Costa Rica is a tropical haven in Central America, but there are plenty of facts I bet you didn’t know about this small, peaceful, eco-diverse country.
Here are 20 interesting and lesser known facts about Costa Rica…
1. Pura Vida
“Pura vida” is commonly heard in Costa Rica—it means “pure life” and is often used as a greeting in lieu of “hello” and “goodbye”
2. Ticos & Ticas
Costa Ricans refer to themselves Ticos (for men) and Ticas (for women).
One of the most eco-minded countries in the world, 25-percent of land in Costa Rica is protected.
4. It’s Pretty Tiny
Costa Rica is smaller than Lake Michigan in the USA.
5. There’s a Female President
Costa Rica is one of few countries with a female president, Laura Chinchilla, who has held the position since 2010.
6. Hummingbird Capital
Approximately 52 species of hummingbirds are native to Costa Rica, making it a hummingbird capital.
7. There’s No Army
Costa Rica has had no standing army since 1949.
8. Expatriates Love It
Costa Rica is a common retirement choice for American expatriates, many own bars and restaurants here.
9. Butterfly Sanctuary
Approximately 10-percent of the world’s butterflies live in Costa Rica.
10. My Other Half…
Costa Ricans playfully refer to their partners as “media naranja,” which means “the other half of my orange.”
11. Public Etiquette
Blowing your nose in public is frowned upon in Costa Rica—in fact it’s seen as downright impolite and disgusting.
12. Education for All
Poor children who can’t go to school take classes via Costa Rica’s national radio station.
There are an estimated 20,000 species of spiders in Costa Rica—yuck!
14. Bordered By Two Oceans
The country is surrounded by 800 miles of coastline, by both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
15. Ethnic Diversity
Fewer than 1-precent of Costa Ricans are indigenous—much of the population hails from Africa so many Ticas and Ticos speak Spanish and Patois.
16. Peace Between Chaos
Costa Rica is a peaceful gem in the midst of turbulent countries—with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south.
17. Best Time to Visit
Costa Rica’s summer dry season runs from December to April, and is the best time to visit.
18. Monkeys Galore
Monkeys are bananas for Costa Rica, with four common species—the Howler, Squirrel, Spider, and White-Faced monkey.
19. Proud Democracy
Costa Rica is Central America’s longest-standing democracy.
20. The Sunset is Very Punctual
The sun rises and sets at the same time in Costa Rica—365 days a year!