San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is a constant hustle bustle of strollers, musicians, shops, and street vendors. Museums feature local artists, past and present. It’s the rare place where you’ll find ancient sculptures of female shamans.
Great facts about Costa Rica
Literacy there is 96.3%, among the highest in Latin America. When Costa Ricans abolished their army in 1949, they vowed to replace it, “with an army of teachers.”
They elected their first female president in 2010. In Latin America, female presidents are common.
Hover over or click photos for captions and to enlarge them.
A mere 0.1% of Earth’s landmass, Costa Rica harbors 5% of Earth’s biodiversity. Environmental protection is Costa Rica’s middle name. Ecotourism rewards Ticos (Costa Ricans) with jobs and commerce. Other countries take note: caring for Mother Nature pays off in $mucho$ $dinero$.
25% of its land is nationally protected. Compare that to the developing world’s average of 13% and the developed world’s average of 8%. Each Costa Rican drains the Earth a third less than each North American does.
Crops include coffee and sugar cane.
Tap or hover over photos for captions and to enlarge them.
From caterpillar to pupa to butterfly.
Optimism springs eternal at a taco stand.
Typical Costa Rica all day fare: rice, beans, stew, fresh grilled cheese, and thick bread
Varied sizes lessen mistakes.
Colorful Costa Rican currency features local wildlife.
Lively downtown San Jose.
A red macaw oversees a butterfly sanctuary.
These puffy little yellow birds were everywhere.
Costa Rican hummingbirds come in many colors and sizes including this iridescent green.
A coffee Plantation
These coffee berries taste sweet before they’re processed.
Coffee remains are composted.
A calf at the coffee plantation.
Milled ugar cane gets recycled into paper.
Sugar cane juice.
Sugar cane juice boiled into syrup.
Sugar cane syrup whipped into candy.
A bottle of Cacique: potent fermented sugar cane alcohol.
These insides of a cocoa bean taste sweet and nothing like processed chocolate.
Cocoa becoming chocolate.
Hanging bridges like this one let you view the cloud forest from up high.
A fern tree from below.
A fern tree from above.
Bromeliads like this one grow up high and are homes to frogs.
Bromeliads like this one grow in all colors on the ground.
Bug tracks on leaves.
What do you think about when you think of butterflies?
A popular medical tourism destination, Costa Ricans live longer than Northern Americans. How? Thanks to their socialized medicine system, strict anti-smoking laws, overall healthy focus, and low sugar consumption in.
Hover or click images for more info and to enlarge.