THE MAGIC OF COSTA RICA
Within a country that is slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia, there is a diversity of habitats and wildlife unsurpassed in the Americas. Costa Rica literally means “rich coast” – a fitting name for a land blessed with an abundance of natural beauty that has protected over 25% of its lands within national parks and wildlife reserves – a record unmatched by any other country in the world. With just 0.1% of the world’s landmass, Costa Rica is home to 5% of the Earth’s biodiversity.
Independent since 1847, Ticos (the local nickname for citizens of Costa Rica) have enjoyed the most stable democratic government in Latin America for decades, ever since disbanding their army in 1949. Their focus on “¡Pura Vida!” has resulted in Costa Rica consistently being named one of the happiest countries in the world. While pura vida can be translated as “simple life” or “pure life,” the words defy a simple translation. Some describe pura vida as an emotion or an attitude. To others, it’s a way to describe their way of life. To truly understand pura vida, you must visit Costa Rica and experience it for yourself.
Wildlife abounds in a stunning variety of habitats from the lush Caribbean coast, with its annual arrival of green sea turtles nesting on its sandy beaches, to the cloud forests of the central highlands – home to an astounding diversity of colorful birds, including the legendary resplendent quetzal. The Arenal Volcano offers a dramatic backdrop to the unique wildlife habitats surrounding Lake Arenal. Traveling westward the Pacific coast, the Osa Peninsula’s forests are home to yet another wealth of wildlife species, while humpback whales and spotted dolphins cruise throughout its waters. Heading north along the Pacific coast brings us to yet another, very different set of habitats – the dry tropical forests of Guanacaste.
We first visited Costa Rica in 1995. Her incredibly diverse wildlife habitats and the welcoming joy of her communities continues to draw us back. We invite you to discover the magic of this land that is geographically so close yet offers an amazing variety of wildlife adventures.