Costa Rica is known for its exquisite beaches, wondrous volcanoes, and unique biodiversity. But there is much more! Costa Rica is a cultural destination of note, meaning there are loads of things about it that are absolutely mind-blowing. These are our top Costa Rican interesting facts.
1- Costa Rica is home to more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity
The country’s territory takes up only 0.03% of the world’s land, but despite the relatively small area, it is home to more than 5% of the total biodiversity in the world. Its natural wealth, both in species and ecosystems, is partly explained by its geographical position. Situated between the North and South America continents, Costa Rica has served as a bridge of countless species of animals and plants for thousands of years. Another factor to consider is the broad expanse of both coasts: a Caribbean coast (255kms) and facing the Pacific Ocean (1103 kms). A mountain range also provides numerous microclimates and a territorial sea of 589.000km2.
2- The sun rises and sets, more or less, at the same time 365 days a year
The reason is because Costa Rica is a tropical country situated between 8 and 12 degrees above the equator. As a consequence, it does not experience the variation in day length that more northern or southern countries do. It experiences about 12 daylight hours each day, every day. The sun rises and sets, more or less, at the same time all year round, so there are no short winter days or long summer ones. Enjoy the gorgeous sunsets every day at the same time, and whether you choose to do it by the beach or by the mountains, the experience will be equally captivating.
3- Nicoya is one of the blue zones of the planet
A blue zone is a special zone where life expectancy is longer than the rest of the world. A study has shown that these zones share common lifestyle characteristics such as a strong engagement in spirituality, family and social life, less stress, regular physical activity, plant-based diet, and moderate alcohol intake. Nicoya in Guanacaste is one such place which is incredibly interesting since there are only 5 blue zones in the world!
4- It’s one of the most eco-friendly countries
The government has set a goal to become the first fossil-free country in the world and 99% of their energy is currently renewable. That means Costa Rica will have run on more than 98% clean energy over five consecutive years! What’s more, the country has also generated more than $180 million in sales of surplus energy to Central America’s Regional Electricity Market (MER), which has helped power Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
5- More than 25% of the land is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife refuges
Tourism and a smart government have saved much of nature, and now more than 25% of the country is protected as national parks, reserves, and refuges for wildlife. This is incredible, and eco-tourism is continuing to develop and give further income to preserve the country’s biodiversity. There are currently 28 national parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 32 protected zones, 15 wetlands areas, 11 forest reserves, and 8 biological reserves that give home to more than 10,000 species of plants and trees as well as numerous animal species. With 12 key ecological zones, it’s no wonder that the country is often referred to as “The Living Eden”!