Whenever we talk about Costa Rica, the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing beaches, mesmerizing landscapes, and picturesque locations that win our hearts over and over. We all crave the cold breeze touching our hair, the beautiful scenery of the sunset, the soothing sounds of the waves, and the warm moist sand touching our feet more than anything else and why wouldn’t we? It brings us closer to nature and makes us appreciate the beauty that we often forget to do in our busy lives.
Costa Rica provides you with such a heavenly tourist place that is home to thousands of unique creatures and plant life. The country is hailed as one of the most biodiverse places on the entire planet. The incredibly festive place is truly fascinating which is one of the trending picks among travelers.
And I see no doubt why this country was aptly named Rich Costa. The country in Central America, Costa Rica is not only rich in the variety of flora and fauna but it is rich in happiness and the quality of life too. Now you know why it provides such a happy and positive environment for the tourists. The country live with its slogan, that reads, “Living a pure life” and that’s what Costa Rica is all about.
As amazing and wonderful as it sounds there sure are some interesting facts that this country holds. The history of this country surely is hidden in the mesmerizing location that we see today, and the more we know about Costa Rica, the more we seek and that is why here we have brought you some of the most fascinating and interesting facts about Costa Rica, that we know, you are dying to know. So what are you waiting let’s take the dive through these facts.
1. Blue Zone
Nicoya which is a place on the western coast of Costa Rica is an infamous Blue Zone in the country. It is among the top-five Blue Zone in the world. When a place is crowned as a blue zone then it means the inhabitants of the place have a life expectancy longer than the rest of the world and it is common for Costa Ricans to live past a century.
As we know the country is rich in the quality of life and happiness and people with less stress and more happiness in their life are most likely to live past others, so it is only imaginable for a place of this country to be included in Blue Zone. Another reason behind this interesting fact is that the local waters of Nicoya are extremely rich in Calcium and Magnesium, they all believe in a good schedule and follow an 8-hour sleep pattern, their diet is organic and rich in animal proteins, fruits, etc.
2. The Whale’s Tail
Bahia Ballena literally possesses the shape of a whale’s tail. It is a popular beach in Costa Rica which is also known by the name Whale Bay and when you see from above, you will see that the beach is actually in the shape of the tail of a whale. Another reason why this place is called by the name of Whale Bay is because this beach serves as an attractive spot for whale-watching. What a great coincidence.
3. Sunrise and Sunset in One Day
Seeing Sunrise and Sunset in one day seems such a fascinating idea and impossible at the same time but this very thing is possible in Costa Rica. Yes, you heard it right, you can see the sunrise and sunset in one day from the horizon on the Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast.
Where the Caribbean coast will provide you with the beauty of the sunrise, at the same time the Pacific coast will make you experience the amazing sunset. This phenomenon happens because of the country’s close proximity with the equator. The Costa Rican beaches are one of a kind in the many ways and this phenomenon is another example of it.
4. Renewable Energy
You would be amazed to know that Costa Rica is an expert in utilizing their renewable energy and makes electricity with the help of it. They utilize it so efficiently that 99% of their electricity is produced by renewable resources. It is one of the most important fact about Costa Rica that everyone should know about. The country generates their energy using renewable resources such as wind, geothermal energy, solar, biomass and hydropower.
It is really a very eco-friendly country and it has a goal to become the first-fossil free country in the world and as we can see, they are already on a right path for it. Costa Rica serves as a great role model for larger countries who has set similar goals.
5. Happiest Place on Earth
The Central American country, Costa Rica is categorized as one of the happiest places on the entire planet. The fact may not be as surprising for the people as the quality of life is very high there. It provides us with an undefinable natural experience and meanwhile also giving us a fascinating experience of its beauty. There is no doubt the country is hailed as a jewel in Central America.
6. The Costa Rican Currency
Every note of the Costa Rican currency features a different landscape, animals and plants that you almost get the glimpse of its biodiversity. It features the vast biodiversity of the country that includes, a capuchin monkey, blue morpho butterfly, white-tailed deer, etc.
7. Nicknames for Costa Ricans
The local people of Costa Rica calls themselves ticos and ticas. This affectionate gesture that they do among themselves is an act of showing love for their native people. These names are exclusive to all people and things that are born in Costa Rica. The like to end the names with tico as in Chiquitico. This also resembles with that of Spanish people who like to end the names with tito like chiquitito.
We all are aware of the fact that Costa Rica is extremely biodiverse but did you know about the fact that it contains 5% of the world’s total biodiversity. So much in just one country! The variety of flora and fauna is insane in this country and we were not kidding when we said that you will found vast diversity here. You will never run out of wildlife here, and there is so much to explore here.
Another fascinating fact concerned with this is that it only covers about 0.3% of the planet surface and stores so much biodiversity in it. You will also find some iconic rainforest animals in the country and the government of Costa Rica is working very hard to preserve the national parks, rainforests and bio reserves in the country.
9. No Army
You would find it truly fascinating that Costa Rica has no army. Yes, it has none. Now you would be asking why? Well, the answer to your question is that it has proudly boasted the absence of their military forces and army since the year 1948; it happened after their army was destroyed because of the civil war and in the wake of victory.
Another reason why Costa Rica is famous is because of its volcanoes. Volcanoes are another stunning creature of our nature but they are equally dangerous. The country of Costa Rica is home to five active volcanoes and they are, Arenal Volcano, the Rincon, the Turrialba, the Irazu, and the Poas and let me just tell you that they are all spectacular.
11. Banana Exporter
Costa Rica is the second-largest exporter of Bananas in the world. The top exporter of Banana is Ecuador. Apart from the quantity, the quality of Bananas found there, is also great. So do not forget to have some delicious bananas whenever you go to Costa Rica.
12. National Slogan
As we have learned in the article, that Costa Ricans believes in bettering the quality of life rather than focusing on money and other materialistic happiness and that is why they are one of the happiest people on the planet. The country’s mentality can be seen clearly in its slogan that reads ‘Pura Vida’.
Pura Vida translates to Pure Living but if we dwell into the meaning of it, its more than that, its a lifestyle which represents the mentality of the people living their. And as per the experts their belief in their slogan serves as one of the reason why they remain so happy.
Well, till now all you have heard is so many wonderful things about Costa Rica but did you know that earthquakes are also pretty common here? And you can literally experience one when you visit there. But do not imagine them as life-threatening life disasters because they are very small ones without casualties however, that doesn’t totally eliminate the possibility of larger ones so it is great to be aware.
14. The Jesus Christ Lizard
Well, the name itself must have amused you enough. And it is absolutely true that Costa Rica has a specie of Lizard known as The Jesus Christ Lizard. As you are already aware that Costa Rica has an extensive diversity of plants and animals. Well, the reason why this lizard is known as the Jesus Christ Lizard is because it possesses the ability to run on water. The Jesus Christ lizard is commonly known as the Basilisk.
15. The Maiden Name
It is a custom of most countries where women have to accept the name of their husband after marriage and apply their last name at the end but not in Costa Rica because in this country women get to keep their maiden name for life. The Ticas are not forced to take the name of their husbands, and in other countries too women have started to choose which name to keep, the maiden or their husband’s.
16. Sloths Everywhere
As rarely found as they are, Wild sloths are also incredibly adorable. They are one of the most loved creatures in the world and they are commonly found in Costa Rica. The forests in Costa Rica are home to these animals who are found hanging on trees so do not forget to check for some sloths whenever you are in this central American country.
The tales of biodiversity of Costa Rica is already famous but you would still be shocked to know the number of varities they have of each animal or plants. Well, especially, the worth mentioning is the species of Orchids which is reportedly 1400 in number. Yes you heard it right, the purple colored flower have 1400 varieties in Costa Rica.
If there’s one thing that we already knew about Costa Rica, then it’s the fact that it is a great tourist place. The country attracts millions of tourists every year and provides them with thousands of picturesque locations and attractive destinations. However, the national tourists in Costa Rica themselves constitute a huge number but there has been a significant increase in the number of international tourists.
Data shows that nearly 3 million tourists visit this country every year, and that has made tourism the leading source of income for the locals.
19. The Costa Rican Land
Well, as we are all aware of the biodiversity of this country, it is also true that this place is filled with forests, bio reserves, national parks and whatnot. Since it was such an emerging need, the country of Costa Rica has dedicated 25% of its land to various national parks, wildlife refugees, and bio reserves.
The increasing tourism has made the government save this gift of nature and eco-tourism is significantly increasing each year that has given enough money and reason for the government to preserve the country’s biodiversity.
20. National Animal
Well, don’t try to guess because it may actually surprise you. If you have read enough about Costa Rica, then you would know that the most common animal in the country is the monkeys but it is not the national animal of Costa Rica. Instead, the animal that got throned as the national animal is the white-tailed deer.
But it is not so common to spot the white-tailed deer in the country so whenever you visit you will probably not see it but you will certainly find monkeys, capuchin, or sloths there. Let’s say that if you want to see a white-tailed deer, you will have to be in the thick of a forest.
21. No Bad Timing
Whenever we look for a place to visit a country, it is our tendency to always google, ‘what time is best to visit dash country’ because we do not want to be stuck in bad weather when we can not enjoy the beauty of nature and its location at the fullest. But you would be really surprised to know that there is no such bad time to visit Costa Rica.
Yes, the country welcomes tourists at all months. Though the most density is between the months of December to April but the rest of the year is when you will see the most greenery. It is also raising season for the country but that will not affect the beauty of this country by any percentage. Also, the weather here is truly unpredictable, so it really doesn’t, matter when you visit because nature doesn’t play by the rules here.
Also, you can expect different weather in different places in the same country. Even though costa Rica is a smaller country but you will get to experience a dozen of weather patterns from mountain to oceans to sea and forests, etc.
22. A Glimpse of Wildlife
This fact about Costa Rica will make you genuinely happy if you are an animal lover. The country that is rich in biodiversity has taken a pretty great initiative concerned with animals and their physical and mental health. The Minister of Environment in the year 2013 has led a movement to “reinforce the idea of interacting with biodiversity in botanical parks in a natural way.”
The movement enforced that no animal should be kept in captivity or unless you are rescuing it it or saving it, meaning that the animals should be able to stay freely in their natural environment and the formation of zoos should be banned. The country was able to recognize the need for it or care about the animals.
At the first go not everywhere this was being followed, but the movement definitely leads to the remodeling of zoos and creating a larger space for the animals so they shouldn’t feel trapped. People and authorities started being more aware of the health of these animals and rehabilitation centers were also formed across the country for nurturing the variety of animals. Well, I have a new-found respect for Costa Rica.
23. The Golden Grain
There’s a high chance you have already tasted the ‘golden grain’ of Costa Rica. The country was built on coffee, the reason behind the early development of the country was coffee. In the early years, say the 1800s, the farmers were given free land if they promised to grow coffee there. At the time the coffee grains were the reason behind the major revenues of the country and at the time it the major funds brought to San Jose theatre were because of this morning grain and this practice is still continued to date.
The locals of the place call it yodo or yodito. There are very many varieties of coffee that is found in Costa Rica on the basis of soil composition, elevation, etc. The characteristic that makes the coffee famous here is the silky texture that it provides.
24. The National Dish
You will many countries around the world that will claim that they have invented the combination of rice and beans to be eaten as a dish but you should ignore them because the story has it that the invention of rice and beans is done in Costa Rica.
The story goes like this, there was a guy named Don Bernabe, he won three chicken in prize and he was saving them for the town’s Christmas Fiesta. The star among the bunch was the spotted hen or as he calls it, Gallo pinto. The story about this quickly started to spread and in no time there was a huge crowd at Don Bernabe’s house.
In order to distract the crowd, the man had to fry up a lot of rice and black beans together so that he could feed them and that’s how the dish was invented. However, you can find various versions of the dish in other countries, but what distinguishes the Costa Rican Gallo pinto from its counterparts is the presence of Salsa Inglesa in it which is a savory and tangy sauce of the country.
Other versions are also created of this dish with the addition of coconut milk and chilies but the signature dish is still with the Salsa Inglesa sauce.
25. Calypso King of Cahuita
There is a very famous story about the Calypso King of Cahuita who is Walter “Gavitt Ferguson or simply known as Gavitt. He was a very talented music artist who remained under the periphery and used to sing for tourists to earn his living, even the guitar he used was not his, it was a borrowed one. He started selling his music cassette tapes too, and he used to do it outside the Cahuita National Park.
Time goes by then in the year 2002 he gets an opportunity for recording some music as a professional and it was his real chance at making music as his career. The opportunity was offered to him by Papaya Music in San Jose. But he refused because he didn’t want to travel to the capital.
Well, then Papaya Music packed their equipment up and headed to where Gavitt lived that is in Cahuita. They decided to do the recording in his home and for that; they had to do a lot of arrangements and had to insulate her room fully by adding mattresses and rugs. Even though they had to face too many challenges but the result at the end was just amazing.
The first-ever album of Gavitt that was Babylon received national and international acclaim and is still very famous in the world. Since then he got mainstream recognition. Ten years later, that is in 2012, the government of Costa Rica decided that they would be giving special recognition to Calypso music as it is a significant part of the county’s cultural and historical identity by passing an executive decree.
26. The Monteverde Cloud Forest
The Monteverde Cloud that is home to rich biodiversity and wildlife once looked more like a quaker village. and today it holds 2500 species of plants let alone the animals and it also is a great tourist attraction but it wasn’t always like this. The story of the beginning of what it is today belongs to 1951 when Eleven families from the US left their home in Alabama in search of a more Pacific lifestyle like Costa Rica.
They found their ideal location in the Monteverde cloud forest who at the moment was called Monatanosa. They used the land, and it’s preexisting structure to lead their lives but by the year 1970, the community of people became more active in making their space more environmental friendly, and that eventually led to the development of ecotourism in the process.
And now the Monteverde Cloud Forest is one the top of the visitor’s list who visit the country of Costa Rica. You can also take the suspended skywalks if you want to explore the forest and also if you are feeling a little too adventurous then you are always welcome to take a zipline tour through the canopy mist that you will find at the mountainside.
And who knows if you are too lucky then you may be able to visit the stealthy quetzal which is considered as a place where you will find rarest of birds filled with colors and beauty.
27. Olive Ridley Turtle
Arribada, also known as the country’s mass arrival welcomes about 100,000 Olive Ridley Turtles every year to the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge’s isolated beaches. These turtle lays as many as 10 million eggs and though it is an annual ritual but the green season is where it’s at its peak.
But the curiosity of tourists and their close gathering in clouds has proved to be an unsafe environment for the turtles therefore as of 2015 the Ostional had to implement some stricter rules so that the turtles would feel safe in their setting.
All this talk about Costa Rica must be making you crave the country and its natural beauty doesn’t matter if you have been there or not. Well, that’s the beauty of Costa Rica. With the biodiversity being off the charts, getting hailed as one of the happiest places on earth, a better quality of life, and the undefinable beauty of nature, one would wish to settle there but the least you can do is visit this beautiful country at least once in your life.
Above we have mentioned some of the most interesting and fascinating facts about Costa Rica and if that doesn’t tempt you I don’t know what will. Beyond the basic info, we have tried to give you a more in-depth knowledge of the country and its culture that would definitely mesmerize you if you dwell into it.
Some of these facts you would have already known though there would be a few that must have really caught you off-guard while there must be some that you know but are not listed here, well, what are you waiting for? Enlighten us! And also do let us know in the comment section how you liked this article and also if you have any queries or suggestions, shoot.