Country - Costa Rica
Costa Rica Country Information
Costa Rica is praised as “the greenest country in the world” in 2009 by the NEF (New Economics Foundation) and the country is the only nation that has successfully met all the five criteria stipulated by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). The country was felicitated twice as the best performing nation in 2016 as per the metrics of NEF Happy Planet Index.
The National Geographic magazine showered praises in 2017 on Costa Rica citing it as the Happiest Country in the World. The country was ranked as the happiest in Latin America and twelfth in the world as per the Happy Planet Index 2017 in the World Happiness Report by the United Nations, based on the factors like low corruption, top quality of social services and the caring nature/concern for the mutual well-being of its inhabitants.
Costa Rica is flanked on its both eastern and western sides by sea waters. Its lengthy coastline on the west is wave-lashed by Pacific ocean and the eastern shore is doused by Mediterranean sea. Its north western border is shared by Nicaragua and south eastern border by Panama. San Jose is its capital/ the largest city and also its one of the 7 major administrative provinces called cantons. Each canton is further sub-divided into districts which total to 473 altogether. Cantons are ruled by democratically elected mayors for a period of four years.
Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion with 70.5% of population practising it, as per the survey conducted in 2007. Protestants are 13.8%, Buddhists are 2.1% and the remaining part of populace makes up for other religions and non-believers of any religion. Honouring sentiments of other religions to a large extent is an admirable attribute of Costa Rican culture.
Costa Rica, despite its small geographical area, is considered as a place of abundant pleasure for international tourists. Apart from the friendly nature of the natives, tourists are impressed by the natural verdancy and vast clean/clear water bodies. At certain places, waterfalls plunging down from high altitudes stay hidden and shrouded behind the thick foliage of gigantic trees giving an impression that a secret serious activity is in progress under the supervision of the nature itself. Even the tourists who are totally new to aqua-related activities are tempted to try their hand in rafting, kayaking caring little about themselves being soaked in fresh waters. Rio Celeste waterfall of Tenurio Volcano National Park in the north region of Alujuela arrests the attention of onlookers where the plummeting rapid stream is collected by a seemingly opposite-natured peaceful big water pond. Another location at El Chorro Waterfall is a rarity in itself that waterfall directly jumps into the Pacific ocean, since a very few waterfalls in the world make a giant leap into oceans.
Bird watching in the several national park, with Carara National Park being a prominent among them, is a diverse activity which keeps the mind of viewers active and engaged. Respledent quetzals, scarlet macaws, cuckoos squealing sweetly, jewel toned tanagers are a few of innumerable species birds that amuse and elude the visitors. Different species of birds flying from branch to branch like woodpeckers, water fowls, toucans, jacamars, manakins make you question yourself whether the avian world is more beautiful than the one we live in regularly.
The national parks also nurture varied wild animals like big cats, crocodiles, armadillos, peccaries adding diversity to the viewing activity. Ziplining with Sky Adventures is altogether a different activity by which travellers can experience the slow flying motions over the tree tops, lakes, flora and fauna. But the main purpose of traveling in cable cars is to watch the simmering dormant volcanoes like Arenal, canyons and the surroundings which are a rare sight to behold.
The skywalks and the hanging bridges serve as a convenient way to observe the flora/vegetation and the rare species of birds in close physical proximity with a naturalist guide by your side explaining the special features of eco life.
No doubt a visit to Costa Rica remains an experience one can never forget in lifetime.
Costa Rica gained a special status as one of the new nations without its own armed forces for defence of the country ever since abolition of army in 1949. The literacy rate is at an admirable level of approximately 97%. While the primary education is compulsory, the educational expenses at primary and higher secondary education are absolutely zero. Life expectancy at birth has been recorded in 2010 at 79.3 years. Most surprisingly, the regular inhabitants in the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica are reported to have lived active life beyond 100 years.
Costa Rica is a nation which has several golden reasons to feel proud of itself. It has become a cause of desperate envy and an exceptional paragon whose standards are a strong source of inspiration for other developing nations in the world.