Tourism in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has for a number of years been searching for ways to attract more visitors into the country in order to receive the economic benefits that tourism brings to a country. For years the industry was held back by Costa Rica’s lack of accessibility, and also the poor transport networks within the country.

This was one of the reasons reason that for many years the country struggled to attract foreign investors and even when it was part of the Spanish empire it was left to cope on its own. The Spanish were put off by the prospect of travelling down the centre of the continent.

The modern day approach to tourism in Costa Rica

It is therefore ironic that those reasons that used to make the country isolated, are the same ones that are now contriving to make Costa Rica one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. Its location in the heart of the tropics makes it ideal for those people who are looking to visit the natural world.

The Costa Rican government has not been slow in taking advantage of this luxuriate new market. Many of the people who look to partake in this type of holiday are usually affluent, so the tourists who visit are willing to spend large amounts of money to get the experience that they are looking for.

The reason why the country became a popular destination from the late 1980s onwards was as a result of the National Parks and protected areas that the government had already put in place. These areas cover just under one quarter of the country’s total land mass. which is the highest percentage of any country in the world.

This gives tourists incredible opportunities to experience the natural flora and fauna that is found in tropical rainforests and their surrounding areas. The country contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity and visitors are also able to see the indigenous people who still occupy large areas of the country.

The Poas Volcano tour is popular

The country is also home to many physical features, and the numerous volcanoes are all managed by the local authorities enabling tourists to get up close to see them. Just under half of all tourists who visit Costa Rica engage in activities related to eco-tourism and the government is determined to still conserve the natural environment as it is undoubtedly a reliable source  of economic benefit.

Another major attraction of the country is that it has two separate coastlines, one facing the Caribbean Sea and one facing the Pacific Ocean. There are now opportunities for visitors to enjoy beach holidays on either of these coastlines.

Some of the beaches are also part of National Parks. This is certainly the case with Manuel Antonio beach which is within the park of the same name. The Park is very small and only 80 miles from the capital city San Jose. It was voted by the Forbes Magazine in as one of the twelve most beautiful parks in the world.

Its beaches face the Pacific Ocean and are patrolled regularly as they contain strong rip-currents. There are four of them and are popular among visitors as they possess natural beauty without being ruined by huge numbers of people visiting them.

The secluded beaches in Manuel Antonio Park

Another way people like to spend time in the country is by participating in adventure activities. The rivers offer rafting experiences for those people who wish to partake in them. The coastline offers many good sites for snorkeling to be enjoyed and there are many vessels available to be hired for fishing trips. The parks are full of trails and many people take the opportunity to hike, which is both demanding and rewarding for those who participate.

There are a growing number of people who are attracted to the urban areas of the country investigating both the history and culture of Costa Rica. The capital San Jose is the home to many of the country’s galleries and museums, and is particularly popular among visitors.

It is also the home to the nation’s entertainment business with theatres, restaurants and bars being a popular destination for people to visit in the evenings. There are numerous casinos in the capital with many of them being small enterprises, connected to large hotels.

The Grand Casino in San Jose

The most popular way to gamble is through playing cards, with many of the games played being unique versions to the country. The Costa Rican’s form of blackjack is known as 21, or rummy. The game is popular among locals as it offers better odds than other forms of blackjack played around the world.

However, if gamblers feel more comfortable with traditional games then on-line gambling is available all over the country. The relaxed gambling laws of Costa Rican’s enables players to go on-line and take part in whatever game they wish to. Visiting sites such as enables tourists to play the more traditional version of games such as blackjack.

This recent boom in tourism has provided the nation with a valuable source of income and this trend looks likely to continue.