6 things about Costa Rica you may not know

May 9, 2022 | Central America, Destinations, Safety Tips, Sustainable Tourism, Travel Safety, Travel Tips

Costa Rica is a peaceful nation in Central America where the "Pure Vida" lifestyle carries over in everything Costa Ricans (Ticos) do. An ideal destination for adventure seekers, nature lovers and anyone wanting to relax or rejuvenate in nature, but do you know the following 6 things about Costa Rica?

Here are 6 things about Costa Rica you may not already know

1. Costa Rica has been without a military since 1948.

That’s right. Not only is Costa Rica a democratic nation, it is also considered to be a peaceful country. It has consistently been recognized as being the safest country in Central America and was ranked the 39th overall peaceful country in the world (2021 Global Peace Index). Costa Rica’s philosophy in life is that of “Pure Vida” (pure life), which you’ll find in everything Costa Ricans do. Is it any wonder they’re a peaceful nation?

2. Costa Rica is one of the best vacation destinations in the world.

In 2021, it was not only ranked number 16 best holiday destination by Condé Nast, its accommodations also received many accolades, including the Conde Nast reader’s choice awards for best spa resorts and hotels in the Caribbean and the world. So if you haven’t put Costa Rica on your bucket list yet, it’s time to do so. In an article published in January 2022, Conde Nast considered Costa Rica one of the top destinations to visit in February. In fact, since it’s “dry season” is December to April, winter through early spring is probably the best time to visit. Although since each province’s dry season is slightly different, and rain showers are often sporadic and short, you can’t go wrong visitng Costa Rica any time of the year.

Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

3. Costa Rica and Panama share the first binational World Heritage site.

Inhabited by four different Indian tribes and covered mostly in tropical rainforest, the Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park was inscribed by UNESCO in 1983 for its outstanding universal value. One of the last remaining tracts of natural forest in Central America as well as one of the highest and wildest non-volcanic mountain ranges, the park extends both Costa Rica and Panama. It is one of the region’s most outstanding conservation areas with a wide range of ecosystems and rich, diverse biodiversity including many endemic species.

4. Costa Rica is an industry leader in sustainability.

The Central American country has long been an industry leader in sustainability, playing a pioneering role in fighting climate change for which it was named ‘UN Champion of the Earth’ in 2019. Notwithstanding its relatively small size (approx. 51,180 km²), roughly the same size as Denmark, in Europe,  due to its location, it is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Costa Rica currently has 26 National Parks and Reserves with 26% of the country designated protected conservation areas. With a goal to be the first carbon neutral country in the world, living sustainably is a way of life in Costa Rica and its deeply embedded in its culture and traditions.

Rio Celeste Waterfall, Costa Rica

5. Costa Rica is a leader in sustainable tourism.

In 1997, Costa Rica developed the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program and has been leading the way in sustainable tourism ever since. The program’s main goals are to improve the way natural and social resources are used, to promote active participation of local communities, and provide support for entrepreneurial competitiveness. Businesses in the travel and tourism sector are currently awarded one of two levels—Basic or Elite (previously it was 1-5). Be sure to book and use sustainable travel companies when visiting Costa Rica. You can recognize one by the CST leaf logo, which will include either Basic or Elite beside it (some may still be graded 1-5).  You’ll find the CST mark for accommodations, rental cars, tour operators, restaurants etc. indicating that they follow and abide by strict sustainable practices. Learn more about Costa Rica’s CST program here.

6. You don’t have to return to Canada to stay in Costa Rica longer than 90 days without a visa.

Although not strictly true, you do in fact need to leave Costa Rica for at least a couple of days at the end of a 90-day stay if you’re travelling without a visa. However, you do not need to fly all the way back to Canada. With its close proximity to the Caribbean and other Central and South American countries, you could plan a two day getaway to another country or island, such as Belize, Colombia or Roatan, instead of flying all the way back to Canada. When you return, the travel permit renews for another 90 days. Note: On arrival in Costa Rica, you must have an entry and exit ticket, no matter whether you’re entering by plane, boat or by land. So, if your return flight to Canada is more than 90 days after you arrive, you must already have a separate ticket showing your intention to depart before the 90 days are up.

Did you know these 6 things about Costa Rica?

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Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

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