“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling
“Pura vida” is the 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 hasn’t had 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 have become 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.
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.
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.
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.