Paradise has a name: Costa Rica! The country is blessed with exceptional natural beauty, which, fortunately, the country's fathers have recognized - 30 per cent of the area of Costa Rica is protected, as much as in no other country on earth. It's a small and beautiful country at the crossroads between South and North America, that’s why a lot of plants and animals from both continents can be found here. There is no country on earth that gives home to such a variety of birds and butterflies. The country lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. In the center, the country is crossed by high mountains. Further north there are many active volcanoes but the South of Costa Rica is characterized by a more mountainous landscape. Costa Rica stands for fascinating nature parks and dense forests, bubbling volcanoes and breathtaking vegetation: Rain forests, where toucans and parrots are at home and the National Marine Park, where turtles, dolphins and manatees live. For swimming lure the beaches of either the Caribbean Sea or the Pacific Ocean.
Costa Rica's capital is far from being a bustling metropolis. It lacks the architectural evidence of a powerful past. From San José's "sights" stand out two museums that provide a compact and impressive overview of the pre-Hispanic history of the "rich coast". The Museo de Oro Precolombino exposes the most sought-after works of South American cultures. Underground, housed in the building of the Central Bank of the country, the collection consists of valuable animal figures such as frogs, spiders and birds of prey.
Tortuguero National Park
The National Park got his name from the word "Tortuguero", which is the Spanish word for the giant sea turtles (tortugas) which nest on the beaches of this region. The turtle nesting attracts many tourists to come to this remote region. But not only the turtles make up the splendors of that region, Tortuguero offers an impressive interlinked system of small rivers, canals, and beautiful lagoons. Jungle canals serve as the region's main transportation arteries. Visitors can discover the jungle waterways and the nesting spots of four different species of sea turtles. Moreover tourists have the opportunity to observe the world's largest turtles, the Leatherback Turtles, laying their eggs in the warm sand of Playa Tortugero.
Discover the place where colonization and settlement of Costa Rica began: the first Capital of Costa Rica, Cartago, which is one of the oldest communities in Costa Rica. In 1823 the President Juan Mora Fernandez decided to make San Jose the Nations capital. Nevertheless Cartago is still one of the largest cities of Costa Rica and much of its ancient history can still be found there. One of the most famous attractions is the Our Lady of los Ángeles Basilica which was built in honor of the apparition of the patron saint of Costa Rica, the Virgen de los Ángeles, in 1635. That’s why the Basilica is the most important National Sanctuary and a popular destination to thousands of Pilgrims every year. They come here to see the statue of "La Negrita", the black Madonna, which is supposed to have great healing powers.
Arenal Volcano National Park
The 1670m high and active Arenal Volcano is located about ninety kilometers north of San José, within the national park on Lake Arenal. The reserve includes an original rain and cloud forest, rivers, waterfalls and rich flora and fauna in different habitats. The majestic and impressive volcano is the biggest attraction of the national park and is in almost perfect, conical shape. The Arenal is one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica. The last major eruption was in 1968, when an earthquake awakened the giant after about 400 years from a deep sleep. The Arenal heats different hot sources, including the hot springs of Tabacon, a popular tourist destination. The Arenal, Fortuna and Tabacon belong to the most popular destinations in Costa Rica.
A unique and popular tourist destination in Costa Rica is the Monteverde Cloud Forest. The private nature reserve was established in 1972 and protects tropical rainforest along the Cordillera de Tilaran with heights ranging from 800 to over 1800 m. More than 2,500 plant species, about 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species and 120 reptile / amphibian species are native to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. This includes numerous varieties of orchids and butterflies. Many snakes and frogs are among the residents of the reserve as well, including the harlequin (Atelopus varius) and roach frog (Agalychnis callidryas). Thousands of birds fly over the green canopy of the cloud forest, including the Quetzal and the Tucan hummingbird.