In the past decade, the number of visitors to Costa Rica has more than quintupled, and tourism has become the leading sector of the nation’s economy. Costa Rica offers the adventurous traveler lots of outdoor activities. Visitors can fly through the rain-forest canopy on a zipline, go white-water rafting, climb a volcano, relax on a white-sand beach, check out colorful marine life while snorkeling, or try to hook a big one on a deep-sea fishing excursion. That’s why so many people choose to come here.
Costa Rica is practically synonymous with ecotourism—travel that incorporates education about the environment and promotes preservation of natural resources. The country has a large number of national parks and nature preserves that boast a rich array of birds, mammals, reptiles and rain-forest plants. The variety of birds, in particular, is astounding: Some 850 species are packed into a relatively small area.
The country also excels in adventure sports, including surfing, mountain biking, river rafting, hiking and scuba diving. Those who prefer a less strenuous vacation can view several active volcanoes, take boat trips down jungle rivers and float through the treetops in a rain-forest aerial tram or speed through the forest canopy on any of several dozen thrilling zipline systems.
Approximately 25% of the country’s land has been set aside in protected areas, earning Costa Rica a reputation as an environmentally sensitive country and leader in ecological conservation.
The best time for traveling to Costa Rica is during the dry period of December-May. I visited during the Christmas holidays and really enjoyed learning the traditions of the Ticos (Costa Ricans). Costa Rica is really a year-round vacation destination.
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SEE…parakeets in the wild
SLEEP…in a jungle lodge high in the canopies of the forest
EAT…Gallo pinto for breakfast each morning
DRINK…fresh tropical fruit juices made from mangoes, papaya, and zapotes
EXPERIENCE…ziplining though the rainforest
KNOW…Spanish so you can converse with the fun-loving locals