The Capital—San Jose

The city of mountain Jose ended up being the funding of Costa Rica in the year 1823, ~ a long duration during which it had lacked ideal legal administration. The city had been founded virtually a century before in 1738, when a team of missionaries constructed a chapel to concentrate the citizens of the Aserrí Valley. V the aid of the city that Cartago, which offered as the capital of Costa Rica originally, the settlers slowly built the city of san José.

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Today, the city is a modern-day metropolis, still considered one that the youngest Latin American capitals. The city officially has actually under 400 thousands inhabitants, however as the facility of the great Metropolitan Area (which comprises the urban of Heredia, Cartago and Alajuela) the is approximated that at least two million world travel to, from and throughout San Jose every day.

Whilst the city has actually a contempt unfavorable reputation, it is still residence to the country’s best museums and also shopping centers. The largest international airport, called after nationwide hero Juan Santamaría, is internationally assumed to it is in in mountain Jose but is actually around 20-30 minutes external the center in the city the Alajuela.

If you take trip to Costa Rica I would certainly advise you to not, as so many do, head straight out of san Jose but to take it a tiny time to view the sights here. The city is likewise the country’s social center providing visitors and locals a range of theaters, galleries and concert venues including the modern-day National stadion which opened in 2011.

In current years the city of san Jose has undergone something of a renaissance. There room now plenty of excellent restaurants, cafes and bars and also the city has actually a patent cosmopolitan feel. Many world from Europe, north America and Latin America have actually made san Jose their homes. This is reflect in the German bakeries, organic markets, Argentinean steakhouses and also sports bars. Take the moment to reap the capital of Costa Rica and search out a few of its surprise gems.


Flora & Fauna

Thousands of tourist visit Costa Rica each year to check out the exotic plants and animals that deserve to be found throughout this remarkable country. Despite its relatively small size, Costa Rica is residence to approximately 5 percent of the whole world’s biodiversity, making it suitable destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

A commitment to conservation

Costa Rica occupies just .03 percent the the world’s surface area, but is teeming with exotic creatures, plenty of of which are endangered. To defend these vulnerable types from extinction, the Costa Rican government takes ecological conservation very seriously. In fact, 25 percent that the country is defended land, and also the 26 nationwide parks and wildlife sanctuaries are among its most valuable—and popular—national assets.

All creatures great and small

Many experts believe that the reason for Costa Rica’s remarkable biodiversity lies in exactly how the country was formed. Numerous years ago, activity at the junction of 5 tectonic plates caused a leg being formed in between what is currently North and also South America. Together the land started to assistance life, species from the formerly separate continents began to migrate to the region now well-known as main America. In addition, the country’s warmth climate is best for plenty of different species, including amphibians, lizards, insects and also a stunning selection of marine life.

From large cats to small amphibians, the country is home to several of the most exotic creatures on the planet. Although an ext than half a million separate varieties can be discovered in Costa Rica, some are much more prevalent than others. For example, about 10 percent of the whole world’s populace of butterflies is uncovered here, and also there are more than 34,000 species of insects indigenous to Costa Rica.

The myriad pets that inhabit the nation play their own role in keeping the vulnerable balance of the country’s ecosystem. Bird such as the violet sabrewing, a particularly rare varieties of hummingbird, carry out a an essential function in the rainforest through pollinating exotic flowers together they hunt because that the nectar that develops much of their diet. Similarly, birds like the resplendent quetzal subsist practically entirely top top a diet the fruit because of the variety of flowering trees that have the right to be uncovered here, an especially rare habits this close come the equator.

Rarities of the animal kingdom

Although Costa Rica is the best habitat for plenty of exotic animals, few of these splendid creatures are perilously close to extinction and also can be uncovered in couple of other places around the world.

The scarlet macaw is one such creature. These impressive birds were once found all over central and components of southern America, but their numbers have dwindled substantially in recent years. Today, they deserve to be seen primarily in the Osa Peninsula and also near Jaco in the Carara nationwide Park. See these rare birds is a vision to remember. Scarlet macaws mate because that life and usually fly in pairs, as they space inseparable as soon as they have actually bonded, for this reason if you view one, the possibilities are good you’ll view two.

The jaguar, one of nature’s most reliable predators, is likewise facing extinction. To preserve these mighty hunters for future generations, some of Costa Rica’s national parks, including Corcovado national Park and also La Amistad global Park, have embarked ~ above conservation projects to defend them native poachers.

Many various other endangered pets make their residence in the Costa Rican jungles, and mammals favor Baird’s tapir, squirrel monkeys, the cotton-top marmoset and Bang’s mountain squirrel room also very rare.

Lush plant life

Costa Rica’s animals can steal the spotlight from the plants and flowers that have the right to be uncovered here, yet that doesn’t make the flora of this remarkable country any kind of less impressive.

Some ranges of plant life can prosper to gargantuan proportions, such as Gunnera insignis, known an ext commonly together the bad man’s umbrella. This weird member the the rhubarb family members can exhibit leaves up to 6 feet in length. These exceptional plants can be watched in plenty of parts of Poas Volcano nationwide Park and also Braulio Carrillo national Park.

With together a diverse range of plant life, it must come as tiny surprise that the national flower the Costa Rica is equally impressive. The cattleya skinneri, also known together the guaria morada orchid, is characterized by its lively purple and also white flowers, and is frequently found at altitudes that 4,000 feet or higher.

One that the rarest flower in Costa Rica is the Osa pulchra, a loved one of the humble coffee plant. These flowers are so rare, some horticulturalists believe there space fewer 보다 50 plants life in the wild, and although some specialists have actually attempted to prosper these elusive tree in fabricated environments, the Osa pulchra is indigenous only to Costa Rica and isolated areas of Panama.

Costa Rica’s national Holidays

Many the Costa Rica’s holidays are based on the Catholic religion. On many of these main holidays (dias feriados), banks, public offices and also many businesses room closed. Here is a listing the the most crucial official holidays that are commemorated in Costa Rica:

January 1st – new Year’s DayMarch 19th – St Joseph’s Day, patron saint of mountain Jose and San Jose provinceMarch or April – Easter/Semana Santa. Many businesses (except tourism companies/tourist industry) shut down Thursday and an excellent Friday and don’t resume as usual until Saturday before Easter Sunday. You can not buy alcohol ~ above Thursday or Friday throughout this week.April 11th – Juan Santamaria Day celebrating the nationwide hero, Juan Santamaria that fought against the American invader, wilhelm Walker, in 1856May 1st – labor Day (Dia de los trabajadores)June – Father’s day is ~ above the 3rd Sunday of June every yearJuly 25th – Guanacaste job which celebrates the addition of Guanacaste native Nicaragua in 1824August 2nd – Virgen de los Angeles Day, the patron saint of Costa RicaAugust 15th – mummy DaySeptember 15th – freedom day, celebrate Costa Rica’s independence from Spain in 1821October 12th – Columbus Day/Dia de la RazaNovember 2nd– every Souls DayDecember 8th – job of the Immaculate Conception the the Virgin MaryDecember 25th – Christmas Day

Costa Rica is much much more than simply beautiful beaches and also breathtaking dry landscapes. When here, girlfriend can explore the culture, different traditions and festivities its citizen celebrate. During the past few years several local federal government entities have sponsored massive cultural events to tempt locals and also travelers, and also create positive atmosphere of multicultural exchange.

Knowing about semana santa and also other main occasions will give you a good head start. The following are the three biggest cultural celebrations in Costa Rica as well as Christmas, wherein you deserve to experience few of the regional spirit. A finish list the all nationwide holidays is also available so you deserve to prepare.

Semana Santa—Holy Week

Semana Santa, or Easter divine Week, is a significant Catholic holiday commemorated all over the world and Costa Rica is no exception. Traditions run deep throughout this distinct week, and also everyone enjoys their lot anticipated time off work.

If you come to Costa Rica for a family members vacation just prior to Easter, you will witness a week-long celebration consisting of parades, religious processions & mini-festivals during ‘Semana Santa’. The processions are hosted in every city, but the one in san José is the finest to see since it usually requires the cast of the nationwide Theater company and has actually a huge production team featuring various bands and also professional musicians.

The yes, really holiday during this week is celebrated on the Thursday and Friday prior to Easter Sunday. Many Costa Ricans have at the very least those two days off, however, schools and also many others enjoy taking the entire week turn off to spend time v their families and also friends.

During this festive week, numerous Ticos head because that the beaches to gain some sun and also relaxation. If they aren’t at the beach, they’re relaxing in ~ home, making timeless food to share with loved ones. Since many religious followers fast during this mainly (or at least on great Friday), they do wonderful homemade tamales and enjoy much more seafood than usual.

Things to remember during this holiday:

Banks and also businesses will be closeup of the door Thursday and Friday, and also public transportation is limited. In the travel industry, whatever runs together normal due to the fact that this is a really popular time for world to visit Costa Rica.

Throughout many of the country, alcohol is not sold from midnight top top Ash Wednesday until midnight on good Friday. That is actually versus the law to sell or serve alcohol on Thursday and Friday throughout this week, so many Ticos make sure to share up during the week, before all the liquor is locked up. If you don’t buy prior to then, it will be hard to find stores willing to offer it to you, especially if you vacationing in a less touristy area.

In 2013, the state has actually started permitting some cantons (counties) to make their own decision about selling alcohol, therefore we might see this heritage fade far soon. Yet in the meantime, if you space traveling come Costa Rica during Semana Santa, you should keep this in mind and don’t it is in surprised if you no able come order her favorite cocktail or beer v dinner throughout those 2 days.


The Flag

Throughout history, the Costa Rican flag has actually undergone plenty of changes. At the very least seven various flags, differing in color and design, were provided until the year that 1848, when first Lady Pacífica Fernández—inspired by the French change and the colors of the French flag—created the flag we understand today.

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The flag is formed by five horizontal stripes (two blue, 2 white and one red) and also makes use of the nationwide ensign (coat of arms) which is left the end on unofficial matters. The blue is intended to represent idealism, the white represents peace and the red is a reminder the the blood spilled by martyrs who suffered for the country. The is also meant to represent the love the the Costa Rican civilization for their country.

Costa Rica details Sites

Check the end the list listed below for the finest Costa Rica-related sites that you must keep you informed and up to date with all things Tico: