Costa Rica is in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua on the north and Panama on the south, the Pacific Ocean on the West, and the Carribean Sea on the East. The country is surrounded by 800 miles of coastline.
The name Costa Rica paints a perfect vacation picture. The country with its sandy beaches, lush green forest and unique biodiversity has always attracted the people around the world. No doubt over 2 million tourists visit the country every year.
Pura Vida is the national slogan which translates to pure life. It is a lifestyle and one of the reasons why the country is one of the happiest in the world. Let’s check out some of the interesting facts for this happy nation:
22 Interesting facts about Costa Rica
1. Nicoya in Coasta Rica is one of top five Blue Zones in the world. A blue zone is an area where lifespan is noticeably longer than the rest of the world. The secret of Nicoya is the local waters that are unusually rich in Calcium and Magnesium. The people here follow a healthy lifestyle by eating organic food and sleeping for 8 hours. As a result most of them live past the age of 100.
2. Bahia Ballena is a popular beach and it looks like a whale’s tail when seen from above. Interestingly it’s also a great place to go whale watching.
Source: https://www.costarica.org/3. Although the country has only about 0.03% of the landmass of the world, it hosts 5% of the global biodiversity. There are about 750,000 species of insects that live in Costa Rica, including about 20,000 different types of spiders! Also, more than 10% of the world’s butterflies live here. It is a colorful world.
More than 25% of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife refuges. In the 1980s there was a gold rush in the country after a 25lb nugget of gold was found in Corcovado National Park. This led to a lot of deforestation. It took many years but the government has controlled the damage and the nature is back in form.
4. The country is the second-largest exporter of bananas in the world.
5. Costa Rica is also known as “Hummingbird capital”. There are more than 50 species of hummingbirds in the country.
6. There’s a lizard known as Jesus Christ lizard. This name is given to a basilisk, a small semi-aquatic lizard due to its ability to run on water. Well Well, I wonder if it can transform water into wine!
7. The national flower of Costa Rica is the orchid and you will be happy to hear that you can find more than 1400 varieties of orchids here!
8. Bri Bri is the only indigenous language still spoken in Costa Rica.
9. Due to the country’s close proximity to the equator, the sun rises and sets at the very same time every day, no matter the season. The country gets 12 hours of sunshine and 12 hours of night each day throughout the year.
10. Costa Rica does not have a standing army. The country abolished the military in 1948 after the victory in the civil war the same year. Costa Rica, however, does have a public security force that maintains the internal security in the country.
11. It is one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world. 99% of the energy is generated using renewable sources (hydropower, wind, geothermal energy, biomass, and solar).
Coopedata Santa Maria coffee cooperative in Costa Rica has become the world’s first carbon-neutral coffee plantation.
12. Labourers earn more in Costa Rica than anywhere else in Central America. The average wage is about $10 per day, highest in Central America.
13. Earthquakes are part of the everyday life here. Most of them are harmless but there are also larger earthquakes every once in a while.
14. Unlike the common practice worldwide, Costa Rican women maintain their maiden name for life, , which they receive from their mother.
15. There is no “Postman Kaka” in Costa Rica. The post office which was setup in 1914 does not offer home delivery. The people have to collect their mail from their local post office.
16. Costa Rica is one of the few places on Earth to experience Arribada. This is the time when Olive Ridley Turtles come ashore to lay eggs.
Do you know which country has the largest nesting sites for Olive Ridley? Arey it’s apna India.
Click here to read more about it.
17. To minimize the pollution caused by the vehicles, the residents of San Jose are not allowed to drive into the city for one day a week. This day corresponds with the last digit on their car’s license plate.\
18. The largest uninhabited island in the world Isla del Coco is a part of Costa Rica. The opening scene of Jurassic Park was filmed here.
The island was visited by many pirates in the past who had allegedly buried their loot here. However no big treasure had been found by anyone.
19. Costa Rica has more than 121 volcanic formations, and 5 of them are active. Poas Volcano has the second widest crater in the world and Arenal is one of the top ten most active volcanoes in the world. Its latest eruption happened in 2010.
20. Costa Rica owns more ocean than it does land, with an impressive ratio of 10-1. Costa Rica has an extensive coastline that stretches 801 miles long.
21. In the town of Manzanillo, the streets are named after the old residents who lived there.
22. Costa Ricans refer to their partners as “media naranja” which translates to “the other half of the orange”. Isn’t that cute!
Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “Ticos” (males) and “Ticas” (females). Foreigners are often called “Gringos” (males) and “Gringas” (females).
Trip leader Sakshi’s Recommendations if you are visiting Costa Rica:
Arenal Volcano: As mentioned above, this is the most active volcano in the country and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see lava flowing down the volcano (very little possibility as the volcano has been dormant for last 10 years). The volcano is perfect symmetrical cone just like we used to draw as kids.
Surrounding the volcano is the National Park which is full with wildlife. There are beautiful waterfalls, hanging bridges, hiking and horseback riding trails, butterfly gardens, hot springs, and zip lines tours.
Puerto Viejo: Great beaches, reggae music and a wild nightlife, welcome to Puerto Viejo. Located on the Caribbean coast near Panama, Puerto Viejo is quite famous among the backpackers. You can venture into the rainforests and explore the calm side as well.
Monteverde: The Cloud Forests near Monteverde have become one of the major travelling destinations in the country. You can find a rich biodiversity while hiking in these forests. People especially come here for bird watching.