Costa Rica – 10 Things You didn’t Know

“Pura vida” – most commonly used phrase in this beautiful country and literally means “Pure life”. But this saying goes beyond its simple translation: it’s a way of life; and the only way you can discover it is traveling to Costa Rica.

Contextually, this expression symbolizes the idea of simply enjoying life and being happy. Here are 10 interesting facts about this joyful country:

Interesting, funny and quirky facts about Costa Rica.

1. Costa Rica – No army land

Costa Rica is a democratic and peaceful country, and it doesn’t have an army since 1948. The absence of an army makes it possible each year to fund all of the country’s public universities, as well as three hospitals.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

2. Winner of a Nobel Prize

Thanks to this peaceful lifestyle, the ex-president Oscar Arias Sanchez won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for developing and promoting a peace plan to end the guerrilla wars in Central America.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

3. High life expectancy

Costa Rica receives international praise for its modern healthcare system, ranked 36th in the world by the World Health Organization (WHO). Also, the Nicoya Peninsula is one of the world’s five Blue Zones where you can travel, a place where people live longer and happier lives, and has a high concentration of people over age 100.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

4. Doing a plasma rocket

The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR®) engine that will help us to travel to Mars in a much faster and cheaper way is being built by the Costa Rican Franklin Chang Díaz, NASA engineer, in the Ad Astra Rocket Company subsidiary located in Liberia.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

5. 5 % of the world’s biodiversity 

Costa Rica represents less than 1 % of the world’s landmass, yet it contains 5 % of the Earth’s biodiversity. National Parks, protected forests and biological reserves that can be visited when you travel here, represent more than 25 % of the country.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

6. Carbon Neutral project

According with all its sustainable policies, one of the most important projects in Costa Rica is to become the first carbon neutral country by 2021. To achieve this, at this moment over 80 percent of country’s energy is generated through renewable sources, such as water and wind.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

7. More than 121 volcanoes 

There are more than 121 volcanic formations in this country, and seven of them are active. Some of the volcanoes are important tourist attractions and are included in most of the travel packages. Poas Volcano, for example, is one of the most visited because of its breathtaking crater and proximity to San José.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

8. Two Oceans

Costa Rica lies between two oceans. On its east lies the Caribbean Sea and to its west the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to this, the country is full with beautiful beaches recognized around the world by surfers and perfect for practicing water sports like fishing or kayaking.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

9. Tree-house experience

In Costa Rica it is possible to sleep in the trees. In fact, there are various tree-house hotels in different of its tourist destinations that will give you the opportunity to enjoy your vacations like if you were a bird. Don’t forget to ask your travel agency to book at least one of this properties if you plan to travel here.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

10. A whale tale of sand

The Uvita sand bridge connecting the mainland with a small rocky island near Dominical, in the South Pacific of Costa Rica, looks like a perfect whale tail at low tide. Even more interesting is that the site and its surroundings are one of the best places to observe humpback whales of all North and South America.

Costa Rica Interesting Facts

Check out Interesting Travel Facts about other countries!

35 thoughts on “Costa Rica – 10 Things You didn’t Know

  1. Mike

    I love how they have no military. What an amazing example for the rest of the world. That’s ‘pura vida’ :-)
    Mike recently posted…Scenery From My Temporary BackyardMy Profile

    • They are not the only country in the world, but it would be a total dream come true of more governments would apply this rule :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #95My Profile

  2. Wow Marysia, those are really 10 things I didn’t know about this joyful country. Well, maybe I knew that Costa Rica had two coasts, but besides that I have been long overdue to visit and learn more about this carbon neutral country with and 121 volcanoes and beautiful whale tale beaches… :)
    Dennis Kopp recently posted…Homemade Campervan Conversion of a VW T4My Profile

  3. Awesome list! Makes me want to visit Costa Rica even more!
    Shaun recently posted…5 Reasons Why 7-Eleven is my Favorite Restaurant in AsiaMy Profile

  4. Joe Prince

    Awesome post, thanks for sharing this…

  5. Now I have 10 more reasons to go to Costa Rica! Hopefully someday soon.
    Gina recently posted…Discovering the Art of Violin Making at Geigenbau Museum in MittenwaldMy Profile

  6. Costa Rica is such a beautiful country! It reflects on the photo’s but for one reason or another I didn’t love being there. I still don’t really get why.
    Sarah recently posted…Things you might want to know before going to RwandaMy Profile

  7. Ron

    Wow many of these things I actually did not know! lol I knew there were volcanoes, but not 120 of them! I just though there was Arenal and one more farther North. Can’t wait to see how this plasma rocket turns out… X-D
    Ron recently posted…A Weekend in Aspen w/ The Legendary Adventures of AnnaMy Profile

  8. Great collection of interesting facts here Marysia on Costa Rica that I am sure most folks probably never knew. I had no idea for example that CR had no army since the end of WWII. It may be due to my ignorance, but apart from knowing a few Costa Rican football (soccer) players, I only really started learning about this beautiful country when I started following Sam and Yeison at My Tan Feet. Now I really want to explore for myself!!
    Chris Boothman recently posted…Travel Tech 101 – The Hoboroll by Gobi GearMy Profile

    • You are good Chris, before the World Cup I didn’t even know Costa Rica had such a good football team! :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #85My Profile

  9. Costa Rica is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. We had the best time spelunking one day in a huge cave and canyoneering another day.
    Katherine Belarmino recently posted…Finding Fun and Friends at Belize’s Cerros Beach ResortMy Profile

  10. antonette - we12travel

    The volcanoes are the most important reason why I would visit Costa Rica. And the rest of its nature, too. When in Chile I fell totally in love with all the impressive volcanoes and can’t wait to see some more. And didn’t know about the no-army indeed :-)
    antonette – we12travel recently posted…Beautiful Norway: Stryn and Strynsvatn CampingMy Profile

  11. Claudia

    Costa Rica is – to put it simply – a great country. What I actually loved the most about it are the people. Totally charming, 100% friendly.
    Claudia recently posted…Tortugero dos and dontsMy Profile

  12. Too cool Marysia! I love hearing these facts, I’ve been to Nicaragua and Panama, never in the middle. Makes me want to travel there to support them. What a great example for the world Costa Rica is.

  13. Jenna

    Interesting facts–I didn’t realize there were so many volcanoes there! I was supposed to head there last week, but unfortunately, I ended up getting sick–hopefully I can plan a return visit soon!
    Jenna recently posted…A Photo Essay: Las Vegas, NevadaMy Profile

  14. Maria Falvey

    Had no idea about VASIMR® – Wow!
    Maria Falvey recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Creatrice MondialMy Profile

  15. Samantha

    They also have one of the highest literacy rates, at around 97%. They also have an area that’s considered the highest density of biodiversity in the entire world, Corcovado. They also have over 800 species of birds! And over 25 microclimates! It’s a fascinating country and I love living there, I can rattle off a ton more facts but I’ll keep it to a minimum lol.
    Samantha recently posted…2 Years of Living in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica Seen Through InstagramMy Profile

  16. Alli

    Neat idea for a post! And I did not know any of the facts, I’ll admit, except the fact about the tree houses (I would love to do that) Number 3 was surprising!
    Alli recently posted…Get Your Kicks On Route 66My Profile

  17. The army part is very funny since in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, the army of Costa Rica ends up rescuing the good guys from the dinosaurs. Of course, the movie was filmed in Hawaii so it doesn’t makes sense at all!!!
    Raphael Alexander Zoren recently posted…Travel Photography Tips for Beginners Part 1My Profile

  18. Hannah

    Holy volcanoes! I find that incredibly cool and a little intimidating at the same time, although if only 7 are active then it’s not so bad!
    Hannah recently posted…13 Reasons to Travel While You’re YoungMy Profile

  19. What an awesome place. I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica and I was familiar with some of these facts, like the ones about the army and volcanoes, but others I didn’t know!
    Margherita recently posted…The Last HutongMy Profile

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