Put Costa Rica on Your 2022 Must-Visit List!
The peaceful nation of Costa Rica is situated between Nicaragua and Panama and is a democratic and stable nation focused on tourism. I was fortunate to have been able to visit last November and see first-hand the country’s incredible natural beauty when restrictions started to ease. Here are some of the great features of this glorious country, making what I believe should be a must-see this year!
1. Lush, unspoiled and protected territories
This small, (covering just about 0.03 of the world’s surface) but mighty rugged-rain forested country boasts four UNESCO World Heritage sites, 1,228 km of coastline (1,016 km on the Pacific coast and 212 km on the Caribbean Sea), and 11 conservation areas comprising of National Parks, preserves, and biological corridors. 26% of the country’s territory is protected for conservation, making Costa Rica an true leader in sustainability. Sustainable practices run deeper than the beautiful but protected terrain;every part of the country has embedded sustainability into cuisine, artisan crafts and beyond.
2. So many beautiful bird species and other wildlife!
The birdwatching in Costa Rica is absolutely fantastic – spot up to 350 bird species, including hummingbirds, bell birds, toucans and the majestic Tucancito on various trails as well as in wildlife sanctuaries and while walking on hanging bridges through the forests. Costa Rica has been blessed with a huge diversity of natural resources that are maintained through the country’s many protected areas like National Parks, Biological reserves, wildlife refuges among others. One of many great regions to birdwatch is the Tirimbina Rainforest Center – a national wildlife refuge operated as an education, research, and eco-tourism center complete with trails that lead to a suspension bridge over the Sarapiquí river and into wonderland. And don’t miss the canals in Tortuguero that teem with wildlife.
3. Deeply Rooted Culture and History
A multicultural – and multilingual – hub of cultures ranging from Africans to Chinese, Lebanese and beyond, as well as the indigenous peoples of the Bribrí, Cabécar, Maleku, Teribe, Boruca, Ngäbe, Huetar and Chorotega groups, Costa Rica enables visitors to experience a variety of cultures through cuisine, entertainment, handicrafts and architecture. Partake in community-based tours that will bring you inside the lively communities where you can enjoy ecological reserves, farms and historical regions of interest such as historic government buildings, 19th century churches, and old cultural centres. The local cuisine is rich in flavours and includes home cooking dishes to modern, traditional, vegetarian and vegan foods, infusing a range of fresh and natural ingredients. A real treat was a chocolate tour! Committed to peace and education, Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948 with the intention of repurposing those savings into improving the standard of living for inhabitants as well as preserving the natural environment whilst promoting responsible travel for visitors.