Costa Rica we only have 2 seasons:
The Dry Season lasts from December to the end of April. The flora is less green and drier during this time of the year. There has been a change of weather, in the last years, due to global warming or El Niño. For this reason, we can have occasional rains during January or even February, when this would normally be the dry season.
From November 15 to April 15, hotels and other operators charge high season rates. Many North Americans visit the country during this season.
The Rainy Season lasts from May until November. This is the absolute best season to take a trip to Costa Rica. The mornings are usually bright and sunny; afternoon daily rains characterize this season, starting in the middle of the afternoon, with occasional heavy rains. These showers last from 1 to 3 hours, after which the sun returns. During this season, the vegetation is green and abundant. The Atlantic side gets more rain than the Pacific, except in July and August where the Caribbean gets a “little summer”.
The months of September and October are considered the rainiest months. Actually, there seems to be a change of weather in the last few years.
Hotels and other tourism operators consider the months of May, June, September and October as the green or low season. Many Europeans visit the country in July and August (average rates or high season).
About “Ticos and Ticas”
Ticos is the way Costa Ricans warmly call themselves, for their linguistic tendency to add the diminutive “tico” to the end of each word. This suffix may refer to smallness, but also implies friendliness. Ticos are energetic, friendly, well educated, kind and gracious people. Ticos love guests, so you can expect to feel welcomed in our country.
Before Spanish colonization, it is estimated that 500,000 indigenous people lived in what is now Costa Rica. By 1900, 400 years after Spanish arrival, the indigenous population had dwindled to a mere 2,000 individuals. Today, Costa Ricans are predominately mestizo, a mixture of European and indigenous etnic groups. Now, most Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “white,” and a surprising number of Ticos have blond hair and blue or green eyes. Nowadays, in the rural areas, more citizens are mestizos. On the Caribbean Coast, (province of Limón), you find strong links to African ancestry, and in Talamanca Mountain, among other areas, there are communities of native indigenous tribes. In Guanacaste Province, north from San Jose, you will find Ticos with dark skin, reflecting their Nicaraguan heritage.
“Pura vida!” is our most common local expression, a life style that conveys the state of gladness, greeting, appreciation, serenity and freedom of the TICOS and TICAS.
“Pura Vida” is used for everything and everywhere in the country!! We use it to say hello, to say Yes, even to say Bye or thanks. Try it!!
The official language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people speak English in all tourist destinations.
You can also find people who speak German, French, Mandarin and Italian.
We encourage you to learn a few phrases in Spanish before you arrive! Pura Vida!!