Costa Rica By:Savannah

Country: Costa Rica is a rugged, rain forested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity. Roughly a quarter of its area is made up of protected jungle, teeming with wildlife including, spider monkeys and quetzal birds.

Location: Costa Rica is 51,060 square kilometers of land and 40 square kilometers of water, making it the 131st largest nation in the world.

Flag:The white colour stands for peace, wisdom and happiness. The red colour stands for the blood spilt by martyrs in defense of the country as well as the warmth and generosity of the people. Strips are in the 1:1:2:1:1 ratio. Coats of arms of Costa Rica was also revised in 1848 and placed in the center of the flag.

San Jose Capital of Costa Rica

Capital: San Jose capital of Costa Rica, sits in the Central Valley region with the Talamanca Mountains to the south and volcanoes to the north. The city is distinguished by its Spanish colonial buildings, like the ornate, neoclassical National Theater of Costa Rica overlooking downtown’s Plaza de la Cultura, a popular gathering spot.

Downtown San Jose

Government: Costa Rica is a democratic republic, as defined by the 1949 Constitution, which guarantees all citizens and foreigners equality before the law, the right to own property, the right of petition and assembly, freedom of speech, and the right to habeas corpus.

President Luis Guillermo Solís.

Religion: Roman Catholicism is the official traditional and dominant religion in Costa Rica. The Costa Rican government generally respects religious freedom in practice. Few reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief or practice.

Ethnicity: Of the 4.3 million inhabitants of Costa Rica, 94% are a mixture of Spanish and indigenous populations. Along the Caribbean coast, much of the population is of African descent; this ethnic group makes up around 3% of the total population. Roughly 1% of the total Costa Rican population are Chinese, 1% are indigenous, and 1% are other.

Clothing: These traditional garments are worn on holidays and special occasions. During other times, they would wear western style clothing. Women wear neat, knee-length skirts and men dress in ironed, long pants and shirts. Traditional dress was, women wear white, sheer, frilly, low-cut blouses and flowered dresses with a shawl, as men wear white, long-sleeve shirts and light or dark pants accompanied by a red bandana, depending on the area.

Family life: Family bonds and values in Costa Rica are very strong. It is very important to Costa Ricans and is an important cultural aspect of the country. Children are treated with loving care by everyone in the family. Sometimes it may seem like the children are really spoiled. Couples shared household duties. Marriage is the most traditional union, more and more couples are choosing to live together before marriage. Many households are multi generational. Grandparents and grandchildren comprise a common family unit, but great grandchildren, cousins, and other close family members may live together, as well. Children often live at home until married.

Food: Costa Rican food incorporates with Latin American cuisine, but is much different by being much healthier because of the fresh fruit and vegetables. Gallo Pinto, which has a literal meaning of "spotted rooster," the national dish of Costa Rica. This dish consists of rice and beans stir-fried together in a pan to create a speckled appearance. It is usually served for breakfast along with scrambled or fried eggs and sour cream or cheese.

Gallo Pinto.

Festivals and Holidays: Although Costa Rica is a Catholic country, its people love to enjoy parties and even use religious holidays as an excuse to celebrate. During the holiday season, the celebrations ramp up and it include everything such as carnival rides to fireworks, feasts, bullfighting.

Envision Festival: Featuring live concerts, yoga. Festival usually takes place during the month of February. This festival is perfect for people all around the globe.

Semana Santa or Easter: This festival starts on a Thursday and ends on a Sunday. Costa Rican regard a religious event or festival in high esteem and celebrate as a party. Though the processions are held in each city by Catholic churches, the procession in San Jose city is the main attraction since the cast of the National Theatre Company participates in it.

Arts:The Arts of Costa Rica are diverse. Costa Rican arts is considered to be somewhat underdeveloped. People who walk downtown San Jose can open one's eyes to a variety of different styles of Architecture from colonial to modern. From oil canvases to digital photography, to Literature.

Famous paintings.

Music: Costa Ricans enjoy Latin, American and British contemporary rock. However, when it comes to dancing, most prefer the traditional Latin rhythms of salsa. On the weekends, discos and dance halls are packed, as the typically conservative locals let loose and flirt wildly while dancing the night away.

For music video go to 1 minute. 

After you arrive at the San José, you'll be transferred to Country Inn and suites in San José.

Airport and Country Inn and suites.

Day 1: Depart early as you board a boat at the pier for a 2-hour cruise to the town of Tortuguero. During the ride, keep an eye out for all kinds of birds and other wildlife. In the afternoon enjoy a delicious lunch at Buddha Cafe where you could have a delicious fresh healthy cuisine. Then visit the local town, learning about the cultural traditions.

Tortuguero and Buddha Cafe.

Day 2: Visit the nearby Tortuguero National Park, exploring the wildlife sanctuary a boat. Discover the lush vegetation that abounds in the tropical rain forest, a natural habitat for more than 300 species of birds and a wide range of other wildlife, such as monkeys, iguanas and crocodiles. In the afternoon take from free time to yourself where you can swim or lounge by the pool, check out the souvenir shop or walk the nearby trials, etc..

Tortuguero National Park.

2 hour boat ride.

Day 3: Take the time to have the morning free to yourself because in the afternoon head over to Arenal Volcano National Park and take a short hike around to check out the breathtaking views. Then head over to the Art Museum where you can see the collection of woodcuts, wooden sculptures, 19th and 20th-century paintings and prints, the Art Museum also holds a number of regular temporary exhibits.

Arenal Volcano National Park.

Day 4: After breakfast at Donde Richard, board the coach for a 4 hour drive towards your last destination, Manual Antonio National Park, known for their beautiful beaches bordered by tropical rain forest that edges right up to shore. When you arrive relax on the soft white sand and look out to the crystal clear water along the bright blue Pacific Coast.

Donde Richard and Manuel Antonio National Park.

Day 5: In the morning head over to Bill's Cafe where you can order a classical breakfast. You will have the rest of your evening relaxing or exploring on your own, before you receive complimentary pickup to transfer you to the San Jose airport.

Country Inn and suites.

Credits:

Created with images by kansasphoto - "HDR Sunset, Costa Rica" • Tostie14 - "Costa Rica 447" • lyng883 - "DSC02101, Limon, Costa Rica" • GregGilbert1 - "Flame-colored Tanager female" • Tostie14 - "Costa Rica 181" • Tostie14 - "Costa Rica 279" • Frontierofficial - "1175456_652704018075438_922689676_n" • trishhartmann - "Rio Aguajitas, Costa Rica" • andyrusch - "Costa Rica - San Jose and National Museum" • andyrusch - "Costa Rica - San Jose and National Museum" • eflon - "untitled image" • wilmacompton - "San Jose Downtown" • Lablascovegmenu - "Gallo pinto" • Yuan-Hao Chiang - "Dance" • thombo2 - "Night Before Independence Day in Costa Rica" • Galería de ► Bee, like bees! <3 - "A participant in the Light Festival Parade, held to start Christmas celebrations in San Jose, Costa Rica on December 11, 2010" • thombo2 - "Independence Day Costa Rica" • Bogdan Migulski - "Sandy Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park" • Bogdan Migulski - "Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica" • ReinventedWheel - "Country Inn and Suites - San Juan, Costa Rica"

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