About Costa Rica

A Truly Unique Lifestyle

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica, which means "Rich Coast", constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 older democracies. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), ranked 69th in the world in 2011.

Costa Rica was cited by the UNDP in 2010 as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, and in 2011 was highlighted by UNDP for being a good performer on environmental sustainability, and better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region. It was also the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability.[6] The country is ranked fifth in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2012 Environmental Performance Index.

In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica first in its 2009 Happy Planet Index, and once again in 2012. The NEF also ranked Costa Rica in 2009 as the "greenest" country in the world.

Nicoya Costa RicaCosta Rica was the point where the Mesoamerican and South American native cultures met. The northwest of the country, the Nicoya peninsula, was the southernmost point of Nahuatl cultural influence when the Spanish conquerors (conquistadores) came in the 16th century. The central and southern portions of the country had Chibcha influences. The Atlantic coast, meanwhile, was populated with African workers during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and many other cuisine origins. Dishes such as the very traditional tamale and many others made of corn are the most representative of its indigenous inhabitants, and similar to other neighboring Mesoamerican countries. Spaniards brought many new ingredients to the country from other lands, especially spices and domestic animals. And later in the 19th century, the African flavor lent its presence with influence from other Caribbean mixed flavors. This is how Costa Rican cuisine today is very varied, with every new ethnic group who had recently become part of the country's population influencing the country's cuisine.

As a result of the immigration of Spaniards, their 16th-century Spanish culture and its evolution marked everyday life and culture until today, with Spanish language and the Catholic religion as primary influences.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Costa Rica Benefits

  • Politically stable. Praised as the "Switzerland of Latin America"
  • Dissolved its army in 1948 and spends money instead on education and health care.
  • Literacy rate equal to U.S.
  • Respectable national health care system (overall ranks higher than the US in overall health care in the world; two world-class hospitals with U.S. trained, English-speaking doctors, whose service cost about 60% of what they would in the U.S.).
  • Relatively prosperous nation – highest per capita income in Central America.
  • Year round average temperature averages 83 degrees on the Pacific coast.
  • Protected beaches so you won't find developments right on the water.
  • Affordable living.
  • Low hurricane risk since it is located north of the equator.
  • Far lower violent crime than U.S.
  • Cell phone and internet service.
  • Contains 5% of the world's biodiversity in only 0.1% of the world's land mass.
  • Environmentally focused…Costa Rica has planned to be the first country in the world to be carbon-neutral.
  • Over 25% of Costa Rica is composed of protected forests and reserves.
  • Wildlife galore…Costa Rica ranks #1 in the world for the number of species (615) per 10,000 square kilometers.

Ecotourism

Costa Rica Ecotourism

Ecotourism draws many tourists to visit the extensive national parks and protected areas around the country. Costa Rica was a pioneer in this type of tourism, and the country is recognized as one of the few with true ecotourism. In terms of the 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Costa Rica ranked 44th in the world and second among Latin American countries after Mexico.

Since 1996, the Forest Law was enacted to provide direct financial incentives to landowners for the provision of environmental services.