Known as the birthplace of eco-tourism, Costa Rica's unrivaled wildlife, spectacular forests, towering volcanoes, and palm-fringed beaches make it Latin America's most popular destination. Easily accessible, the San Jose International Airport offers non-stop flights daily to and from major cities around the world, and Quepos (home to Marina Pez Vela) is an 18-minute flight from San Jose.
With a population just over 4 million, 300,000 being Americans, and about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire states combined, Costa Rica has 13 different climate zones. Residents enjoy the country's stable government, low cost of living, temperate year-round climate, first-rate medical services, and high education levels (the country enjoys a 96% literacy rate).
Costa Ricans, or "Ticos" as they call themselves, are renowned for their gregarious nature. From the Sabanero (cowboy) culture of the Guanacaste Province to the indigenous tribes of the Caribbean lowlands, an interesting variety of sub-cultures exist throughout Costa Rica, creating a unique blend of culture and a very friendly population.
Things To See and Do
Costa Rica, despite being such a tiny nation, draws well over a million visitors every year. The incredibly varied topography means you can go surfing, hiking, white water rafting, canopy touring, diving, deepwater fishing and snorkeling. For relaxation there are unique golf courses and luxury spas as well as great restaurants. Costa Rica has it all!
The thrill of world-class sport fishing for sailfish and marlin is a highlight in the Central Pacific Coast. Sportfishing Magazine rates this area as one of the top three sport fishing destinations in the world! From Quepos you are only minutes to the best fishing and deep water drop off. You can go after the "Big Fish" such as tuna and sailfish or cast a line for local fish including dorado, roosterfish and snapper. Visit: www.marinapezvela.com/sportfishing-charters.html.
Rated among the best white water rafting spots in the world, Costa Rica is a paddler's delight. There is something for everyone with rivers ranging from Class II to Class V rapids. The Rios Pacuare, Reventazón, Sarapiqui and Corobici are some of the best places to white water raft in Costa Rica, with the months of June through October being considered as the wildest and the wettest months of the year.
Contact: Amigos del Rio, Tel: 011 (506) 2 777-0082
Go hiking in the rainforest at the world famous Manual Antonio National Park, which is just south of Quepos on the Pacific Coast. Manuel Antonio contains a combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs. The beaches are the most beautiful in the country, lined with lush forest, and the snorkeling is excellent. The forest is home for sloths, iguanas, the rare squirrel monkeys and millions of colorful little crabs. The varied fauna includes 109 species of mammals and 184 of birds. The park includes 12 little isles just off the coast where you can observe dolphins and, at times, migrating whales. The trail that winds around Punta Catedral affords some spectacular views. A land bridge forms the spine separating the parks two most popular beaches: Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio.
Costa Rica is one of the world's top bird-watching destinations. As you journey through the beautiful Mangrove Swamps in search Rosette Spoonbills, Scarlet Macaws, Toucans and Egrets, you can also safely observe crocodiles up to 20 feet in length napping lazily on the banks.
Contact: tel: 011 506 637 0338 or visit: www.junglecrocodilesafari.com.
Blessed with near perfect weather and luxurious golf resorts, it's no surprise that Costa Rica has now become a premier golfing destination. Los Sueños Beach & Golf Resort located near the town of Jaco is home to La Iguana, a18-hole, par-72 championship course (Ted Robinson-designed layout) with a spectacular gallery featuring friendly monkeys and brightly hued macaws.
Contact: tel: (506) 2630-9000 ext 372 or visit: golflaiguana.com
Del Pacifico (30 Minutes from Quepos) is home to an equestrian center and offers instruction as well as daily trail rides. Go horseback riding through the rainforest or try a sunset gallop down the beach with well-trained horses.
Contact: Jason Boone at Del Pacifico, tel: 011-506-2778-7086
Try your hand at surfing on some of the best waves in the world! Costa Rica is a top surf destination for beginners to advanced surfers. Enjoy warm water (no wet suits necessary), consistent year-round surf, easy access to breaks, and over 700 miles of coastline. Next July and August, Playa Hermosa will play host to the Billabong International Surfing Association 2009 World Surfing Games. Contact: Phil McKay, tel: 011 (506) 778-8831
With more than a quarter of Costa Rica covered in rainforests, a canopy tour offers an exhilarating opportunity to soar through the rain forest high above the forest floor and is an ideal way to get a bird's eye view of the forest below without disturbing the wildlife or endangering the trees themselves. Zip across the forests on lines strung from tree to tree via a safety harness. Get ready for an adrenaline rush! Contact: Chiclets Canopy Tours in Playa Hermosa, tel: 011 506 643 1880 or www.jacowave.com
New Marina and Resort
The marina, with plans for 350 slips and a 200-unit dry storage facility, is located in the province of Guanacaste on the north Pacific coast of Costa Rica and features 180 slips capable of accommodating vessels ranging from sport fishing boats to 220-foot megayachts. The marina opened in December 2008 and is ready to take care of boaters every need with the utmost in amenities including a dockside marina concierge, on-site immigration and customs operations. This world-class marina also offers a swimming pool, a ship’s store, boat storage, high speed diesel fueling and service areas, and access to electricity, water, telephone, WIFI and CATV at each slip as well as a bar and restaurant and other landside amenities.
Marina Papagayo is part of Peninsula Papagayo, a 2,300-acre residential community and the first environmentally focused luxury resort and real estate project in Costa Rica. The development at Peninsula Papagayo includes the 153-room Four Seasons Resort, a private 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature golf course, clubhouse and dining room, and a 38,000 square foot private beach club & spa.