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Costa Rica Best Spots

Largely Undisovered Tropical Paradise and Eco-Tourism Destination

What makes Costa Rica best is that despite its popularity and world's growing mass tourism, compared with the world's other tropical paradises, Costa Rica remains largely undiscovered.

Thanks to its unspoiled beauty, Costa Rica has become one of the world's best eco-tourism spots. This Central American country is one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet.

Best Preserved Countryside

What you'll find most surprising when visiting Costa Rica is that, despite all its natural beauty, despite all the favorable press it has received for years, despite its low cost of living, Edenic climate, and friendly populace, this tropical paradise has not yet been overrun with tourists.

The natural beauty of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a tropical paradise that makes it ideal as an eco-tourism travel destination.
(Image by Pixabay.com)

Yes, there have been many more visitors to Costa Rica in recent years than a couple of decades ago. But, compared with the world's other tropical paradises, Costa Rica remains largely undiscovered.

The country boasts some of the best-preserved countryside in Latin America. Vistors to Costa Rica encounter acres upon acres of pristine forest and jungle. And there are long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches, on both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts. Plus an abundance of flora and fauna.

What Sets Costa Rica Apart

Two other characteristics set Costa Rica apart from its Central American neighbors:

  1. A high literacy rate - one of the highest in the world. Costa Rica's first university was established in 1843, while free, compulsory education was established in 1917. Today children must complete 9 years of school, after which they have available scholarships and grants for continuing education. 
  2. The absence of an army - Cost Rica has one of the oldest democracies in the Americas. The first elections were held in Costa Rica in 1889. Despite a few attempts in tyranny, the modern constitution in 1949 abolished the army, directing country's resources to education, social programs and economic development. 

What are Top Spots in Costa Rica?

The primary drawback to Costa Rica is its capital city, San José, which is crowded, noisy, run-down, polluted, and crawling with pickpockets. At one time, though, San José must have been beautiful. The old sections of the city are filled with large, ornate buildings that were originally residences but have been converted into office space.

» Costa Rica National Theatre

Take time to see the Téatro Nacional de Costa Rica - the Costa Rican national theatre. This is a beautiful building inside and out, constructed in 1890s. It's construction began in 1891 and it was opened to the public on October 21, 1897, with the performance of Faust. When you walk into the lobby, be sure to look up--to see one of the most beautifully painted ceilings outside Rome. It features a mural Allegory of Coffee and Bananas, which is also featured on the five colon bank note.

» Town of Sarchi

A short trip northwest of San José is Sarchi, a small artisan's town filled with the shops of local craftsmen. Sarchi exists solely as a tourist attraction but the wooden furniture here is so well made and so affordable that touristy Sarchi is worth the visit. Prices are often higher for gringos than for Ticos so, if possible, have your guide or hosts do your buying for you. Haggling is discouraged.

» Train Station

At one time, trains traveled from one coast to the other, with connections in all the major towns. Today, a single train runs from San José to Puntarenas. It departs the Pacific Coast Train Station every day at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. It's slow-going, but you'll see some of Costa Rica's most picturesque landscapes...

You will find a lot more to see and explore in Costa Rica. Above all, you will experience the spontaneous hospitality of Costa Ricans, to whom a smiling face and a helping hand are almost second nature.

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