The climate of Costa Rica is characterized by considerable differences in altitude. Across the country, from northwest to southeast, runs a mountain chain, which also forms a weather divide between the Pacific and Caribbean coast. While up to 700 meters with an average temperature of 24 - 27 ° C . For example in the central highlands around the capital city San José (1150 m asl) in the annual mean 20 ° C. By contrast, the thermometer reaches above 3000 m above sea level rarely 10 ° C
The country can be visited throughout the year without any problems. From December to May is the dry season in Costa Rica. You can expect mostly sunny weather, which also has an effect on prices (high season).
To travel great distances without having to, is a quaint in Costa Rica, many ways to make the best weeks of the year a memorable one. Costa Rica is a country mainly for nature lovers.
Hiking, trekking and mountaineering
Costa Rica has numerous national parks and nature reserves, many of them offer visitors hiking trails.
Dense rain forests, dry forests, beautiful coastline or climb the (extinct) volcanoes, perhaps even to Costa Rica's highest peak at Cerro Chirripo. lRiding and mountain biking
Especially the wild south of the Nicoya Peninsula is a holiday in the saddle - whether on horseback or mountain bike - Swimming and water sports.
Relaxing beach days in the numerous stunningly beautiful and often pristine beaches of the 1,000 km coastline should be scheduled in a trip to Costa Rica.
Active on world-famous surf spots in Costa Rica, great diving and adventurous whitewater trips. Wildlife viewing
The different species can be easily observed in Costa Rica in the wild: toucans with their huge, colorful beak, pull-through monkey families, or even sloths in the trees, iguanas of varying size and curious coatis on land or caimans at or in the rivers and beautiful butterflies in the air.
Bird Watching in Costa Rica, written large, particularly suitable for this purpose are the Braulio Carrillo National Park, Monteverde, Talamanca, and the Osa Peninsula.An unforgettable highlight is the 'arribadas' of the marine turtles. Both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean beaches have them more than once a year, the arrival and egg-laying at close quarters. Partial come at the same time in one night, several thousand on land. Especially popular beaches are Tortuguero on the Caribbean side and Playa Ostional and Playa Grande on the Pacific side of Costa Rica.
The divers ecological zones and microclimates in Costa Rica offer many different animal and plant species.
On vegetation, the climate differences in Costa Rica have a great influence. The Pacific and Caribbean lowlands are covered by tropical rain forest. In the extreme northwestern Guanacaste prevail on the other hand dry forest and savanna areas, which thrive in even cacti. Tropical mountain rain forests are found in Costa Rica as well as sub-alpine vegetation above the tree line.
Costa Rica can refer to exactly 1228 km coastline, of which accounted for the pacific coast of 1016 km. While the Caribbean coast is divided in mangrove swamps and sandy beach, the Pacific side is very varied, with sandy beaches in many different color variations, barrier islands, estuaries and steep banks.
Over 200 species of mammals, 850 bird species, over 420 amphibians and reptiles are native in Costa Rica.
The world of insects and invertebrates is enormous: there are only 1300 different species of butterflies, of which the best known probably the blue Morpho is.
More than 500 km from the mainland of Costa Rica lies the nature reserve of Isla de Coco in the Pacific. Because of its isolation it could develop an independent animal and plant life that inspires researchers worldwide.
The main international airport of Costa Rica, San José (SJO, Juan Santamaria) is about 18 km from the city center.
The other international airport is nearby the capital of Guanacaste, Liberia (LIR). Domestic airports are spread across the country. There exist many domestic flights to all regions of the country, many of them at tourist sites such as Quepos, Golfito, Samara, Tortuguero, etc. We fly with SANSA or NATURE AIR.
The two major shipping ports are Caldera in Puntarenas on the Pacific side (cruise ships) and Limon on the Caribbean side (mainly cargo ships). Some ferries connecting Puntarenas with the Nicoya Peninsula.
The public bus networkis good and reasonably priced, and it extends radially from San José. All over the buses sometimes do not necessarily belong to the latest generation. Across the country, from Nicaragua to the north-west to Panama in the south, leads the Panamericana.
With your own car is traveling in Costa Rica, of course, a lot more comfortable and more independent. During the rainy season a four-wheel car is recommendable to rent, also in the remaining time of the year, this is not absolutely necessary, but provides the basis of the sometimes poor road conditions.
For visitors there are no mandatory vaccinations in Costa Rica. Recommended, however, is hepatitis A and DTP. Here you should check with the Tropical Institute. The water has mostly drinking water quality. Only in very remote areas, one should inquire if the water is drinkable.
The official currency of Costa Rica is the colon / colones. This is strongly dependent on the U.S. dollar, up to date 01.03.2014 corresponds to approximately 550 CRC for 1 US$. Compared with the rest of Latin America, Costa Rica is not a cheap travel destination, but it has one of the highest standard of living in the region. USD cash can be exchanged at all banks and many hotels. Major credit cards (Visa / MasterCard / AMEX) and U.S. dollar traveler's checks are accepted. All over the land are ATM´s.
The official language is Spanish in Costa Rica, on the Caribbean coast and in the tourist areas, English is spoken.
The country is the oldest democracy in Latin America since November 1949 the democratic constitution was adopted. The President, Vice-President and Members of Parliament from Costa Rica are elected every four years by direct vote. Costa Rica abolished the army in 1948 and used the funds thus saved for a systematic expansion of the education and health. Its neutrality amid in a troubled region brought the country known as the "Switzerland of Central America".
A positive consequence of this policy is an undeniably high quality of life in Costa Rica, which manifests itself with a high life expectancy and a good standard of education.
The economy is currently in transition: include the traditional export crops such as bananas and coffee, are still among the largest foreign exchange earner of the country, but the tourism sector is steadily on the rise. Here, the government attaches great importance to environmental compatibility. The inhabitants are well aware of their natural resources and have at least about 25% of its land area under protection, so that Costa Rica can come up with a large number of national parks and private nature reserves.
95% of the population of Costa Rica are of European descent, 5% Asians, Indians and blacks.
In Costa Rica there is freedom of belief, the majority of the population are Catholics.
The Ticos, as the residents call themselves, are very hospitable, very neat and fashionable.
Costa Rica is the richest country in the region and the people are very friendly and helpful. But the fact is that this increases the crime rate. The majority of thefts are crimes committed against tourists, often on beaches and from unattended cars. Especially in San Jose pickpocketing in crowded places take place. It is recommended that valuables be kept unobtrusively on the baggage and to keep always a watchful eye.
Almost certainly you will encounter on your trip to Costa Rica no snakes, but a few precautions do not harm against snakebites. This primarily involves the wearing of sturdy shoes in the wild. Also, scorpions and poisonous spiders are found in Costa Rica. Whose sting or bite is for the (healthy) people not life threatening, but painful. Therefore: always before putting on the clothes and shoes controll them
Admittedly, the tourism multinationals discovered in recent years, Costa Rica and a few large, built all-Inclusive plants, but mainly the overnight accommodations are more tailored to individual tourists: medium to small hotels of all categories with a restaurant, Cabinas' called small bungalows in all price ranges and, bed-and-Breakfast' accommodations can now be found abundantly throughout the country.
Although the international cuisine in Costa Rica has found its way, are rice and beans still an important staple food and is served practically every meal: for breakfast "Gallo Pinto", for lunch, along with meat, fish or chicken, as "Casado". Fresh vegetables and fruits (bananas or mangoes) are available year round on the market. Among the restaurants there are "sodas" an inexpensive alternative.
First January, 19 March, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, 11 April, 1 May, Corpus Christi, 29 June, 25 July, 2 August, 15 August, 15 September, 12th October, 25 December.