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Lonely Planet Costa Rica

Lonely Planet Costa Rica

by Matthew Firestone and Wendy Yanagihara
  Stroll through pristine cloud forests and peer into simmering volcanoes, catch the perfect turquoise wave and howl back at howler monkeys, gaze at the waters of the Caribbean and the Pacific from the top of Mt Chirripo - Costa Rica is an adventurer's dream. Packed with expert advice on making the most of your trip, our authoritative guide will help you discover your own paradise in the land of pura vida.
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Costa Rican Wildlife

Costa Rican Wildlife, An Introduction to Familiar Species

by James Kavanagh
Must-have reference guide for beginners and experts alike, providing an introduction to species that are familiar, widespread and/or unusual in Costa Rica.
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Costa Rica

Costa Rica Cloud Forest

Suspension Walkway in Selvatura Cloud Forest, Guanacaste

Costa Rica is often voted as one of the best travel destinations. With a population of just over 4 million, Costa Rica straddles Central America between the Pacific and the Caribbean. The climate differs widely across the country, with two main seasons: dry (November-April) and wet (May-October). The Pacific province of Guanacaste has the dryest climate, although rainfall in the wet season maight make you think otherwise.

Costa Rica - Waterfall

Costa Rica
Waterfall, Guanacaste

Lonely Planet's Costa Rica Guide states:

'Surfer dudes, bird nerds, hiking fiends, mountain trekkers, back-to-the-land fans, beach bums and party animals have all found something common in Costa Rica. The waves are prime, the natural beauty staggering, the pace of life slow, the beer plentiful and the locals friendly. A stronghold of peace in a region torn by strife, this tiny nation attracts a stream of more than a million eager visitors annually.'

A distinctive, and probably crucial, feature is that the country abolished its armed forces after the 1948 civil war. It has no army - and, therefore, no coups, military juntas or interference with its democratic processes. The people are gentle and courteous and consider themselves (with some justification) to be more cvilized than their neighbours in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Education and basic healthcare are free for Costa Ricans with the result that literacy is high (about 95%) and the average lifespan is longer than that of the USA. However, the main highways apart, the roads are appalling.

Costa Rica has a remarkable and laudable attitude towards conservation with no less than 27% of its land area under one kind of protection or another and 14% in the national park system. Leatherback turtles lay eggs on its beaches, monkeys and sloths inhabit lush forests and birdlife is prolific. The country also has some fascinating volcanic areas.

Iglesia de San Blas, Nicoya - Figures

Iglesia de San Blas, Nicoya
Religious Figures

Nicoya, Costa Rica

Sulphurous Deposits

Sulphurous Deposits

Volcanic Action

Cloud Forest Ecosystem

Cloud Forest Ecosystem

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