Costa Rica is a central American country, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea to the northeast and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Imagining a nation having two largest water bodies at the two ends might have impressed you. But this is not the complete description of Costa Rica. This country is known for many more exciting things, like active volcanoes, diverse wildlife, lush jungles, sandy beaches, and mystical rainforests.
When you enter Costa Rica, the aroma of freshly prepared Costa Rican coffee will probably greet you. It is a fact that an individual in Costa Rica drinks an average of six cups of coffee daily. So, if you love coffee, this Central American country has a lot to offer you, varying from many coffee brands, locally produced coffee, and coffee plantation tours. But, if you are not a coffee person by chance, the country also has many food options to make you drool. You can enjoy traditional Costa Rican dishes prepared with rice, beans, and other locally produced ingredients. This country has something for everyone, which makes it one of the most popular vacation destinations worldwide.
If these little titbits about Costa Rica fascinate you, you might want to learn a few more things about this country. Then scroll down and continue reading our list of Costa Rica interesting facts.
Interesting Costa Rican Stats
Before we talk about the facts, let’s look at some unbelievable statistics that make Costa Rica a unique country.
- Costa Rica has a total population of 4.9 million, of which 94% of Costa Ricans have European heritage.
- The capital of Costa Rica, San Jose, has a total population of 2 million.
- The literacy rate in Costa Rica is 97.8%.
- You will be surprised to know that an estimated 2.68 million tourists visit Costa Rica annually, making the country the most visited nation in Central America. In 2019, Costa Rica received a total of 3.37 million tourists, the highest number of tourists ever recorded in Costa Rica.
- In Costa Rica, one of the largest tourism industries in Central America, the tourism industry contributes around $1.92 billion per year to the country’s economy.
- Gallo Pinto, a dish made up of rice and black beans, is a staple Costa Rican breakfast.
- The biggest lake in Costa Rica is Lake Arenal, which covers an area of 85 square kilometers.
- Cerro Chirripo, Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, is 3,810 meters above sea level.
- Costa Rica ranks higher than even the United States for their national healthcare system.
Let’s look at the seven most fascinating facts about Costa Rica that might inspire you to pack your bags and fly to Costa Rica now.
1. Costa Rican Coffee
Costa Rica has been the leader in the coffee industry for hundreds of years. In fact, according to the history of Costa Rican coffee, Ethiopian traders brought the first coffee plants to the country in the late 18th century, and the Costa Rican government quickly recognized its value. During the early 1900s, the government even offered free land to anyone interested in coffee farming. Today, Costa Rican coffee is famous worldwide, and both regular and occasional coffee drinkers often indulge in this delectable brew.
You might be wrong if you think Costa Rica produces only a limited amount of coffee. This country produces around 1.5 million bags of coffee annually. More than 90% of these bags are exported from Costa Rica to the global market. Costa Rica values its coffee industry, and hence, there are many laws to protect Costa Rican coffee production. One such rule is that businesses and farmers are permitted to grow only the Arabica species in Costa Rica.
So, when you visit Costa Rica, do not forget to pour yourself a freshly prepared hot cup of coffee!
2. The Seven Wonders of Costa Rica
You might have heard about the seven wonders in the world, but do you know Costa Rica has its own seven wonders? This beautiful land has tons of wonderful things that might intrigue you, but these seven wonders are at the top of the list.
- Cocos Island in the Pacific Ocean holds first place on the list of seven wonders of Costa Rica. It was even designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
- The Arenal Volcano, which is famous for a long-duration eruption from 1968 to 2010, is ranked second on this list.
- Cerro Chirripo, Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, comes in third place.
- Celeste River holds the fourth position because of its vibrant turquoise color. A natural phenomenon is responsible for the gorgeous color of the river. The Buenavista River and Sour Creek both supply water to the Celeste. The former has a lot of aluminum-silicon particles, whereas the latter is very acidic. When the water from these two rivers meets at the Celeste River, it changes the pH of the water. This pH change causes the aluminum-silicon particles to aggregate, resulting in Mie scattering. Mie scattering is the elastic scattering of light by particles having a diameter equal to or greater than the incident light’s wavelength, which gives the Celeste River its turquoise color.
- The natural Tortuguero Canals come in fifth place, which connects many water bodies of the Tortuguero Conservation Area.
- Poas Volcano, which has erupted about 40 times since 1868, takes sixth place.
- Finally, the Monteverde Reserve, a protected cloud forest with seven different ecological zones, is in the seventh position.
3. The Pura Vida Lifestyle
If you have ever been to Costa Rica, one thing that might have impressed you the most has to be the culture, and the lifestyle locals follow. Pura Vida, meaning “pure life” or “simple life” in general terms, is not merely a saying in Costa Rica but a lot more. It is basically how Costa Ricans live, stress-freely, relaxed, calm, humble, and grounded. That is why it is no surprise that Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world.
Almost everyone in Costa Rica incorporates “Pura Vida” in their daily routine, some as a general saying, some as a motto for their life, and others in personalizing local products. But one thing for sure is that you will not understand the true meaning of Pura Vida unless you’ve been to the country at least once.
So, don’t think twice and pack your bags as the happiest country is waiting for you.
4. Nicoya Peninsula – The Blue Zone of Costa Rica
If you are interested in learning about Costa Rica’s history, there could be nothing as fascinating as learning about the Costa Rican Blue Zone. Yes, you heard it right! Costa Rica has one of the five blue zone regions in the world, i.e., the Nicoya Peninsula, which has a high number of healthy centenarians. It is also one of the happiest places in Central America, with the highest life satisfaction level and literacy rate.
5. The Hummingbird Capital of the World
It will not be fair if we do not mention how diverse Costa Rican wildlife is while discussing the interesting facts about Costa Rica. The nation protects around 30% of its land as National Parks, sanctuaries, and wildlife refuges, where you will find some rare animals thriving in their natural habitat. Costa Rica is home to around 500,000 wildlife species, including scarlet macaws, humpback whales, sea turtles, sloths, and howler monkeys.
Besides having incredible wildlife, this country is among the favorites of birdwatchers worldwide. Costa Rica is known as the “Hummingbird Capital of the World.” During your trip to Costa Rica, there are chances you might see a hummingbird belonging to one of the 50 hummingbird species found in Costa Rica, including sabrewing, emerald, and wood star.
6. A Land of Volcanoes
Costa Rica might be a small country if we consider size and population, but it is incredible when it comes to diversity and natural beauty. Costa Rica is a part of the Ring of Fire that makes it home to six active volcanoes and more than 60 dormant volcanoes. Because of the volcanic formations, it has become an ideal place for hikers looking for rugged hiking terrain.
Also, the highest point in Costa Rica is Cerro Chirripo, situated 3.82 kilometers above sea level. From its peak, you will get the most incredible views of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
7. Private Villas with Helipad
The country is home to many luxurious private rentals where you can spend quality time with family and friends, enjoying the amenities, modern infrastructure, and spectacular views. But, with a villa like Villa Firenze, where you get a private helipad facility, the vacation becomes more relaxing, secure, personal, and comfortable.
Living in a Costa Rican luxury villa with a private helipad facility is also a boon for its visitors. There is no need to compromise your privacy and security while enjoying your vacation, as you can book a private helicopter tour of the waterfalls, beaches, and volcanoes with us.
The prominent role of including a helicopter ride in your vacation package is to ensure you enjoy the jet-set lifestyle even when you are on vacation.
These lesser-known facts about Costa Rica might have inspired you to plan your next vacation here. Amazingly, Costa Rica has almost everything you might need for a memorable trip, whether you are planning an adventurous holiday or a family vacation. In addition, you will easily find many luxurious hotels, good restaurants, and fun-filled activities to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
So, the choice is entirely yours about what you want to do during your next vacation. You can either unwind at the relaxing Jaco beach, have fun at Arenal volcano & lake, enjoy ziplining at Manuel Antonio, or enjoy a private Heli tour at Villa Firenze.
Pack your bags and board a flight to Costa Rica now!