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A paradise on earth between the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean:

  A paradise on earth between the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean:

The perfect place to be enchanted by nature and the people… and to learn a new language!

The Latin-American Switzerland, as Costa Rica is oftentimes called, became independent from Spain in 1821 and became a republic in 1848, which is why she is part of the 22 eldest democracies in the world; it also makes it to one of the most stable countries in Latin America. Currently there are around 4.5 Million inhabitants on its approximately 20 000 square miles, of which 25% belong to National Parks and Nature Reserves.

Flora & Fauna

Inspite of Costa Rica´s reduced territorial surface, it possesses a very rich biodiversity.
It´s unique variety of ecosystems, allows you to experience some of them in just one day of travelling through the country.

When visiting the beaches you will find mangroves, but on the Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica (12,533 ft.), you can even experience temperatures below the freezing point. Tropical forests are mostly found on the Caribbean shore, whereas the north pacific region, as Guanacaste, is typically dry.

In order to observe Costa Rica´s fauna you don´t even have to leave the Central Valley; a huge variety of birds, butterflies and other exotic animals can even be found right here in the city. Once you dare visiting the forest, you´ll soon be able to see monkeys, coatis, raccoons, which are very friendly, but also crocodiles, which patiently wait for their meals on the river shores.

Many reptiles can be found as well: snakes, frogs and toads. There are also lots of mosquitoes, sometimes more than you would want, but you might be lucky to see some shy deer or an occasional sea turtle. Costa Rica possesses a unique net of National Parks, which are all administered by the Ministry of Environment.
There are more than 25 National Parks all over Costa Rica and a series of private initiatives to protect the country´s biodiversity, Of course these National Parks also fulfill the purpose for national and international tourism.
Florafauna 002.resizedMaraca Amarilla
Costa rica 111.resizedThe waterfall from Rio Celeste (skyblue river)

Travelling in Costa Rica

 A fun fact of Costa Rica is, that street numbers or names are rarely used; which is why trying to get to a specific address might not be as fun at all. Addresses are often times given with a point of reference, which might not even exist anymore.
For example: from the old birch in Tibás, 150 meters north and 25 meters west.

Forms of transport

Even though Costa Rica is a rather small country, it can get quite difficult to get to one place to another; fortunately there is a series of options that make it much easier: internal flight, rental cars, busses, trains and boats are some of the most common forms of transport


Busses are the most common type of transportation for nationals and tourists, because of their astounding regularity and the fact that they reach even the most off track places on the map. Although busses are not the fastest way to travel, they are the cheapest way to do so; most places can be reached from San José for about US$15.

No matter where your destination might be located, you most probably will have to take one first bus from San José; there are many terminals, which are distributed around the city center according to their destinations. Tickets can be bought days before the departure to assure a seat. Whenever the duration of the journey exceeds 4 hours the bus will make a stop on the way. Big luggage pieces will be stored in the bus´s trunk; you will get a receipt, which you later need to show to get your luggage back.

Whatever you take into the seating area of the bus, including your passport, money or other valuable objects, you should keep very close to yourself (on the floor in between your feet or on your lap; otherwise it might disappear very quickly,

Rental Cars

In order to rent a car in Costa Rica as a foreigner you need to be at least 25 years old; your regular driver´s license from home is absolutely enough for this purpose, since it is valid for 3 months after your arrival in Costa Rica.
Brace yourself for some serious potholes; those are very common on main streets. You should also be prepared for the Ticos´ chaotic style of driving, who don´t take traffic regulations too serious.
In rural areas, such as Península de Osa, it is very common to be forced to cross a small river without a bridge to continue your way. Unfortunately, street signs in Costa Rica are neither very new nor very well done, but with the help of a navigation system, you should be able to get anywhere without a problem.

A tip you need to keep in mind is keeping your rental car safe, since everything you leave inside your car is highly desired by thieves. Remember to never leave valuables (even sweaters, jackets, empty bags, shoes, etc.) in sight; those are best stored in the trunk of the car, whenever it is covered up. Electronics should also never be left inside the car! Whenever you are on your way in San José (or any other city within the Central Valley) you need to be careful whenever you are at a traffic light or in traffic jam; thieves are very importunate and might break a car window to take something out. Please keep in mind that pedestrians often use the streets to walk; so drive carefully even on remote roads. 


Taxis are a common way of transportation among residents, since they are relatively cheap and faster than walking or taking the bus inside the city. It is also wise to take a taxi after dark, as they take you from door to door (bus stops in San José are mainly in rather dangerous areas of the city. Airplane There are several airlines that offer national flight, which mainly depart the small Tobías Bolaños Airport in San José. As long as you are ok with turbulence and small airplanes, this could be a good alternative for you to travel through Costa Rica, since it is very time-saving. Other forms of transport In certain places, boats may be the only form of transport available for you to get to your destination; do not get scared off by this fact!
Riding the bike in Costa Rica is not to be recommended: neither does the country have an adequate infrastructure (Cartago is the first city to have a ciclovía), nor is the geographic reality of it appropriate for relaxed biking tours.

A few years ago an inter-city train, which connect Cartago and Heredia with San José and simplify travelling from east to west (and the other way around) within San José, has been reinstalled. Just keep in mind that trains may be overfilled during rush hours.  


Just like in any other country in the world, there are certain areas in Costa Rica´s cities that should rather not be visited. Unfortunately, as in other Latin-American countries, there is crime and you need to know how to handle. The tourists´ confidentiality is often times taken advantage of, which is why we will widely advise you about things you should or should not do during your visit.


Foreigners frequently assume that Yellow Fever and Malaria are widely spread diseases, but those have been eradicated for a long time. There are no specific vaccinations necessary to enter Costa Rica. Nevertheless, you should be equipped with insect spray to protect yourself from bug bites, since Dengue Fever may be common during rainy season. If you are planning to travel to the rain forest, it is important that you always listen to your local tourist and/or park guide, as they know their way around the area and there are always important instructions you need to follow.

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Transport 083.resized
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100 .resizedEveryday traffic; waiting for the bus
216 .resizedExcursions into the cloud forest and to the jungle
140.resizedPosing upon arrival in front of the Juan Santamaría Airport in Alajuela

Culture and history

The Ticos, as the Costaricans like to call themselves, are well known for their leisureliness, affection and love of life. Their nickname comes from the fact that they like to add the ending –tico to words (momentico instead of momento). Ticos are afraid to say “no”, since they feel they are being unfriendly and they are very a peace-loving people.

Costa Rica is located in Central America in between Panama in the south and Nicaragua in the north. In the east there is the Caribbean Sea and in the west the Pacific Ocean. The country is divided into 7 provinces: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas und San José, in which the same-named capital is located. The country distinguishes by the fact that it was geographically blessed: there are mountains, valleys, thick rain forests, abundant rivers, active volcanoes and amazing beaches. There is a little bit of everything to find on this small territory. The valley in the centre of the country, in which the most important cities can be found, is called Valle Central (Central Valley); most Ticos live distributed among San José, Cartago, Heredia and Alajuela. The Central Valley is circled by volcanoes and mountains and was chosen as starting point for the development for the rest of the country because of the abundance of water and its fertile soil.

Since 1949 Costa Rica has no military forces; all resources other countries destine to weapons and their military are here given to education and social programs. This heritage can mainly be observed in the Ticos´ peaceful way of living, as well as the political and social stability of this country. This is why Costa Rica is ¡pura vida! It is also one of the few countries to have an official religion: Catholicism, which contributes to the fact that people are very marked by the church and that religion is often times an important issue within families. Very recently, in February 2014 Costa Rica had its presidential elections, which did not result in a clear win for any of the candidates; this is why there will be a second round of.