We love Costa Rica so much!
Here are some fun facts about Costa Rica you might not know about that we think would be interesting and helpful to know before you travel.
Costa Rica has a rich history. Its name literally translates to ‘Rich Coast’. It is said that Columbus gave it that name when he saw the natives wearing so much gold jewelry. However, the country’s riches weren’t actually in gold, but in the land and natural beauty.
Costa Rica is a rainforest. It rains there year round. However, it doesn’t inhibit any of your fun! The rain is often the temperature of the air and beyond getting wet, you might not notice it until it becomes a serious downpour. But the plentiful and consistet rain helps to create all of the beautiful scenery – the flora and fauna is bar none!
There are many hotels and accommodations where you can literally surround yourself with the jungle and forest inside a little bungalow or room. You are sure to see a unique plant or flower wherever your stay the night so be sure to walk around your lodgings and check out what is growing!
There are rivers and jungles, cloud forests and beaches, and multiple volcanoes. There is certainly something for everyone and a wide variety of types to see.
The jungle and river areas are going to be in the middle of the country. Often you will have beautiful rivers that cut through the surrounding jungle. The difference between the cloud forest areas and rainforest areas is – elevation. The cloud forest is – you guessed it! Higher in elevation.
You have beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific side. They have a very different feel to each other and both are great to experience. The Pacific side has more beach area in terms of land mass. You can find many secluded and less crowded areas up and down the Pacific, but plan travel time to reach them.
The volcanoes are incredible. The Arenal volcano is picture perfect for the image you get when you think of a volcano. With a prominent cone it is the most famous volcano in Costa Rica and is very photogenic. The surrounding area hosts many hot springs and is a favorite place to go and relax.
The Poas volcano is located in the cloud forest. It can be difficult to see as it requires a clear morning and is still an active volcano. Irazu is also an active volcano and as such both the Irazu and Poas volcanoes are currently limited in visitor availability and capacity.
We love the water in Costa Rica! Not only can you safely drink it from the tap, it’s super fun to play in. Beautiful rivers – ranging from whitewater rapids to areas that are a calm and relaxing oasis are throughout the country.
They have incredible waterfalls throughout the country that will take your breath away. Many times there will be several waterfalls within a short distance from each other.
The Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Oceans also give ample opportunity for relaxation or play.
The animals are incredible! Sloths are a favorite, but there are also many varieties of birds, monkeys, and butterflies. Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse areas so it certainly doesn’t stop there. You’ve got jungle mammals, reptiles, bugs and aquatic life to satisfy any animal enthusiast.
If you want to take full advantage of the wildlife in Costa Rica, get a driver and a guide. They will know among which plants you’re most likely to find which animals and often have a spotting scope to use. You will see many more animals with a guide and driver.
The variety of botany is plentiful in Costa Rica and you are sure to see a new flower or plant on your travels. There are botanical gardens that you will want to plan to visit, but the plant life is truly prolific all around the country.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled out the window for something new as you travel to different locations. We said it before, but walk around your lodgings or around the area of your tour. There is much that is unique and delightful to discover!
Costa Rica has a focus and priority on ecology and biodiversity. They want to take care of the beauty and paradise that they enjoy throughout their country.
If you are limited in not being able to touch the nesting turtles or only so many guests can enter the area – be grateful! It means your great grandchildren will be able to enjoy what you are seeing today!
Conservation is a priority and it keeps the country beautiful.
The temperature in Costa Rica is perfect! It is around 70 degrees year round. It gets a little hotter, and a little cooler – but not dramatically. You might want a long sleeve and pants in the evening, or a tank top during the day, but year round the weather is beautiful.
Costa Rica does have an ‘off’ season, not because it’s too hot or too cold – but simply because when it’s warm where people live, they often travel closer to home and when it’s cold where they live, their heart turns to Costa Rica.
Also, it will get dark year around at about 5 or 6 pm. Generally activities are done during the day time, and the evenings are spent eating dinner and socializing. One of our guides struggled to eat dinner when it was still light outside during their travels abroad because they are so used to eating after the sun goes down.
Costa Rica exports Bananas, Coffee, Tobacco, Sugar and Chocolate. Today you can still see how the coffee, sugar and chocolate are processed and often help in that process and of course get to taste the results! It’s a delicious activity!
The beauty of the country is unsurpassed. However, Costa Rica’s greatest asset is their people. Hands down they are the most welcoming, kind and loving people who go the extra mile to help you with anything you need. You will love everyone you meet and come home with new best friends and family!
Was there anything that you wished you knew about Costa Rica before you visited the country? Do you have any fun facts about Costa Rica of your own? Let us know in the comments!