Costa Rica: Land of Natural Wonders
by: Andy Bezara
Costa Rica is a small country - just 75 mi/120 km separates the Pacific Ocean from the Caribbean Sea at the narrowest spot - Costa Rica still has some of the most diverse scenery in the world. Its coasts have both sandy beaches and marshy swamps, while its interior is dotted with volcanoes, dense with rain forests and abundant with unusual flora.
When you are planning your Costa Rica vacation, make sure to visit destinations like Monteverde Cloud Forest, Corcovado National Park, Tortuguero National Park or Manuel Antonio National Park. In addition, you will enjoy in your Costa Rica vacation, a wide range of adventure travel activities, including scuba diving, hiking around the Arenal Volcano area, and exploring the dense tropical rainforests.
What to do? Where to do? Fly through the rain-forest canopy on a zip line? Go white-water rafting? Climb a volcano? Laze on a white-sand beach in guanacaste and manuel antonio national park on the pacific coast or Limon on the caribbean coast? Check out colorful marine life while snorkeling? Or try to hook one on a deep-sea fishing excursion?
Costa Rica offers plenty of pleasant choices like these, especially if you're interested in nature and outdoor activities. That's why so many people have chosen to go there: In the past decade, the number of visitors has quadrupled, and tourism has become a big part of the nation's economy. Costa Rica is practically synonymous with ecotourism - travel that incorporates education about the environment and promotes preservation of natural resources. The country has a large number of national parks and nature preserves that boast a rich array of birds, mammals, reptiles and rain-forest plants. The variety of birds, in particular, is astounding: Some 850 species are packed into a relatively small area, a bird watcher paradise. Approximately 25% of the country's land has been set aside in protected areas, earning Costa Rica a reputation as an environmentally sensitive country and leader in ecological conservation.
The country has excellent conditions for a number of adventure sports, among them surfing, river rafting, hiking and scuba diving, wind surfing and mountain bike.Those who prefer a less strenuous vacation can view more than 50 volcanoes (Poas volcano, Rincon de la Vieja volcano, Irazu volcano and Arenal volcano) take boat trips down jungle rivers and float through the treetops in the world's first Rain Forest Aerial Tram, visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Tortuga Island, The Cafe Britt Coffee tour
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