Costa Rica

Costa Rica: The Center of Paradise

Playa del Coco
What do pristine beaches, an ecologically-aware government, a bustling expat community, and amazing coffee have in common? Costa Rica.

Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502, Costa Rica means "rich coast," referring to the country's abundance of flora and fauna. The modern Costa Rican government has not forgotten its natural side: nearly 25% of the country's landmass is protected as a national park or wildlife refuge.

The most popular natural area among ecologists and tourists alike is Corcovado National Park. The park features four different types of monkey, as well as hundreds of different bird and reptile species. But don't forget to look down: Costa Rica has dozens of different types of orchids.

Alto Quepos
White sand and blue water define Costa Rica's beaches. For the curious spirit, Manuel Antonio National Park hosts a variety of tide pools, letting tourists get up close and personal with sea life. For a more relaxed day, all of Costa Rica's beaches offer sunshine and a carefree attitude, the necessary components of any tropical holiday.

If the sand's not quite hot enough for you, try o­ne of Costa Rica's 14 volcanoes. Many visitors choose the Arenal Volcano, which allows views of molten lava and smoke from a safe distance. Though not all the volcanoes are active, their picaresque shape against a background of clouds and smoke makes the perfect photo moment.

From the natural areas to the beaches to the volcanoes, Costa Rica has a lot to offer for your next holiday. So visit them all - or simply relax in o­ne of nature's last remaining paradises.