est your skills a bit. Identify the country that:
a. Is called the “Switzerland” of Latin America.
b. Constitutionally abolished its army nearly seven decades ago, even though there were war torn dictatorships to its north and south.
c. Was named The Rich Coast by a world-famous explorer in 1503.
d. In 1519 was criticized as “the most miserable” Spanish colony but today is a world famous tourist destination.
e. Has one of every five species of animal on earth.
f. Plans to be completely carbon neutral by 2021.
g. In a world beset by deforestation, has reforested more than 25% of its land in the last two decades.
h. Has 800 kilometers of great Caribbean beaches waiting to be discovered.
i. Should be on everybody’s list for their next vacation destination.
The Central American country we call Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places on earth, world-famous for its pristine waters, tropical mountains, and volcanoes. There are white, brown, and black sand beaches, coral beaches, and rugged boulder strewn beaches with magnificent surf along two oceans. Because of its many attractions and warm, friendly people, it is one of the favorite tropical vacations for beach lovers and eco-tourists.
Explorer Christopher Columbus was the first Old World adventurer to sail the tropical waters off the Costa Rica eastern shores. He was so enchanted he named his discovery Costa Rica which means Rich Coast in Spanish. He was mistakenly convinced that the land was filled with gold but the name stuck despite the Spanish Governor’s conclusion 16 years later that it was “the most miserable” colony in the Spanish New World.
Fortunately, the Spanish Governor was wrong and Columbus right (though for the wrong reasons). Better yet, Columbus left a lot of places to discover for future travelers. With some 400 miles of Caribbean coastline, tourists are sure to find that very memorable vacation spot, but, if you visit its Caribbean coast do not expect to find the same attractions that are all along along the Pacific. Indeed, the Caribbean has a distinctive reggae-type, Bob Marley, feel to it.
For thousands of nature lovers, a Costa Rica vacation is not complete without experiencing Tortuguero National Park on its northeast Caribbean coast extending to Nicaragua. There are no roads to Tortuguero so most visitors go to Limon and travel north to the park by boat, although there are small airfields as well. This great park is one of Costa Rica’s Seven Wonders. Originally created as the world’s largest green sea turtle nesting area, today it hosts many lodges and tours servicing fishermen and ecotourists who come to see its rivers, estuaries, and wildlife.
Every year up to 30,000 green sea turtles lay their eggs on the seemingly endless beaches of Tortuguero between June and October. September is typically the best month for viewing.
But, Tortuguero is much more than just sea turtles. It also provides some of the finest areas in the country for wildlife viewing.
You’ll see huge flocks of parrots flying overhead, magnificent huge, brightly colored macaws, monkeys and sloths in the trees, caimans in the water, and bright red poisonous frogs.
The park also has every kind of wild cat in the country, including jaguars, pumas, and ocelots.
The city of Limon is south of Tortuguero and most tourists go through it to reach roadless Tortuguero and Barra Honda beaches north or to turn south to a number of small beach communities and mile upon mile of exquisite beaches. Limon is merely a jumping off point to head north or south because it is not a popular destination. However, for those who travel south along the beaches Columbus saw, Puerto Viejo awaits. It has the famed La Salsa Brava wave, a spectacular large wave that tests the best surfers on the planet, particularly when at its most fearsome between November and April. Less experienced surfers need to go a bit farther south to nearby Playa Cocles.
About fifty kilometers south of Limon and just a short distance north of Puerto Viejo is Cahuita, a very small, laid-back community with many kilometers of pristine beaches, some nearly black and others sugar white. September and October are the least-rainy months of the year and visitors who arrive around October 12 take in Carnaval at Limon, a week-long fiesta celebrating Columbus Day (nobody celebrates any day in honor of the Spanish Governor who described the place as miserable). Cahuita is famous for its wonderful reef snorkeling around its two shipwrecks. Not a lot of nightlife here so hop down a few kilometers south to Puerto Viejo.
For those who continue venturing south, the Gandoco-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve is encountered almost on the northern Panama border. This is where Columbus came ashore and gave the country its name. Here he found, and you will, too, crystal clear tropical waters perfect for swimming. But, unlike that explorer, you will be able to go scuba diving at the country’s largest coral reef. Additionally, the rare and recently discovered freshwater Tucuxi Porpoise lives only here. Visitors frequently see sea turtles nesting and fishermen often find silvery tarpon and snook. Lots of them. In the sea just offshore, in the many lagoons and rivers. Very few fishermen. But when they are here, lots of fish!
Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com
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