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About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the oldest democracies in the Americas.  It is a country proud of its heritage and tradition of negotiation over confrontation, social development over military spending and tolerance over hostility.  It is the home to many international organizations such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the University for Peace of the United Nations and the Earth Council.

Costa Rica is blessed with impressive scenic beauty a fact that is not lost on the more than one million tourists that visit each year.   Located in Central America in an area that covers 51.000 square kilometers (19.729 square miles), Costa Rica possesses approximately 6% of the world’s biodiversity. Because of Costa Rica’s small size, a diverse array of fabulous sites is within easy access. A trip to Costa Rica affords the opportunity to visit 12 different life zones, 20 national parks, 26 protected areas, nine forest reserves, eight biological reserves and seven wildlife sanctuaries. It includes majestic volcanoes, misty cloud forests, stunning river valleys, and hundreds of beaches along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Costa Rica is the birthplace of ecotourism.  The country is often cited as a model for conservation in harmony with community development and economic growth.

 

Costa Rica Travel Tips

There are a few things that are important to know about Costa Rica before visiting. The following Costa Rica travel tips will help you better understand the country.

It rains year round in Costa Rica, and visitors should be sure to bring a light rain jacket or poncho. December through April are generally considered the dry season, and the rainy (or green) season starts in May.

Unlike other Central American countries, clean tap water can generally be found throughout the country and in most tourist destinations. Additionally, most visitors find that they are free to enjoy the local food without serious repercussions on their stomachs.

Costa Rica’s unit of currency is the colon, which hovers between 500 - 550 colones/ $1 USD. U.S. dollars are widely accepted, provided the bill is not too large ($50 and $100 bills are rarely accepted) and in good condition. Hotels and tours generally list their prices in dollars. Compared to the rest of the Central America, prices in Costa Rica are relatively high, due in large part to the country’s high standard of living. Typical Costa Rican food and produce is quite inexpensive, while imported products are priced similarly to U.S. prices. A typical Costa Rican breakfast and lunch will cost around 1500 - 2000 colones ($3-4).

Road conditions throughout the country are quite variable. With the tropical climate and mountainous terrain, many roads are difficult to maintain, and many have never been paved. Relatively short distances can take many hours due to poor road conditions or traffic, and some roads are simply inaccessible during the rainy season when rivers swell. It is always a good idea to check with the locals about current road conditions before planning a day trip or taking off in your rental car. These tips can make or break your day.

Contact Us
Conference Questions?
Call 210-698-5575 or
email info@veccs.org
 
Hotel & Travel Questions?
Call 210-490-2400 or
email meetings@veccs.org


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