5 Things You Might Not Know About Costa Rica

January 13th, 2010 by Smithsonian Journeys

Costa Rica is growing more popular as a travel destination for its beaches, biodiversity, and ecotourism opportunities. Before you go, it’s always good to do a little research. Here are five things we bet you didn’t know about Costa Rica.The Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird is one of many bird species found in Costa Rica.

1) Costa Rica has a 97% literacy rate. Children are constitutionally  guaranteed a free education through the 12th grade.

2) It’s the greenest country in the world, with the number one spot on the Happy Planet Index.

3) Twenty-five percent of Costa Rica’s land is in protected areas, like national parks and conservation areas. Tiny Costa Rica has 5% of Earth’s biodiversity, but only 0.1% of the world’s land.

4) Ticos (Costa Rican people) often refer to their spouses, or “other half” as their “media naranja“— the other half of their orange.

5) There are about 800 different species of birds in Costa Rica—every birdwatchers paradise! Click here for more information from the Smithsonian National Zoo on bird friendly coffee.

Now that you know more about the country, why not find out more about traveling there? Smithsonian Journeys offers several adventures in Costa Rica—including this unique family adventure. Get ready to hop on that zipline and go!

Why do you want to go to Costa Rica?

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2 Responses to “5 Things You Might Not Know About Costa Rica”

  1. Steve Melcher Says:

    Are there any bird friendly (BF certified) coffee plantations in Costa Rica? You mentioned bird friendly coffee in the article about Costa Rica…but I don’t know of any. I would like to support such a plantation if there were one.

  2. Evan Says:

    I would like to add a few more interesting things about Costa Rica. I live here and am married to a Costa Rican woman. Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos or Ticas. Thus, I married a Tica. In the central american region, Costa Ricans are very mestizo. This is Spanish and Indian blood mixed. Thus, most Costa Ricans just consider themselves ethnically to be white. About 10% of the population falls into the mullato or black of African Descent ethnicity. There is also a growing Chinese population due to recent changes in relations with mainland China. There is also a small jewish population who came to Costa Rica from Spain to avoid the Inquisition centuries ago.

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