It may be an oversimplification of modern-day Costa Rican society but the country's complete lack of a national army, commitment to democracy and innovation in eco-tourism makes it a remarkably refreshing destination in an increasingly turbulent world.
It's tough to know where to start with Costa Rica, such is the diversity of things to experience, but its commitment to eco-tourism, which is something of a best in show on the global stage, is certainly something to shout about. And the key stats could boggle the best of brains; 25% of Costa Rica is protected in National Parks or biological reserves and the country boasts 6% of the planet's biodiversity. There are over 200 species of mammal, nearly 600 species of bird and approximately a whopping 10,000 species of plant and tree.
Onto the diving. Costa Rica sits at the crossroads between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and this narrow strip that connects the two Americas also separates two totally different marine habitats. The Pacific's nutrient rich waters are wilder and cooler than those of the Caribbean, but they attract a blizzard of sea life; washing up from the south, they also bathe the Galapagos. You almost wonder whether the country's Spanish settlers had early access to scuba gear when they named it the 'Rich Coast'.
Key dive sites include Cocos Island (best done by liveaboard) where you can see plenty of pelagics and Bat Island, known for its famous bull shark dive. More generally, divers can expect to see species such as eagle rays, white tipped reef sharks and parrotfish while diving in Costa Rica.
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