Costa Rica is a magical place. Since November, 2002, when I first visited this country, I have been in love with the people, the culture, its biodiversity, the food. . everything about it makes me happy! Now I share my excitement with you!
The Geography of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a tiny, mountainous country located between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. . Nicaragua is to the north and Panama is to the south. The coastal areas are made up of beaches and mangroves. Moving further inland, it becomes immediately mountainous. . the Talamanca Mountains divides the country into eastern and western areas. These mountains average a few thousand feet in elevation, though some peaks are much higher. The higher-altitude mountains often ascend into the clouds, creating a beautiful, cooler cloud forest habitat. The tallest peak in Costa Rica is "Cerro Chirripo", which is 12,533 feet above sea level. Costa Rica is also home to many volcanoes. . only five are considered "active". There are many streams, rivers and waterfalls, but only a few lakes. Lake Arenal is the largest and of course, is located in front of the Arenal volcano.
The Sacred Cacao Bean. .
Have you ever known anyone who doesn't love chocolate? Any store in any country will have rows and rows of chocolate bars, laced with orange peel, lemon, hot pepper, caramel, cinnamon and dozens of other flavors. .
Why Do We All Love Costa Rica So Much?
Has your spouse ever asked you, "Honey, why do you love me?" Well, it's safe to say that you better have a good answer. If not, you're in the dog house for at least a week or so!
Your Pathway to Paradise!
That first hike into the jungle. It's not for the faint of heart. . you're going to be surrounded by things that can hurt you. Over 20,000 species of spiders. . YES, 20,000! At last count, 137 species of snakes. . 8 known species of poison dart frogs. . 6 different kinds of wild cats. . pumas, jaguars. . Sharp teeth. . fangs. . deadly toxins. . beware!
The Baird's Tapir of Costa Rica
At times weighing over 800 pounds, the tapir is a very elusive animal here in Costa Rica. It is mostly nocturnal. But, sometimes you may be lucky enough to see them in the jungle or even strolling on the beaches.
How the "Gringo" Got His Name!
When you first arrive in Costa Rica, wherever you are from originally doesn't really matter. You're a "gringo" whether you like it or not! As a person from the USA, I have never thought that there was any bad feelings at all when standing face to face with a Tico. In fact, I have experienced nothing but smiles and kind words.
Cuteness at the Highest Level. . Costa Rica's Coatimundi. .
The white-nosed coatimundi, or "coati", as it is sometimes called, is one of Costa Rica 's 200 mammal species. It is commonly mistaken for a raccoon or a large house cat, as it is similar in size and appearance. Their fur is reddish-brown to dark brown in color. And, they are so cute! By the way, in Costa Rica, they are also known as "pizotes".
The Beautiful Waterfalls Here in Costa Rica. .
With close to 30% of Costa Rica's land mass designated as "protected" by the government here, it is safe to say that hundreds of these treasured waterfalls will be here forever. And that is good news for the millions of visitors and for the 5 million citizens.