COSTA RICA

Costa Rica, no bigger than West Virginia or Switzerland, is situated as a small strip between the Pacific and the Caribbean. Central America’s jewel is one of the world’s best kept travel secrets; an oasis of calm among its turbulent neighbours and an ecotourism heaven, making it one of the best places to experience the perfect mix of tropical rainforests and pristine beaches.

Unlike many destinations, where man has driven the animals into the deepest backwater seclusion, Costa Rica's wildlife seems to love to put on a song and dance. Animals are prolific and relatively easily seen: monkeys, sloth, scarlet macaws, and toucans, and even the allusive jaguar and tapir, exotic species in abundance, with incredibly lush flora to match. Costa Rica has an enlightened approach to conservation with the government aiming to make it the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, which guarantees the country’s splendour for the future.

‘Pura Vida’ is Costa Rica’s national motto, and for good reason. It’s a real paradise: Our guests can enjoy the pure life in some of the world’s most bio diverse jungles, rainforests and coastlines. The country’s book-ended by beaches on its Pacific and Caribbean sides (hence the laid-back surfer ethos that characterizes coastal life) and inland, nature holds sway: over a quarter of Costa Rica is protected land, from the smouldering volcanoes to dense jungles. In the highlands, farms and plantations produce delicious tropical fruit – as well as some of the finest coffee ever to grace your espresso.

Costa Rica's climate is renowned as an atmospheric treat. Mild subtropical conditions prevail year-round. Temperature varies mainly according to elevation, the higher the cooler. There is no summer or winter, but a wet and dry season. The wet season lasts from May through October, but days often start cloudless with only short tropical bursts of rain in the afternoon. So do visit Costa Rica year-round; you will find an even greener Costa Rica during the wet season, with a lot less people to share it with! Costa Rica’s rain falls mainly on the Caribbean coast, giving the Pacific a much more arid climate with an average year-round temperature of 80º Fahrenheit (27º Celsius).

Costa Rica is the safest country in Central America where family values and respect are forthright. It is a peaceful, progressive country where democracy and stability are hallmarks.