Costa Rica amounts to just 0.3% of the Earth’s surface, but it packs a lot into its borders in terms of beautiful biodiversity. The country’s diverse habitats and ecosystems provide homes to more than 500,000 species, including 900 different bird species, 250 species of mammals, and over 18% of all butterfly species in the world.
The Nicoya Peninsula is one of only five ‘Blue Zones’ in the world, i.e. areas where people have been found to live longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives. We aim to keep it that way. Faith and family play a strong role in Nicoyan culture, as does their unique approach to life called ‘plan de vida’ or ‘reason to live’ – with elders maintaining a positive outlook and active lifestyle. Also, the water of the region is rich in calcium and magnesium, both of which promotes good health and strong bones.
The Costa Rican government is unique in their dedication to conservation. Across the country there are 20 National Parks, 8 biological reserves and numerous protected areas and animal refuges. This adds up to around 26% of the country’s land being protected in some way. The government have established a successful ‘payment for ecosystem services’ programme, which pays farmers and landowners who maintain and restore their forests and land, for the carbon sequestration, water and biodiversity services that their maintained land provides. Between 2010-2014, the country invested US$ 61 million in the program, benefiting more than 7,000 landowners and protecting 600,000 hectares of private land.
It isn't just the beautiful climate that makes Costa Rica so special, it's the unique mindset. Everywhere you go, you'll hear the phrase 'pura vida' being used in greeting. Simply translated, it means 'pure life', but it is more than just a simple translation - it is a dedicated way of life, a state of mind that reflects Costa Rican values of happiness, well-being, dependability and satisfaction.
When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Latin America, Costa Rica became a land of sanctuary for many fleeing their invasion. Eventually, Costa Rica became the first democratic country in Latin America, and it remains a safe and welcoming place to this day.