Costa Rica is a brazen, central American country covered in rain-forest with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Whilst its capital, San Jose, is the location of cultural institutions like the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, Costa Rica is renowned for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity. Almost a quarter of its area is covered with protected jungle, which is brimming with wildlife such as spider monkeys and quetzal birds.
It is a small country of just under 5 million people, situated in Central America. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Caribbean Sea in the east, around 5% of the planet’s biodiversity can be found here. Lush, steaming jungles, majestic green-clad mountains hosting misty cloud forests, fertile coffee-growing valleys, arid grasslands, and tropical beaches create what the Costa Ricans call the "pura vida".
On September 18th, 1502 Columbus arrived on his final voyage to the New World. He was greeted by friendly indigenous people, who wore a lot of gold. Subsequent exploration found gold in the country, and it earned itself the name of Costa Rica, or "Rich Coast". Despite early gold discovery (in the Osa Peninsula and the initial stories of fabulous wealth), Costa Rica turned out to be less fruitful than its neighbors.
The Spanish crown diverted their attention to Mexico and Peru, and Costa Rica fell into obscurity. Costa Rica was caught in poverty-stricken obscurity for centuries. In the present, modern Costa Rica – due to the export of coffee – is now one of the most developed and wealthiest countries in Central America.