about costa rica

Costa RicaCosta Rica is a Central American country. Its northern border with Nicaragua and Panama to the southeast. Its territory is bathed in the east by the Caribbean Sea, which has a maritime boundary with Nicaragua, Colombia and Panama and the west by the Pacific Ocean. Its capital, political and economic center is San Jose. The official language is Spanish.

Costa Rica is one of the most stable democracies of America with around 125 years of democracy. The country has maintained a good political stability despite the economic and social decline of the past 25 years. Furthermore, gained worldwide recognition to abolish the army on 1 December 1948, abolition was perpetuated in the 1949 Constitution.

Costa Rica is ranked fifth worldwide, as classified by the Environmental Performance Index 2008. Among Latin American countries, Costa Rica ranks first in the classification of tourism competitiveness index, and 42nd worldwide. Its human development index, is the sixth best in Latin America.

The Catholic religion is the majority and even, according to the Constitution, is the official religion of the Republic, obviously with freedom of belief.

Costa Rica has a larger continental maritime area as the ocean area is approximately 589,000 km ² including Cocos Island which is situated about 480 km southwest of the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean coast. This island was declared a Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1997. Costa Rica is the country with more variety of flora and fauna of Latin America. Costa Rica is home to: 232 species of mammals, 838 bird species, 183 amphibian species, 258 reptile species and 130 species of freshwater fish.

Carara National Park

This National Park is located approximately 90 miles from San Jose. You can get from Terraza del Pacifico to the National Park just in 30 minutes.

- Carara is distinguished because it has three major life zones in Costa Rica.

- The fauna prominent are: peccary, anteater, ocelot and scarlet macaw.

- This park has many vestiges of pre-Columbian indigenous occupations, which to date are not open to the public, admission is restricted and is possible only with permission of the administration.

· Box Office (bilingual)

· Parking

· Hiking (4)

· Service of local English speaking guides

· Auditorium

· Viewpoints

· Service talks (upon written request 15 days and subject to staff availability)

· Accommodation for volunteers / researchers (upon written request 15 days and subject to availability)

Rates and Hours

Admission$ 8.00 / day


Open From Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

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Manuel Antonio National Park

This park is located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, about 157 km from San José and 7 km south of the city of Quepos between Damas and Matapalo.

This National Park has the following beautiful attractions:
· Espadilla Sur Beach

· Puerto Escondido

· Manuel Antonio Beach

· Punta Catedral

· Booth entry

· Information

· Administration

· Bathrooms

· Shower

· Areas of lunch

· Hiking

· Drinking Water

· Swimming

· Diving

· Radio communication

· Viewpoint

Rates and Hours

Admission$ 8.00 / day


Open From Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

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Playa Hermosa National Wildlife Refugee

This park is located about 120 km from San Jose along the “Costanera Road” in the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the south part of Playa Hermosa, Jaco. You can get from Terraza del Pacifico to the National Park in just 10 minutes.


· Bird Watching: Red Macaw (Ara macao), tailed Sea (Fregata magnificens), Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) and White Ibis (Eudocimus albus).
· Among the fauna prominent are: white-faced monkey (Cebus capucinus), the raccoon (Procyon lotor), coati (Nasua narica), boa (Boa constrictor), crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)-threatened with extinction and the caiman (Caiman crocodilus).
· It is a wildlife refuge for the protection of the Kemp, whose spawning season is from June to December.


It lacks infrastructure, basic equipment and uniforms for staff. Requires additional security personnel (guards), THE Refuge needs to hire more staff during the turtle season. Requires to have utilities (electricity and telephone), to expand its land size and publish educational materials and information for visitors.

Rates and Hours

Admission$ 8.00 / day


Open From Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

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Rules of behavior in National Parks

Each National Park has a public-use regulation that is required of all visitors to respect it. Some of the conditions to be met are the following:
· Enter only by the main entrance of the park. · When is necessary, pay the appropriate fee to entry.

· Use only the roads marked.
· Obey the signs.

· Obey any order given by the Rangers.
; Put garbage in landfills.
· Travel agents, tour guides and other operators must collect all trash and place it outside the Park.

· Pick up litter and put it in the trash destined for the recycling of waste.
· Always remember to take care of your belongings
· The tables are picnic areas where food is handled. Do not sit on them.

· It is forbidden to enter under the influence of drugs, stimulants, or weapons.

· Smoking in the park.
· Stay on the trails only, protect signs, not destroy them. not carry radios, stereos or musical instruments.
· Bring pets or any other animal.

· Bring or consume alcoholic beverages and / or any illicit drug.

· Causing damage to infrastructure, flora and fauna of the Park.
· Making noise or acts morally disrespectful.

· To park cars off the main road.

· Keep your car engine running inside the park.

· Entering the trails without paying entry or have permission.
· Remove wood or start fires.

· Campfires damage vegetation and are a danger to wildlife.

· Remove plants, animals or rocks, unless you have prior authorization for scientific purposes.
· Enjoy the scenic beauty, do not remove the park's natural resources such as shells, stones, so that others could also appreciate.
· Carry guns, fishing equipment, knives or any other weapon.

· Hunting or disturbing wildlife.
· All living things, plants and animals share the planet with you, respect this life and do not feed them because it can cause digestive problems (diarrhea), dental caries and changes their natural behavior.
· To put signs or any advertising within the Park.

· To carry out any commercial activity or service within the Park.
· Use bicycles, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles or other means of transport.
· Despite the diversity of species that has Costa Rica, many of the animals are difficult to observe because of their nocturnal habits, reproductive or migratory behavior and the dense forest. Sharpen your observation skills to listen to the natural wealth of this place.
· If you need help, go to the staff and volunteers in the area, they are more than willing to help.

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Playa Hermosa is located in the province of Puntarenas, in the canton of Garabito, Jacó district, and is regulated by the municipality of this Canton.

Playa Hermosa in Jacó is located three kilometers (about ten minutes by car) going to the south from Jacó.

Playa Hermosa offers surfers one of the best and most consistent beaches for surfing in the world because the waves reach a height of up to 13 feet. However it is important to mention that the sea currents in Playa Hermosa are very strong and is not an ideal beach for swimming, is consider a beach for experts surfers.

This beach is of fine gray sand and blue sea, waves ranging from moderate to strong. In his more than 5 kilometers of coastline can see lush vegetation. Playa Hermosa is also ideal for enjoy of the warm climate, enjoy the scenery, walk along the beach, fish or enjoy the beautiful sunsets in a quiet environment. During the months of November to March mainly produces green turtle nesting, making it a protected area. This beach is located relatively close to the capital, and access roads are in good condition.

According to Mr. Oscar Jimenez, former president of the Management Association of the aqueduct (ASADA) of Playa Hermosa, about 30 years ago throughout the area were only two settlements without housing solution, one that was located around the place where now is the soccer field of the community, and the other in the area where that actually is known as “Calle Hermosa”.

On trade, 25 years ago there was only a small soda, a bar and a restaurant called the Palmareño, the latter being the only social gathering place in the area

Until about 20 years, were built some cabins and hotels with more capacity for hosting service, among these is the Hotel Terraza del Pacifico. This growth in tourism plant was given by different factors such as improving the “Costanera Road”, which crosses the famous “Monte del Aguacate”

The People:
The people of this area are people who love surfing and beach guards. They are working people who struggle every day to improve the lives of their families. Tourism and fishing are the main activities that allow them to earn the money to improve their quality of life

Customs and Traditions:
The residents of Playa Hermosa have no customs or traditions as marked as other communities in the country. This is because this place has been populated by people of different nationalities which has generated a mixture of very different cultures. Celebrate holidays such as Christmas, New Year Welcome, Mother's Day, Children's Day, Independence Party and so on.

Natural Attractions:
The main attraction is the Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge.

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Adult Children

Tel: +(506) 2440- 6862   |   Fax:+(506) 2430- 7571   |   Email:   |   Playa Hermosa, Jacó, Costa Rica  |  All rights reserved