Searching for Tropical Treasure in Costa Rica: Latin America's "Rich Coast"
Hello Ticos and Ticas! It’s time to get out and see Costa Rica in all its beautiful and natural splendor; from the diversity of life and culture to the geographical wonders of some of the most fascinating mountain ranges and largest volcanoes in the world, there’s so much to discover! So leave your deep-fried plántanos and Cacique Guaros at the tiki bar and come venture with me into the dynamic wilderness of Central America’s coastal backyard, and who knows, maybe even find some tropical treasure of your own!
As a world leader in conservation policies, it’s not surprising to find that over 25% of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to national parks and reserves where you can see the gorgeous preserved landscape and diverse wildlife in its natural habitat. To the right is a beautiful areal shot of Costa Rica's vast rainforest on a dim and dreary kind of day. While a trek through these terrains can prove arduous at best, it can also be incredibly rewarding for nature and animal lovers alike! Below I'll show you some beautiful wildlife images, but the video is absolutely beautiful. Play the music as you look through the pictures, but don't miss the footage of Costa Rican butterflies, birds, reptiles, slithering rivers and diving waterfalls.
Lovely Costa Rica and its Breathtaking Natural Beauty
If I wanted to show you all the wildlife in tiny Costa Rica, we'd probably be here until the end of the world. Although Costa Rica’s landmass only covers around 0.03% of the planet’s surface, the country is host to over 5% of the earth’s total biodiversity; this gives Costa Rica the greatest density of unique species in the entire world! New species of insect, plant, amphibian and reptile are discovered on a weekly basis, adding to the growing list and giving you yet another reason to get out there and discover your own type of spotted butterfly or colourful orchid. To the right is a truly unique anomaly, a giraffe that looks like a tree! Hehe, it's actually a well-known local attraction at Arenal National Park, this giraffe-shaped tree. Speaking of Arenal National Park.
Visit the Arenal Volcano National Park and experience the thrill of exploring Costa Rica’s most active volcano, which has been consistently flowing fiery-red lava for almost 50 years; a wondrous view at night! Also within the Arenal Conservation Area is another inactive volcano which can be explored more extensively, as well as the geological complexities of the Tilarán and Guanacaste mountain ranges.
Rainforests, wildlife conservations and volcanic national parks are just a tiny fraction of the wonders to be discovered in Costa Rica. The actual area considered to be Costa Rica has 10x more marine area than land area; perhaps you’re up for a voyage across nearly 500 kilometres of ocean for a week long scuba diving trip to the precious gem of Cocos Island? Famous amongst divers for its schooling hammerheads, Cocos Island has also been the site of tens of thousands of treasure expeditions— likely due to its prevalence within pirate myths and literature. Most famously is the tale of the treasure of Lima, which we know for sure made it to the island and was buried there around 1820. In addition to scuba diving with stingrays, you could take a crew onto the island and search for some tropical treasure-- but you'll need plenty of permits before you even set foot on the mainland. The island is safeguarded as a national treasure and, for the most part, only park rangers and scientists are allowed full access. There are plenty of guides and tours you can take though, just make sure you sign up before you show up!
If you’re looking to find indigenous people and culture, you might be disappointed to learn that Costa Rica’s population is 94% European and less than 1% can trace their ancestry beyond colonization. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist! Some of the Maleku tribe still live in mostly traditional villages and invite tourists to experience public ceremonies in nearby towns or to actually visit the villages themselves. If you wanna learn the history of the Maleku, you can read another hub I wrote here: The Mighty and Mysterious Maleku: Ghosts of Costa Rica
From world-class scuba trips and cultural experiences to exciting mountain ranges and volcanoes, there’s something for everybody in Costa Rica-- or, as the name literally translates in Spanish, the “Rich Coast” of Latin America!