What is costa rica known for?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 10, 2024

Introduction to Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a small Central American country nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is renowned for its natural beauty, biodiversity, and progressive environmental policies. It is a country that captivates the hearts of travelers, nature enthusiasts, and those interested in sustainable living.

Rich Biodiversity

Costa Rica is known as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, home to nearly 6% of the world's species despite covering only 0.03% of the Earth's surface. This incredible biodiversity is attributed to its various microclimates, ranging from rainforests and cloud forests to dry forests and coastal ecosystems.

National Parks and Protected Areas

Approximately 25% of Costa Rica's land is protected through national parks, reserves, and refuges. Notable parks include Corcovado National Park, known for its intense biodiversity and often referred to as "the most biologically intense place on Earth," and Manuel Antonio National Park, famous for its beautiful beaches and diverse wildlife.


Costa Rica's rich ecosystems support an array of wildlife, including iconic species such as the resplendent quetzal, howler monkeys, sloths, jaguars, and a variety of frogs and reptiles. Birdwatchers flock to the country to spot over 900 bird species, including the scarlet macaw and the keel-billed toucan.

Sustainable Tourism

Costa Rica has positioned itself as a leader in sustainable tourism, attracting eco-tourists from around the globe. The country's commitment to preserving its natural resources while providing unique travel experiences is evident in its various eco-lodges, sustainable tour operators, and conservation initiatives.

Eco-Lodges and Sustainable Accommodation

Costa Rica offers an array of eco-lodges and sustainable accommodations designed to minimize environmental impact. These lodges often incorporate renewable energy sources, rainwater harvesting systems, and organic farming practices. Examples include the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge on the Osa Peninsula and the Pacuare Lodge in the Talamanca Mountains.

Adventure and Eco-Tourism Activities

The country's diverse landscapes provide countless opportunities for adventure and eco-tourism activities. Visitors can engage in activities such as zip-lining through cloud forests, white-water rafting on the Pacuare River, hiking to volcanoes like Arenal and Poás, and snorkeling in the vibrant waters of the Cahuita National Park.

Commitment to Renewable Energy

Costa Rica is globally recognized for its commitment to renewable energy and sustainability. The country generates nearly 99% of its electricity from renewable sources, primarily hydropower, followed by wind, geothermal, and solar power. This dedication to clean energy has helped Costa Rica achieve carbon neutrality and set ambitious goals for the future.

Progressive Environmental Policies

Costa Rica's progressive environmental policies have garnered international acclaim. The country has implemented measures to combat deforestation, protect wildlife, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Reforestation and Conservation

Costa Rica has made significant strides in reforestation and conservation. Through initiatives like the Payments for Environmental Services (PES) program, landowners are incentivized to preserve and restore forests. This approach has led to a remarkable increase in forest cover, transforming Costa Rica into a model for sustainable development.

Wildlife Protection

The country is also committed to protecting its wildlife. Laws and regulations prohibit hunting and the exploitation of endangered species. Marine conservation efforts include the establishment of protected marine areas, which safeguard vital habitats for sea turtles, dolphins, and other marine life.

Rich Cultural Heritage

Costa Rica's cultural heritage is as vibrant as its natural landscapes. The country's history is influenced by indigenous cultures, Spanish colonization, and Afro-Caribbean traditions, creating a unique blend of customs, language, and cuisine.

Indigenous Influence

Indigenous groups such as the Bribri, Cabécar, and Boruca have maintained their cultural traditions and continue to inhabit regions of Costa Rica. Visitors can explore their communities, learn about traditional crafts, and experience indigenous rituals and ceremonies.

Spanish Colonial Legacy

The Spanish colonial period left a lasting impact on Costa Rica's culture, evident in the architecture, language, and religious practices. Cities like San José and Cartago feature colonial-era churches, plazas, and museums that showcase this rich history.

Afro-Caribbean Influence

The Afro-Caribbean community, particularly in the Limón province, has contributed to the country's cultural diversity. The vibrant music, dance, and cuisine of this region reflect the influence of African and Caribbean traditions.


Costa Rican cuisine is a delightful fusion of indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean flavors. The country's culinary landscape is characterized by fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and traditional recipes.

Typical Dishes

Some of the most iconic Costa Rican dishes include:

  • Gallo Pinto: A hearty breakfast dish made of rice and beans, often served with eggs, plantains, and tortillas.
  • Casado: A typical lunch plate featuring rice, beans, meat or fish, salad, and fried plantains.
  • Ceviche: Fresh fish marinated in citrus juices, mixed with onions, peppers, and cilantro.

Exotic Fruits and Beverages

Costa Rica is also known for its exotic fruits, such as mango, papaya, guava, and passion fruit. Refreshing beverages like "agua de pipa" (coconut water) and "batidos" (fruit smoothies) are popular among locals and visitors alike.

Peaceful Nation

Costa Rica is often referred to as the "Switzerland of Central America" due to its long-standing tradition of peace and neutrality. The country abolished its military in 1948, redirecting funds toward education, healthcare, and environmental protection. This commitment to peace has fostered a stable and democratic society.

Education and Healthcare

Costa Rica boasts a high literacy rate and a well-regarded education system. The country's commitment to education is evident in its numerous public and private schools, universities, and research institutions. Additionally, Costa Rica's healthcare system is known for its accessibility and quality, providing universal coverage to its citizens.

In the end, Costa Rica is a land of extraordinary natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and a steadfast commitment to sustainability and peace. Whether exploring its diverse ecosystems, immersing in its vibrant culture, or marveling at its progressive achievements, one can find endless inspiration in this remarkable country.

Related Questions

What language is spoken in costa rica?

Spanish is the official and most widely spoken language in Costa Rica. It serves as the primary medium for communication in government, education, and daily interactions. Costa Rican Spanish is generally clear and easily understandable for Spanish speakers from other countries, although it does have its own unique features and expressions. The accent is relatively neutral, making it easier for learners of Spanish to understand.

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What language do they speak in costa rica?

The primary language spoken in Costa Rica is Spanish. As the official language, Spanish is used in all government documentation, public education, and media. Costa Rican Spanish, known locally as "Español Costarricense," is characterized by its clear pronunciation and distinct regionalisms. Unlike other Spanish-speaking countries, Costa Ricans (Ticos) often use "usted" instead of "tú" even in informal contexts, which adds a layer of politeness to everyday interactions.

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What currency does costa rica use?

The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colón, often abbreviated as CRC or represented by the symbol ₡. It is named after Christopher Columbus, known as Cristóbal Colón in Spanish. The colón was introduced in 1896, replacing the Costa Rican peso. The Central Bank of Costa Rica (Banco Central de Costa Rica) is responsible for issuing and regulating the currency.

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What to do in san jose costa rica?

San Jose, the bustling capital of Costa Rica, is often overshadowed by the country's lush jungles and pristine beaches. However, this vibrant city offers a plethora of activities that cater to a wide range of interests. From historical landmarks to culinary delights, here's a detailed guide to making the most out of your visit to San Jose.

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