Tortuguero in the North Caribbean

1. Costa Rica is small

19,700 square miles (51,100 sq. km), ranking it 129th in worldwide landmass. Costa Rica’s size is commonly compared to the state of West Virgina (24,231 sq. mi., 62,758 sq. km) and the European state of Denmark (16,629 sq. mi., 43,069 sq. km).

However in this small country you can find 5% of the total life of the planet, it has mountains up to 12,000 feet high (3,821 m.a.s.l.), many volcanoes, and 12 different life systems (Types of rainforest).

This happens to be fantastic when you are traveling from one point to the next, because in a two or three hours trip you can see several very different landscapes.


Tamarindo in the North Pacific

2. Costa Rica has two oceans and over 112 volcanoes

The Caribbean, warm and humid and the Pacific, windy and drier. The two coastlines are very different one from the other, both are gorgeous in their own particular way and you can actually see the sunrise on the Caribbean, and drive to see the sunset on the Pacific… And you will get on time for cocktails!

It has 112 volcanoes, 6 of them are active, creating fantastic mountain landscapes and great new fertile soils.

This helps to have a magnificent biodiversity with niches for several different species.

Oxen and plows

Oxen and plows in the Irazu Volcano area

3. Costa Rica has no army

In 1948 the government decided, after a painful war, to abolish the army. This decision changed forever the life of the small country, by putting the money they spent in the military into health, education and the general wellfare of the Costa Ricans. It is a peaceful country.

And more than a political attitude, you can feel in the Costa Ricans, in general a peaceful life attitude.

DAY 7 On the way to Flamingo Beach, Freedom and joy

Happy children, happy country!

4. Costa Rica is ranked #1 in the Happy Planet Index

Meaning not only that we are happy people… But that our happiness costs less to the Earth, than anyone else’s.


Three toed sloth

5. Costa Rica is part of Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC)

Costa Rica is the smallest megadiverse country. The Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) is a group of countries that harbour the majority of the Earth’s species and are therefore considered extremely biodiverse. They are rich in biological diversity (60-70% of the world’s biodiversity) and associated traditional knowledge.

This means that not only Costa Rica is among the most biodiverse countries in the World, but it is also into protecting this biodiversity with serious government and private sustainability policies.



Written by Olga Sáenz-Carbonell for Camino Travel. 

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