About Costa Rica
Costa Rica is only 2.5 hours from Miami and 3 hours from Houston.
Within its 51,200 square kilometers there is a wider variety of species of birds than in all of Europe or North America. With a relatively small population of roughly four million inhabitants, Costa Rica also boasts as being one of the oldest and more consolidated democracies in Latin America. In 1869 the primary education for both sexes was declared obligatory and free of cost, defrayed by the State. In 1882 the death sentence was abolished. In the year 1949 the armed forces were abolished and in 1983 a Perpetual Neutrality was proclaimed. Prestigiousinternational human rights organizations have their headquarters in Costa Rica.. Because of this, of its lush 1500 kilometers of tropical sun-bathed beaches and the wild diversity of flora and fauna to be found in its wide array of microclimates, Costa Rica has justifiably earned its reputation of paradise regained.
Map of Costa Rica
With some of the best sportfishing in Central America, Costa Rica offers
incredible fishing opportunities inland and off the coast. The sportfishing
here is world-class and the sportfishing industry itself is firmly established.
Since most of the Costa Rican sportfishing companies and tour groups
follow a strict ‘catch and release’ policy, the variety of fish off the coast and
inland is truly amazing. This is done because Costa Ricans are aware of the
importance of sustainable tourism and the proper conservation of key fish species.
Home to a number of gorgeous inland lakes and miles of rivers, Costa Rica also
has two coastlines that open on to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Without doubt
an angler’s delight, this tiny country has some of the finest and most diverse fishing
on the planet. And since Costa Rica covers a small land area, both coasts as are easily
accessible from the capital city San Jose, with just 30 minutes of flying time to get to
either the Pacific or Caribbean shores. Some of the best inland fishing can be found a
three to four hour journey by car from the capital.
Weather & Climate
Costa Rica's microclimates vary from the barren cold volcanic tundra to the exotic cloud forest, from the deep dense jungle of Talamanca to the tropical dry forests of Guanacaste, from quiet gold-hued beaches where the Baulas Tortoises build their nests to the winding Tortugero Canals where the crocodile is king. Even so, Costa Rica's overall climate can be best described as mild. Being located within the tropics, seasonal changes in Costa Rica are not as drastic as they are in countries on other latitudes. There is a 'dry" season (equivalent to summer and spring) during which temperatures pleasantly in the high sixties (20 degrees C), which goes from December to may, and a "wet" season from June till November during which mornings are usually sunny and showers might be expected after noon. On areas near the coasts temperatures may be as much as ten degrees higher, where as in the Chirripo Peak, the highest mountain of Costa Rica (3800 meters) temperature may drop down to freezing point although snow is unheard of, even at the Chirripo. Tourists should bring light clothes, a jacket and a raincoat is all the protection you'll need unless you go hiking.
Language & Religion
Costa Rica's official language is Spanish. On the Caribbean Coast a small minority of Jamaican descendants speak a local version of English, and most Costa Ricans can understand and speak a bit of English. Quite recently all public schools made mandatory the learning of a second language.
The main religion, as in the rest of Latin America is the Roman Catholic, but there is a very wide margin of tolerance, and the constitutional freedom of creed is always respected.
The national currency is the colon and dollars are easily exchanged at banks of the National Banking System, other foreign currency can be exchanged through private agencies. All major credit cards as well as travelers checks are widely accepted. The colon per dollar exchange can be expected to increment by 0,17 on average per day.
International Air Transportation: Juan Santamaria International Airport located in the capital city, San Jose (4 hours from Ocotal), is serviced by American, United, Taca, Continental, Iberia, KLM.
Daniel Oduber International Airport only 20 minutes from Ocotal is serviced by Delta and American Airlines via Atlanta or Miami.
Domestic Air Transportation: All flights leave from the International Juan Santamara Airport or the Tobas Bolaos Airport. There is a network of internal airports which not only serve important cities, but special interest tourist areas. Among the most important are: Palmar Sur, Tamarindo, Barra del Colorado, Limn, Quepos, Golfito, Coto 47, etc. From the Tobas Bolaos Airport, located to the west of the capital city, private airlines with twin-engine airplanes for five passengers, offer charter flights anywhere in the country with a landing strip.
Domestic Bus Service: The country, in general, offers an adequate bus service. The majority are private companies which link San Jos with the principal provincial towns and cities, seaports and tourist areas. With good-quality vehicles and frequent itineraries, the user can easily travel throughout the country, leaving from different bus terminals. In the main cities and villages nationwide, there are taxicab companies that service the user to the more remote places in the country. Four-wheel drive vehicles are typical for the rural areas.
International Bus Service: Leaving from San Jos, there is bus service to Central America and Panama. The companies TICA BUS, SIRCA and TRACOPA have scheduled trips to Panama, Nicaragua and other countries.
Automobile Circulation: Costa Rica has a good highway network, the majority of which, for tourist use, is paved. In most places there are adequate traffic signs. In the major highways there are toll booths (San Jos-San Ramn, San Jos-Gupiles, San Jos-Cartago, San Jos-Ciudad Coln). Throughout the country there are many gas stations, some of which offer round-the-clock service. Costa Rica does not have self-service gas stations.
Driver Requirements: A foreigner may drive with a current license from his country of origin and his passport, during the three months that his tourist visa is in force. The warning triangles should be carried at all times by all drivers, and seat belts are also required for drivers and front-seat passengers. The use of helmets for motorcycle conductors is required.
Any foreigner who is temporarily in the country has the right to receive health attention at hospitals and clinics in case of an emergency, sudden illness or a chronic disease. Costa Rica boasts a modern and renown medical health system, under the administration of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS).
Most of the hotels have contact with a doctor. In Costa Rica there are public and private hospitals and clinics that have 24-hour service, seven days a week.
Costa Rica is on Central Standard Time and does not observe daylight savings time.
Costa Rica has an extensive network of roadways, mostly paved, that provide access to almost any part of the country. The main route is the Inter-Amercian Highway that links the two borders from Peas Blancas to Paso Canoas.