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The Republic of Costa Rica (Rich Coast) is located in Central America and adjacent to countries like Nicaragua and Panama. With a population of about 4.5 million, the country ranks third in the world and first among the Americas in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index. It was also named as the happiest nation in 2009 and 2012 by the New Economics Foundation. Costa Rica boasts a diverse culture, great climate, amazing flora and fauna, and captivating landscapes. Here you can find rain forests, dry tropical forests, volcanoes, beaches, and mountains. The climate in the country is tropical for almost the entire year since it is located between eight and 12 degrees north of the equator.

What to see & do

Arenal Volcano - The Arenal Volcano National Park is made up mostly of rainforest which has a very rich flora and fauna. 75 percent of the species in Costa Rica can be found in the area. Visitors are encouraged to take the walking trails on the park from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for an entrance fee. The Arenal Botanical Gardens also provide botanists a wide list of tropical plants species, many of which are rare like bromeliads, orchids, ferns, and roses.

Puerto Viejo - Its stunning white-sand beaches have not failed to attract tourists to the place. Puerto Viejo also boasts a rich cultural heritage, tropical vegetation, and proximity to national parks like the Cahuita National Park and Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. The indigenous population in the place is also an attraction for visiting tourists. The best thing to do in this destination is to go swimming in the pristine beaches, go surfing on the Caribbean Coast and encounter the wildlife.

Rincon de la Vieja - Tourists will never get bored once in Rincon de la Vieja since it has a lot of activities to keep visitors busy. Here you can hike trails and enjoy horseback rides while witnessing the beauty of the nature. Other people also look forward to tubing, mountain biking, and waterfall swimming as the place is gifted with numerous waterfalls like the Oropendola Waterfall and the La Victoria Waterfall. It also has a national park features numerous wildlife animals which could be best visited in November and April.

How to get around within Costa Rica

An important thing to keep in mind while touring Costa Rica is that directions are given using well-known structures or establishments and not street names. The best way to go around the tourist destinations in the country is by bus. It offers cheap tickets to and from most towns all around the country. Another option for travellers is to rent a car and do the driving on their own. This is most needed when you are visiting secluded beaches and mountain areas in the country. Car rentals usually have additional rates for car insurance which is needed especially if you are travelling far places. Motorcycles are also offered for rent in the country for a weekly rate and you can choose if you want to ride in a dual sport bike or a cruiser. Hitchhiking has become a famous mode of transport in the country especially in the rural areas. Costa Ricans are known to be warm, friendly, and helpful people and they do not think twice in offering tourists a ride.

How to get there

Visitors from neighbouring countries are required to present a Yellow fever certificate before being allowed entry in Costa Rica. The Juan Santamaria Airport has flights from numerous airlines like Condor, Delta, JetBlue Airways, Air Canada, US Airways, and Copa Airlines among others. It connects the country to major cities in the world like Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Frankfurt, Mexico City, Lima, and Quito. Another way to reach the country is to travel by car using the Pan-American Highway which spans from Alaska to Southern Panama and goes right through Costa Rica.

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