Friday, 13 April 2012

19 Reasons to choose Costa Rica for your next destination... - Travel - Destinations

We are not going to badmouth the rest of America nor are we going to sell you a picture-perfect image about the country.

We promise that we are not going to exaggerate reality in an effort to convince you, because that would not be fair nor is it necessary.

We are simply going to tell you about a country that has many attractions and is very tourist friendly; a country that embodies special and unique qualities all of which provide for a remarkable experience.

Those who dont come are really missing out

Before we go over the attractions of this country let us review the basic conditions that a visitor will find.

1) No health risks: You dont need any vaccinations to visit Costa Rica. There is potable water in 98% of the country. The food, though not the most varied cuisine in the continent, is tasty, nutritious and safe. The country has excellent medical services, which cost 1/3 of the price one would pay in the U.S. For this reason medical tourism has been fervently growing in recent years.

2) Peace and security: Costa Rica is without a doubt the safest country in Central America. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the region and the crime that does occur rarely involves tourists. Remember though, when traveling, its always wise to exercise caution. Ticos are peaceful and friendly people. This is a society that generally resolves conflict through dialogue, and as a result it is rare to see a street fights or screaming arguments among its citizens.

3) Communications: Costa Rica has a good communication platform with land lines and cellular telephone coverage throughout the entire country. While the cell phone signal is often weak when far from an urban center, there is access to broadband Internet almost everywhere.4) A complete and bilingual service platform: While there is still room for improvement in terms of customer service, the country has an ample service platform and offers everything that a tourist requires. You will find bilingual personnel in 95% of the businesses and stores, thanks to the many foreign residents and the fact that many Costa Ricans speak English.

5) Pleasant climate: Some areas of the country offer over 200 days of guaranteed sunshine, with temperatures ranging between 64 and 86F. September and October are the 2 rainiest months (except in the Caribbean area) and the months when one can typically find the best rates for flights, hotels and tours. Costa Rica is rarely affected by the hurricane seasons that can plague other Latin American countries. Rarely, small problems will occur on the Caribbean side, but the Pacific Coast is never affected.

6) Proximity and accessibility: By virtue of being located in the bellybutton of America, Costa Rica is easily accessible by air, land and water. It has 2 international airports and a good frequency of flights from Europe and America. The arrival of cruise ships and modern marinas on both coasts enable access from the ocean and comfortable busses connect Costa Rica with the rest of Central America and Mexico. The internal bus service within the country is not very efficient so its better to opt for shuttle services or renting a 4x4 vehicle.

7) Acceptable and improving road network: On a scale of 1 to 10, the highways of the country rank about a 6.5. This is in large part due to the lack of proper signs and signals as well as the numerous curves and potholes. However, in general they provide good access and connectivity throughout the country and are in a lot better condition than the roads found in most other parts of Central America. As well, the country has recently set aside close to a billion dollars to aide in the modernization of its road network.8) Short distances: Because this is a small and very diverse country one can enjoy several different and varied activities and landscapes in the same day without having to travel very far.

9) A stay in very good hands: People who visit Costa Rica are received by an enthusiastic and efficient tourist industry that has many years of experience and green vision. Since many years, before than anybody, the tourism industry in Costa Rica have been committed to sustainability, positive and stress-free experiences and a high level of customer satisfaction. Costa Ricans take pride in knowing that those who visit will return to their home country with fond memories and experiences that they will share with friends and families.

Plus... an eco-friendly, low-impact trip.10) Clean energy: Costa Rica generates most of its energy from renewable sources (hydroelectric, geothermal or wind energy). This means that the energy that a tourist will use during their trip is clean energy.

Whoever chooses Costa Rica as their destination is also choosing to embark on an environmentally friendly trip.

11) Sustainability and conservation: Despite its strong ecological convictions Costa Rica faces the constant dilemma between environmental care and economic development for its citizens. By choosing Costa Rica as a destination you also support the most environmentally friendly industry in the country, tourism. In addition to contributing to the economic development, you will be supporting the protection of the environment.

Now lets check the attractions and activities.

12) Plenty of life in its natural state: The high level of biodiversity in the country coupled with Costa Ricas historical respect for all forms of life, are so famous that I will not elaborate too much on them.

However, this abundance of life translates into being able to see more tropical flora and fauna in its natural state, with no need to travel long distances to interact with various ecosystems and species.

13) Broad range of tourist activities: The quality of diving, sport fishing and surfing in Costa Rica are world-renowned. As well, the scenery at the National Parks is unforgettable. Plus, one can partake in canopy tours, rafting and horseback riding tours or four wheeler and quad adventures. The thermal water centers, bird watching, turtle nesting, rural tourism and caves are all incredible tourist attractions. What else? Aromatic coffee tours, yacht rides, visits to botanical gardens, butterfly, frog and snake farms, or orchid gardens always add a good seasoning to any trip.

For more adventurous souls there is kayaking, parasailing, mountain biking, and bungee jumping, aerial tours in ultra-light aircrafts or rappelling next to a waterfall, among many others. Rain and sun, soft sands, close contact with life in the wilderness and grandiose sunsets are always included (doesnt it sound like a postcard?)

14) Diversity of landscapes: Coastal area on two oceans with hundreds of beautiful beaches, rain forests, dry tropical and cloud forests, mountain chains with active volcanoes, extensive savannahs, ample mangroves and wetlands, lots of rivers, waterfalls, coral and rocky reefs and many islands and small isles make up the rich geography of the country offering scenarios for all tastes. (Unless you like just deserts...)

15) Cultural Diversity: Even though Costa Rica is a small country it offers a variety of ethnic and cultural experiences resulting from the fusion of Europeans, mestizos and indigenous races. The Atlantic Zone however, has an Afro-Caribbean predominance, which makes it ethnically and culturally different from the rest of the country. The indigenous influence in present day society is limited, although there is an extensive pre-Columbian legacy.

In San Jose, the inheritance of this richness can be appreciated in the various museums. Two that stand out among the favorites are the Jade Museum and the Museum of Gold.

A nation with plenty of added value. 16) The happiest country on earth. As revealed in a 2009 worldwide study of the Worlds Happiness Index (which awarded first place to Costa Rica), the citizens of this country consider themselves highly satisfied with their lives. When you visit here, you will be able to get to experience for yourself the spirit of Pura Vida and take back with you some of the Tico recipe for happiness.

17) An example of peace and democracy. Costa Rica enjoys one of the longest and most stable democracies in Latin America. 61 years ago, the country permanently dissolved its army. Its pacifist nature is also observable in its people and in their constant striving to evade conflict. This social peace is something you will be able to feel and enjoy during your visit.

18) A country of long lives: The Nicoya Peninsula on the Costa Rican Pacific coast is one of the 4 Blue Zones detected in the world (A Blue Zone is defined as an area where there are an unusual number of people who live over 100 years). Apparently the Tico lifestyle not only produces people who are happier but also results in longer life spans. Wouldnt you like to learn some of the secrets to achieve a longer and more satisfactory life?

19) Full-on Hospitality: Costa Ricans are courteous and hospitable people without any type of animosity toward tourists. The great majority of Ticos are well educated, supportive, friendly, warm and genuinely enjoy taking care of and helping tourists at every possible opportunity.What else can one want?Well, theres more, but this is all that we are going to tell you today.

The rest youll have to discover by yourself...

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