EXPLORETY

A Quick Introduction to Costa Rica, the country that has it all

About 13 times smaller than the state of Texas, Costa Rica is packed with unparalleled biodiversity. The country is a showcase for how spectacular and different life can be in a nation that once faced environmental extinction.

The wide variety of flora and fauna in Costa Rica is primarily due to its forming with Panama a bridge between North America and South America.

The combination of Costa Rica’s two coastlines, unique habitats, and tropical climate has created more than half a million species. Costa Rica is one of the world‘s most biodiverse countries on the planet.

Whether you’re looking for dazzling and colorful birds like scarlet macaws and toucans, crocodiles, golden snakes, monkeys, or jaguars and pumas, Costa Rica has it all.

The country’s extraordinary biodiversity didn’t happen by chance. It is sheltered by its location and enriched by a unique set of natural wonders: tropical rainforests, cloud forests, deciduous forests, mangroves, volcanic soil, and two beautiful coastlines on the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica‘s 19,730 square miles contain 12 climate zones in total.

Today, Costa Rica is a leader in conservation, and more than half of its forests are under the protection of national parks and bio reserves. Through these measures, the government has been able to halt deforestation almost entirely and provide drinkable tap water throughout most locations. The country is now shifting its focus to issues on the seafront.

The nature reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula of the country’s Pacific coast was Costa Rica’s first protected area for nature conservation, and it became the first official National Park in 1963. The reserve includes both land and ocean areas totaling around 3 million hectares, only 5% of which is open to visitors, who access it by a trail system. The remaining 95% is an "absolute reserve," allowing for the complete protection and preservation of the flora and fauna. Ongoing research, study, and volunteer efforts are critical to protecting and researching the park’s ecosystem. Often overlooked by many travelers, the peninsula offers a variety of ecosystems, featuring monkeys, sloths, parrots, and countless species of birds populating its forests. The region’s waters are also a favorite with scuba divers and surfers. Support from tourists and volunteers has given a large boost to preservation efforts that are critical not only for Costa Rica but for the rest of the world as well.

Did you know?

  • Despite contributing 0.1% to the world's landmass, Costa Rica contains 5% of the total biodiversity on the planet.

  • Every denomination of Costa Rican currency features a native animal, such as the capuchin monkey or the white-tailed deer.

  • Costa Rica generates more than 99% of its electricity using renewable energy.

  • More than 10% of the world's butterflies live in Costa Rica.

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