Wildlife & Culture
Costa Rica enhabits a humble 0.03% of the earth's surface. Within this area, Costa Rica exceeds itself by having 6% of the world's biodiversity. Costa Rica promotes the conservation of its valuable biodiversity by investing in national parks allowing tourists to come and experience exuberant flora and fauna on a personal level. Over 25% of Costa Rica's land is protected as either a national park or wildlife reserve. Costa Rica's top protected areas include Braulio Carrillo, Volcán Poás and Tapantí-Macizo de la Muerte, as well as in the Lankester Botanical Garden, the Simón Bolívar Zoo, the Santa Ana National Zoo and the zoo in La Garita de Alajuela. In addition, theme parks offer self-guided tours and enjoyable experiences with nature.
Costa Rica does not only stand out for its natural beauty, it has a rich culture, traditions and art that synergizes with nature hand in hand. The Latino culture has created a friendly, laid-back country that empowers itself by exporting Coffee worldwide and welcoming thousands of tourists yearly. A nation with a long history of public services, including education and health care, accessible to all.
Travel Excellence, 2018
Jardín Botanico Else Kienzler
The German owner established the garden in 1998 and named it after his mother, the Jardin Botanico is a lush garden with well-tended walkways, including rivulets and ponds, plants and flowers, several of which are said to belong to endangered species. Open Daily from 8am to 4 pm.
Plants & Wildlife
Los Santos Forest Preserve
Stretching west from the Interamerican highway between El Empalme and the little village of División, this preserve’s 62,000 hectares are rich in natural attractions and a large variety of flora and fauna. Among its treasures is the quetzal, a spectacular bird with majestic plumage.
Cerro Vuelta Biological Preserve
Located in Copey, Cerro Vueltas contains 1,500 hectares. The preserve’s highest point is 3,156 meters above sea level; its lowest is in the vicinity of the community of Provincia de Dota. The most characteristic type of forest here is páramo (dwarf forest), with its great biodiversity and, in some cases, endemic species.
Guayabo National Archeological Monument
The Guayabo National Monument archeological site represents one of the highest degrees of socio-cultural development achieved by the country’s pre-Hispanic societies. Declared a National Monument in August 1973 for being the largest and most important archeological site discovered up to that time, Guayabo was occupied through four cultural phases from 1000 B.C. to 1550 A.D. Based on the type of constructions—aqueducts, roads, retaining walls or bridges—and the area, it is estimated that between 1,200 and 1,600 people inhabited the site.
Sarchi & Ox Carts
Sarchí is Costa Rica’s most famous crafts center. The town offers many small, family-operated woodworking factories producing wooden bowls and other tableware, rocking chairs of wood and leather, and a wide variety furniture and collectables. The most popular items on sale are “carretas”, elaborately painted oxcarts that traditionally carried coffee from the highlands down to the ports on the Pacific coast. Visit one of the oxcart factories to see how they are made and the beautiful hand-painting process.
The most culturally and historically diverse selection of museums in the country are located in this region including the National Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Children’s Museum, Museum of Costa Rican Art, Gold Museum, Popular Culture Museum, Juan Santamaría Museum, Orosí Museum, Entomological Museum, La Salle Museum, Jade Museum. For a list of all Costa Rica museums