Costa Rica

Costa Rica can be considered a paradise by many even though it has only recently begun to see more and more visitors flocking to its white water rivers which take you through a host of diverse landscapes.

The abundance of wildlife, Costa Rica rain forest canopy, and the relatively small population of 3 million makes exploring the roughly 19,000 square miles of this country a welcome adventure for travelers on their Costa Rica vacation.

Costa Rica is a lesser-known country in Central America, with Nicaragua to the north, and the lagoon paradise of Panama, with its infamous Panama Canal to the south. Two shores of this country touch the two separate major bodies of water: the Caribbean Ocean to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Costa Rica Travel usually involves a great deal of eco-tourism and nature tours. Abundant rainfall gives Costa Rica two main seasons, the wet one, which begins in April and last through November, and the dry season, which is from December to April. The large amount of precipitation helps to create this country"s many rivers, some of which are prone to flooding, and besides this, creating dangerous environments for bathers or tourists whitewater rafting in Costa Rica. After a heavy rainfall, the rivers become engorged with debris like tree trunks and boulders, creating a rushing wall of havoc that Costa Ricans refer to as Cabezas de Aguas, or heads of water in Spanish.

While this may seem scary to visitors to Central and South America who might be more accustomed to the tranquil waters of the Amazon River in Brazil, this is just one of the many distinct features of Costa Rica. Much like the crocodiles of Tortugueros, the dangers of the rivers can be experienced from a safe and comfortable distance.

Although most of the country lies in a tropical zone, 12 different climates make up part of Costa Rica"s natural diversity. The long mountain chain that stretches across the country is part of the thousands mile long Andean Sierra Madre range. The capitol of San Jose lies in one of the most fertile valleys near the center of the country.

Costa Rica vacations often start here in the capitol of San Jose, as it is a central jumping off point for trips to the humid Caribbean coast and the chilling but scenic heights of Chirripo, situated in the south of the country at over 12,000 feet. This country was first explored on Columbus"s fourth journey to the new world in 1502. He and his crew were warmly welcomed by the native Carib Indians who paddled out in their canoes, adorned with gold rings in their ears and noses. This, and the lush western coastline inspired the Spaniards to name this place Costa Rica, or Rich Coast.

Rings are a recurring theme here. On a Costa Rica tour you might stop at one of the sites of the southwestern coasts where granite spheres dot the landscape. Some of these perfectly shaped spheres are small enough to fit in a backpack while others are as big as a car. This and other evidence of a civilization dating back 10,000 years give you even more to explore as you discover this country on your Costa Rica Vacation.

Ranging from a history excursion to one of the seven active volcanoes to a canopy eco-tour, tours in Costa Rica offer you a glimpse of the geographical features and microclimates that create variety of life and scenery in this Central American country. Whether you"re here to surf or to enjoy the untouched wonders of this rich haven, Costa Rica vacations have something exciting for every visitor.

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