The Guanacaste region has recently been recognized by scientists from National Geographic as one of the top 5 healthiest places to live in the world! Our little peninsula is home to some of the longest lived people in the world otherwise known as the Blue Zone. The secret to their longevity, they say, is rooted in their lifestyle. Family comes first. One of the most wonderful parts of traveling in Costa Rica with family is the way Ticos love all children. It’s as if you entered into a land full of the sweetest grandparents on earth full of peek-a-boo games, coos and chubby cheek grabbing in exuberant tones! They all have a sense of purpose and choose to work throughout the entirety of their lives. It is not uncommon to see a 80-90 year old woman carrying her machete around! They live simple, mostly without electronics; their diet consists of mostly fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade corn tortillas with lime and minimal meat: pork and chicken. The water is pure, the air is fresh and the sense of community is strong. For more detailed information please visit www.bluezones.com.
Costa Rican Facts
Costa Rica is located in Central America, nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, and bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and the west by the Pacific Ocean. This small country represents only 0,01 % of the planet's surface and it shelters almost 4% of the existing world's biodiversity. It has given priority to the conservation of its natural resources, protecting 25% of the national territory in National Parks or other natural areas.
The country offers world-class eco-tourism and adventure travel. The options are unlimited for any discriminating traveler: horseback riding on a secluded beach; hiking through the lush whispering greenery of a rainforest; having an exhilarating experience on a white-water rafting trip, observing the tropical forests from a canopy tour; surfing the blue waves of either coast; experiencing close encounter with different species of birds and wildlife; and enjoying the diverse culture and hospitality of the Ticos.
Costa Rica is one of the oldest democracies in America. In 1869, a compulsory state-paid system of education was established. Today Costa Rica's literacy rate averages around 96%, which is one of the highest in Central America.
Peace is also one of the country's most honored virtues. The army itself was abolished in 1948. And to further their acclaim, President Arias won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1987 for devising a Central American peace plan that was signed by the leaders of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
- The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose located in the Central Valley.
- The currency used is the Colón.
- Costa Rica borders Panama to the south and Nicaragua to the north.
- The population is about 4 million inhabitants.
- There are 7 provinces, 81 counties and 463 districts.
- Costa Rica covers about 51,000 km2.
- 38% of the country is in protected areas or National Parks.
- Costa Rica has no army, choosing to use these funds for education and culture.
- The national flower is an orchid called Guaria Morada (Guarianthe skinneri).
- The national Tree is the Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum).
- The national bird is the Yiguirro (Turdus grayi).
What does Pura Vida mean?
Pura Vida (POO-rah VEE-dah), used by Costa Ricans since 1956, literally translated means "Pure Life." Contextually, it means "full of life," "purified life," "this is living!" "It’s all good!" It is used as a greeting, a farewell, and to express satisfaction. The phrase has become widely known in the United States and Europe. Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, of disregard for time and wanton friendliness. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, good spirits, enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune, whether small or large. Pura Vida also means "I am doing alright", "everything is perfect" and "thank you". Expats who adopt the expression properly get a big smile in return. It is an acknowledgment of the Costa Rican attitude towards life.