You may come to this country for its warm climate, vast animals, or beautiful coastlines, but you’ll leave with a new appreciation for their healthy lifestyle. Land of toucans, active volcanos, and cloud forests, here you’ll find surfers and yogis alike admiring the natural beauty in front of them. This amazing country is Costa Rica!
Since the mid-1980’s, Costa Rica has been a hot-spot for travelers as word spread of the wonder possessed here. With close proximity to the U.S, traveling here is pretty painless too. With over 2 million visitors a year, this small country packs quite a wallop for those seeking travel, and particularly beneficial for those who desire wellness travel.
There is a high standard of health in Costa Rica due to access to quality medical care that is affordable, their strong educational system, and the views held on life. In general, Ticos (name for people who live in Costa Rica) enjoy a low-stress lifestyle in a clean environment. Eating heavily plant-based, rice and beans are a staple in their diet. There’s also a wide variety of tropical fruit that can be picked off the trees and enjoyed at its peak ripeness.
Costa Rica’s motto is “Pura Vida”, meaning to enjoy the simple life. It’s used as a term for hi, goodbye, and anything in between. Are you are going out to dinner? Pura Vida! How are you today? Pura Vida! It reflects their laid-back culture with a focus not on stressful achieving, but letting worries go and gratitude for what life has offered. All of this health adds up to a life expectancy of 79.59 years, exceeding the U.S. by several years.
Worldwide, Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries. It accounts for 5% of the world’s total species, while only possessing .03% of the earth’s surface. It is the size of West Virginia, and has more birds than the U.S. and Canada combined. That’s a whole lotta wildlife in this little country! Its natural beauty comes from straddling two continents with dramatic terrains and diverse climates. No matter where you are in the country, there are many amazing animals and birds to be found: from sloths, coatimundi (racoon-like animals), ocelots, jaguars, macaws, to quetzals (cute, colorful birds).
Even with tourism increasing significantly across the years, Costa Rica has remained committed to protecting its land and wildlife. This is shown by 26% of the land being designed as national parks, wildlife reserves, and protected land; making it the largest safeguarded property in the world. Costa Rica is on task to be the first carbon-neutral nation in the world by 2021 by nurturing its forests and promoting biofuels, hybrid vehicles, and clean energy. Thus, raising the standard for ecotourism worldwide.
On my first visit to Costa Rica, I quickly learned the extra efforts taken to keep this country protected. Along our drive across the country, I saw homes that were extremely basic (we’d called them shacks in the U.S.) with tall grass and overgrown vegetation around the property. Despite the fact that the homes looked abandoned, they all had wire baskets stuck at the edge of their property and filled with items for recycling. The homes that looked like they would blow over in the wind had homeowners who were conscious of protecting their country by conserving resources. It amazed me to see the Tico’s levels of love for their land.
Nicknamed “Switzerland of Central America”, this is shown in Costa Rica’s neutrality during conflicts and their minimal civil strife. They do not possess a military and have had a stable economy for decades. Costa Rica is also listed in the top 10 for safest countries in the world.
All of these facts about Costa Rica adds up to one amazing country that you should add to your bucket list. If you seek travel that will enrich your wellness while exposing you to laid-back culture and unrivaled beauty, you’ve met your match in Costa Rica.
Join Wonderment as we host teams and groups on retreats in this country.