Think we are speaking about a country that only has 51,000 sq. mts, on the middle of a huge continent, so divers, as rich as it is the American Continent. But when we talk about Costa Rica we must refer to a before….and an after….
Before the visit, hundreds of questions like butterflies on every mind before taken a decision. What about the weather, the infrastructure, First as an introduction we have to say that this is a country that has ingredients like to be the only one in America without an army since 1948, with only 4 millions of people that can enjoy a concentration of almost a 6% of the biodiversity of the world, a 25% of the country has been declared protected areas or natural parks among others, flora and fauna are abundant and every place can be found, a population multilingual, educated as it is a law to have free education until 14 years old
with a high standard of development for the region that is reflected on the commerce, the exports and imports, Costa Rica is changing schemas and is leader in a responsible and ecological tourism.
Costa Rica is a democratic republic with elections held every four years. The president is backed and to a certain extent controlled in the executive, judicial and legislative branches by the constitution. The Executive branch is the one used by the president to coordinate government programs, command police forces and to direct international and national policies. On the legislative branch stand the 57 members of the Legislative Assembly part of the Legislative Assembly. The judicial system in Costa Rica is the one that chooses the Supreme Courts 22 magistrates, who are in office for 6 year terms with the right of renewal.
The climate in Costa Rica varies depending upon elevation and location. The coastal plains are warm and tropical. Mountainous regions are much cooler and the Central Plateau has a spring-like climate year-round, with little variation in temperature from month to month (the average daily temperature is 75 F or 25 C).
Locally, the seasons were named by the early Spanish colonizers, who compared them to their own Mediterranean climate, calling the dry months "verano" or summer, from December to May, and the rainy, grey and gloomy months "invierno" or winter from May to November. It is interesting to note that some of the coldest temperatures are registered during the early dry season or "summer".
Costa Rica’s currency is the colon, but anyway most of the banks, private & public ones change dollars and euros (certain banks). US dollar has long been the second currency of Costa Rica.
Credit Cards are invaluable when travelling, and they are becoming widely accepted in Costa Rica (primarily American Express, Master Card and Visa). They are safe way to carry money and provide a convenient record of all your expenses.
Normally, offices & banks start early in the mornings, from 8:00 to 17:00. Banks have some 24 hrs offices, but are not a common case.
Costa Rica is well known for providing world-class healthcare, there are a net of clinics and hospitals along the country. All payroll workers are included in it. It is free and universal. Costa Rica is known because we receive a lot of students from everywhere.
Electricity throughout Costa Rica is 120 V, 60 Hz using the same type plugs as in the United States.
If you use cable, you can have access to a lot more international channels than the regular local tv network. Also you can find newspapers from Spain, Italy, USA & others.
Most Hotels have cordless internet access; business centres have also these services. It is really common & easy to find Internet cafes at beaches and remote places.
You cannot forget to bring: Comfortable shoes, hiking boots or tennis shoes. Light clothes, light pants, shorts, raincoats to be used depending on the area, small backpack for your documents and to bring water, light jacket or sweater for the afternoons or the wind.
How can you protect yourself from the sun? Lots of sunblock, lots of water to go hiking, lots of moisturizing and hydrating yourself.
How can you adapt yourself to climate and to the inhabitants of beaches and forest? Well, here we are talking about little bogs, and mosquitos which are very common on a tropical climate, for this a good insect repellent is the perfect formula to avoid them.
A loyal companion. Your camera!!! Without any doubt it will make eternal your good moments, your laughs and all the discoveries of your trip and the beautiful places, and sightseeing’s you will enjoy.
How to be part of the traditions. Try the vast gastronomy of the country, the Costa Ricans eat lots of fruits, natural juices, vegetables, salads and typical food based on rice, beans and others (the famous “gallo pinto”) the good meat of the country, and fresh fish among others. Admire the schools all over the country, the Christmas in Costa Rica, the love for animals and children among others.
This is maybe the most important ingredient of a pleasant encounter with Costa Rica. The kindest, the peaceful behaviour, the flexibility and the desire to please others are some characteristics of the “ticos” (Costa Ricans) who like to transmit warm and simple contact with everyone.