When you say Costa Rica, the first thing you might think of is the phrase “Pura Vida.” This phrase is what first comes to mind when thinking about what Costa Rica is known for?
The phrase translated to English means “pure life.” It is a simple expression for a small country, but the phrase is famous for everything it stands for.
Here we will list some of the things Costa Rica is most known for and how they all sum up the phrase “pura vida”.
Conservation & Sustainability
Fortunately, many ask what Costa Rica is known for, and the good majority of things are quite positive, starting with their history of conservation.
Costa Rica has pulled off in Central America conservation goals that you don’t see in the region. As a result, they are a leader on the global scale in conservation.
Somehow they were able to look into the future and realize that conserving their rainforest would benefit the future of ecotourism.
Over 30% of Costa Rica is protected in National Parks and private reserves.
Along with protecting nature, Costa Rica protects much of the natural world outside its borders. They do this by sometimes operating as high as 100% on renewable energy.
Costa Rica is a clean energy mecca. Costa Rica has been blessed with the natural resources to produce clean energy. Along with a stable government to take steps to make it happen.
Abolishing their Army
This is certainly the topic that, on a political level Costa Rica is most known for.
Costa Rica’s non-existing army is often presented to tourists on t-shirts as the wildlife that roam the rainforest. The reason for this is Costa Rica has not had a military for over 50 years.
They abolished their army with the idea of investing in social programs like health care and education. Both of these are at the top of the region.
As a result of half a century of no army, Costa Rica’s people are pretty peaceful.
This is the topic that we as a travel company consider the most important for Costa Rica to be known for.
You will see articles in the New York Times and many other well-known publications talking about the happy Ticos.
The reason for their high levels of well-being is accredited to protecting their natural environment, diet, and access to all their basic needs being met.
If you are on a Costa Rica vacation and hang out with some locals, you will see that this is one of the happiest countries on the planet.
Costa Rica is known for its coffee as much as anything else. You will even find bumper stickers that say the famous coffee farmer of Colombia, Juan Valdez, actually drinks Costa Rican coffee.
All joking aside, the coffee in Costa Rica is known for two reasons. The first is its fantastic taste. Anyone that drinks coffee will love almost every brand in Costa Rica. A second reason coffee is something Costa Rica is known for is its fair-trade and co-ops.
The coffee industry of Costa Rica was built on many small coffee farmers. This is something the entire country takes pride in.
Many of your older generation locals will argue that coffee is what Costa Rica is most known for. They hold such pride in the crop’s industry and history.
This made this list because it is something Costa Rica is known for on an international level. Locally the phrase Blue Zone isn’t common among the local Costa Ricans too much.
If you never heard of Blue Zones, you might be thinking I immediately switched subjects and started writing for a Sci-Fi blog.
These Blue Zones have nothing to do with Sci-Fi; they are somewhat of a different planet inside the planet.
Blue Zones are a select few areas on the planet where life expectancy for some reason is much higher than everywhere else.
If you think about it, Costa Rica is a Blue Zone in itself. In my small rural village, we have four members, over 100 still living at hope. We only have 300 people in the town to give you an idea.
Costa Rica’s official Blue Zone is located in the Nicoya Peninsula, where its highest average life expectancy is.
This small country the size of Vermont is home to over 100 volcanos and, by some volcanologists, 200 even. The Volcanos you will find in the guide books are usually six or seven active volcanos.
Two Volcanos that Costa Rica is most known for in the urban area are the two that sit on the edge of the capital city of San Jose. These are Poas Volcano and the Irazu Volcano. Poas is probably the most visited, and Irazu was the volcano that erupted when JFK visited Costa Rica, making it pretty well-known.
The tourism industry outside of San Jose has its favorites also. Costa Rica’s most popular for tourists to visit and stay a few days is Arenal Volcano. Up until ten years ago, you could see lava flowing down its side.
Our favorite volcano at the POC, which we take our guests to on our adventure trip, is the Turrialba Volcano. This has the most spectacular view of the active smoking crater and today is the most active in Costa Rica. It is also one of the least visited because access to the crater is still quite tricky, and you have to hike for almost two hours.
It’s Rich Coast
Any country that translates to “Rich Coast” probably has some lovely coastal areas, and Costa Rica is that and more.
The beaches of Costa Rica have so much that makes it well-known and loved among its visitors. First is the surf, as the surfers were the ones that originally discovered Costa Rica. Long stretches of beaches with different breaks are home to some world-class surfing. You can find waves for those looking to learn and your more professional surfers.
Along with great surf, Costa Rica has picturesque beaches. These are the beaches find in travel guides that will have you wanting to sell everything you own and move down. Depending on where you are in the country, you will have beaches where the mountain meets the sea or beaches where the lowland tropical rainforest meets the surf. There are hundreds of different beaches for all types of beachgoers.
This topic should be biodiversity, but when you ask what Costa Rica is most known for, chances are sloths will come to most people’s minds before biodiversity. Sloths have become sort of the “pura vida” symbol of Costa Rica. The sloth boom probably started sometime around 2008 and grew at a speed that an actual sloth could never dream of keeping up with.
Much of this has to do with their cute face. Sloths look like they are smiling at you most of the time. It also helps that they are extremely slow and pretty much harmless. This makes it an excellent spirit animal for kids to become excited about.
If you learn Spanish in Costa Rica, every other Spanish-speaking country on the planet will immediately know where you learned your Spanish. Costa Rica is well-known for its slang and the different words they use, makeup, and continue to fine-tune as their slang-loving hearts desire.
We think these are some pretty cool things that Costa Rica is known for. By small country standards, Costa Rica has a nice resume for what people think about when they hear Costa Rica.