Costa Rica is a small, very beautiful country that stands out for numerous reasons. It is widely recognized for being the oldest democracy in Latin America and having abolished its military forces in 1948. Since then, this small but united country has invested heavily into its social welfare and education resulting in levels of development that are among the highest in the world including a life expectancy of almost 79 and a nearly a 98% literacy rate.
Costa Rica is a country full of life and diversity. While it has only 0.1% of the world’s landmass, its territory holds 5% of the world’s biodiversity. In fact, some of the species of flora, fauna and butterflies (just to name a few) can only be found in Costa Rica. Approximately 25% of the country is in national parks and protected areas, this is the largest percentage of protected areas of any country in the world.
Costa Rica’s topography varies greatly for such a little country. From white-sand beaches that converge with tropical rainforests to mountains, volcanoes and cloud forests, the variety of terrain makes for numerous micro-climates that each fosters its own life.
If you enjoy the mountains, there are several ranges each with magical cloud forests and many migratory birds. Numerous volcanoes stand out of the four mountain ranges that divide the country into two watersheds. If you like the lowlands, Costa Rica is home to some of the most impressive wetlands in the world. Fast-flowing rivers, great for rafting and kayaking, make their way through quiet valleys and flowering plains on their way out to the sea. If you like beaches, there are so many that there is not enough space here to describe them all.