Costa Rica major economic resources are its fertile land and frequent rainfall, its well-educated population, and its location in the Central American isthmus, which provides easy access to North and South American markets and direct ocean access to the European and Asian Continents. Dell Studio 1735 Battery,Dell Studio 1737 Battery
Costa Rica has two seasons, both of which have their own agricultural resources: the tropical wet and dry seasons. One-fourth of Costa Rica's land is dedicated to national forests, often adjoining beaches, which has made the country a popular destination for affluent retirees andecotourists.It has one of the best economies in Latin America In terms of the 2008 Environmental Performance Indexranking, Costa Rica is 5th in the world, up from the 15th place in 2006. Dell Studio 1535 Battery
With a $1.92-billion-a-year tourism industry, Costa Rica stands as the most visited nation in the Central American region, with 1.9 million foreign visitors in 2007, thus reaching a rate of foreign tourists per capita of 0.46, one of the highest in the Caribbean Basin, and above other popular destinations such as Mexico (0.21), Dominican Republic (0.38), and Brazil (0.03). Dell Studio 1537 Battery
Ecotourism is extremely popular with the many tourists visiting the extensive national parks and protected areas around the country. Costa Rica was a pioneer in this type of tourism and the country is recognized as one of the few with real ecotourism. Other important market segments are adventure, and sun and beaches. Most of the tourists come from theU.S. and Canada (46%), and the E.U. (16%), Dell Studio 1557 Battery
the prime market travelers in the world, which translates into a relatively high expenditure per tourist of $1000 per trip. In terms of 2008 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index(TTCI), Costa Rica reached the 44th place in the world ranking, being the first among Latin American countries, and second if the Caribbean is included. Dell Studio PP39L Battery
Just considering the subindex measuring human, cultural, and natural resources, Costa Rica ranks in the 24th place at a worldwide level, and 7th when considering just the natural resources criteria. The TTCI report also notes Costa Rica's main weaknesses, ground transport infrastructure (ranked 113th), and safety and security (ranked 128th).  Dell Inspiron 1210 Battery
Exports, jobs, and energy
Costa Rica used to be known principally as a producer of bananas and coffee. Even though coffee, bananas, pineapple,sugar, lumber, wood products and beef are still important exports, in recent times electronics, pharmaceuticals, financial outsourcing, software development, and ecotourism have become the prime industries in Costa Rica's economy. Dell Mini 1010 Battery
High levels of education among its residents make the country an attractive investing location.
The country has successfully attracted important investments by such companies as Intel Corporation, which employs nearly 3,500 people at its custom built $300 million microprocessor plant; Procter & Gamble, which is establishing its administrative center for the Western Hemisphere in Costa Rica; Dell Mini 1010v Battery,Dell Mini 1011 Battery
and Abbott Laboratories and Baxter Healthcare from the health care products industry likewise. Manufacturing and industry's contribution to GDP overtook agriculture over the course of the 1990s, led by foreign investment in Costa Rica's free trade zones. Well over half of that investment has come from the U.S. In 2006 Intel's microprocessor facility alone was responsible for 20% of Costa Rican exports and 4.9% of the country's GDP. Dell Mini 1011n Battery
Trade with South East Asia and Russia has boomed during 2004 and 2005, and the country obtained full Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum(APEC) membership by 2007 (the country became an observer in 2004). In 2011 the Financial Times Intelligent Unit awarded Costa Rica with the fDi’s Dell D630 Battery Battery,Dell Inspiron 1545 Battery Battery
Caribbean and Central American Country of the Future 2011/12 for its successful record in attracting FDI into the country, and being the number one destination country in the region in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) project numbers since 2003. In the previous assessment for the 2009/10 ranking the country had ranked second after Puerto Rico. Dell D820 Battery Battery
Tourism is booming, with the number of visitors up from 780,000 in 1996, through 1 million in 1999, to 2.089 million foreign visitors in 2008, allowing the country to earn $2.144-billion in that year. Tourism now earns more foreign exchange than bananas and coffee combined. In 2005, tourism contributed with 8,1% of the country's GDP and represented 13,3% of direct and indirect employment. Dell Inspiron 1420 Battery Battery
The country has not discovered sources of fossil fuels—apart from minor coal deposits—but its mountainous terrain and abundant rainfall have permitted the construction of a dozen hydroelectric power plants, making it self-sufficient in all energy needs, except oil for transportation. Dell Vostro 1310 Battery Battery,Dell Vostro 1510 Battery Battery
Costa Rica exports electricity to Central America and has the potential to become a major electricity exporter if plans for new generating plants and a regional distribution grid are realized. Mild climate and trade winds make neither heating nor cooling necessary, particularly in the highland cities and towns where some 90% of the population lives. Dell Vostro 1520 Battery Battery
Costa Rica's infrastructure has suffered from a lack of maintenance and new investment. The country has an extensive road system of more than 30,000 kilometers, although much of it is in disrepair. Most parts of the country are accessible by road. Dell Vostro 1400 Battery Battery
The main highland cities in the country's Central Valley are connected by paved all-weather roads with the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and by the Pan American Highway with Nicaragua and Panama, the neighboring countries to the North and the South. Costa Rica's ports are struggling to keep pace with growing trade. They have insufficient capacity, and their equipment is in poor condition. Dell INSPIRON 1525 Battery,Dell INSPIRON 1100 Battery
The railroad didn't function for several years, until recent government effort to reactivate it for city transportation.
The government hopes to bring foreign investment, technology, and management into the telecommunications and electrical power sectors, which are monopolies of the state. However, political opposition to opening these sectors to private participation has stalled the government's efforts. Dell Inspiron 1200 Battery,Dell Inspiron 1420 Battery
Costa Rica has a reputation as one of the most stable, prosperous, and among the least corrupt in Latin America. However, in fall 2004, three former Costa Rican presidents (Jose Maria Figueres, Miguel Angel Rodríguez, and Rafael Angel Calderon) were investigated on corruption charges related to the issuance of government contracts. Dell Inspiron 1520 Battery
After extensive legal proceedings Calderon and Rodriguez have been sentenced, however the inquiry on Figueres has since been dismissed by the competent judicial party and no charges were ever raised against him.
Costa Rica signed a bilateral trade agreement with Mexico in 1994, which was later amended to cover a wider range of products. Costa Rica joined other Central American countries, plus the Dominican Republic, in establishing a Trade and Investment Council with the United States in March 1998. Dell Inspiron 2000 Series Battery,Dell INSPIRON 2100 SERIES Battery
Costa Rican cuisine is known for being flavorful, yet fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables. Riceand black beans are a staple of most Costa Rican meals, often served three times a day; they are known as gallo pinto when mixed together.
For lunch, the traditional national dish is called a casado. It again consists of rice and beans served side by side instead of mixed. Dell Inspiron 2200 Battery
There will usually be some type of meat (carne asada, fish, pork chop or chicken) and a salad to round out the dish. There may also be some extras like fried plantain(patacones or maduro), a slice of white cheese, and/or corn tortillasin accompaniment. Salsa Lizano is ubiquitous as a condiment and as an ingredient in cooking various dishes, including gallo pinto. Dell INSPIRON 2650 SERIES Battery
In many family gatherings or for special occasions is very common to prepare Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken) accompanied with a Russian salad, a salad made with beets, potatoes, hard boiled eggs and mayo. These two dishes are very popular in Costa Rican cuisine. Dell INSPIRON 3700 SERIES Battery,Dell INSPIRON 3800 SERIES Battery
In taverns, various small dishes (boquitas) are served which include patacones with black bean dip, chimichurri (tomatoes and onions pickled in lime juice) accompanied with tortilla chips, chifrijo (rice and beans with chicharrones, which are fried pork skins, and chimichurri), ceviche (fish and/or shrimp with onions and pickled in lime juice) and vigorón (cabbage, chimichurri, and yucca, served with a slice of lime). Dell INSPIRON 4000 SERIES Battery,Dell INSPIRON 4100 SERIES Battery
Fresh vegetables are a primary ingredient in most main dishes, and members of the squash family are particularly common. These include varieties such as zucchini,zapallo, chayote, and ayote. Potato, onion, and sweet red pepper are other common ingredients. The above vegetables are in soups (sopas) which are usually made with beef or pork ribs as a base; Dell INSPIRON 4150 SERIES Battery,Dell INSPIRON 500M SERIES Battery
also found in the soup will be corn on the cob, yucca, ñampi (a hairy root vegetable) and yam(camote).
Costa Ricans as a rule do not like spicy hot food; some do, as you will find home-made "chileras" in restaurants which can be made with vinegar, carrots, onions, other vegetables and always habanero chiles. Dell INSPIRON 5100 Battery,Dell INSPIRON 6000 Battery
Coffee and bananas are the two main agricultural exports of the country and also form part of the local cuisine.
The plantain, a larger member of the banana family, is another commonly used fruit and can be served in a variety of ways. Ripe plantains (maduro) have a sweet flavor and can be fried in butter, baked in a honey or a sugar-based sauce, or put in soups. Dell INSPIRON 600M SERIES Battery
Green (unripe) plantains can be boiled in soups or can be sliced and fried to make patacones.
Sweet corn dishes are common traditional meals like pozol (corn soup), chorreadas (corn pancakes), etc.
Tortillas frequently accompany meals, but rice is nearly always present. Traditionally people should often fill tortillas with whatever they are eating and eat it in the form of a gallo (direct translation:rooster, resembling soft Mexican taco), although this tradition is less in use currently and many restaurants serve tortillas only when requested by the client. Dell Inspiron 710m Battery
White cheese is non-processed cheese that is made by adding salt to milk in production.
Picadillos are meat and vegetable combinations where one or more vegetables are diced, mixed with beef and garnished with spices. Common vegetables used in picadillos are potatos, green beans, squash, ayote, chayote and arracache. Often, picadillos are eaten in the form of gallos. Dell INSPIRON 8100 SERIES Battery,Dell INSPIRON 8200 SERIES Battery
The traditional breakfast drink, besides coffee, is called agua dulce ("sweet water") and is made from tapa de dulce, an ingredient very similar to the American "brown sugar". "Tapa de Dulce" is made with Sugar cane juice which is boiled down in traditional trapiches and put to solidify in conical molds with the top cut off called tapas ("lids"). Dell INSPIRON 8500M SERIES Battery
Then some of this tapa is scraped off and dissolved into boiling water or milk to make the agua dulce.
Coffee is usually served at breakfast and during traditional coffee breaks in the afternoon, usually around 3:00pm. It has traditionally been brewed in a native Costa Rican drip brew device called a chorreador. Dell INSPIRON 8600M SERIES Battery,Dell Inspiron 910 (all 8.9 series) Battery
The traditional drinks for lunch are called refrescos or frescos for short and consist of liquefied fruits diluted in either water or milk and sweetened to taste. They come in many varieties such as melon, blackberry, strawberry, watermelon, mango, tamarind, passion fruit, guanabana, cas and lemon or lime. Dell INSPIRON 9200 Battery
Another popular drink is known as a granizado, a slush drink made of finely shaved ice and flavored syrup. The most popular flavor is kola. This is not the cola usually associated with carbonated soda but a fruity cherry flavored syrup. It is usually served with evaporated and/or condensed milk on top.Dell Inspiron 9400 Battery,Dell Inspiron E1505 Battery
The national liquor of Costa Rica, guaro, is made from sugarcane. Natives often drink guaro as a shot or mixed with juice or soda. The cost of guaro is very cheap compared to beer (cerveza) in Costa Rica which has only one producer. Imperial is the most popular beer and is an American style lager that is also available inLight. Pilsen is a Bohemian style Pilsner produced in Costa Rica. Dell Inspiron E1705 Battery,Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (all 8.9 series) Battery
During the 2007 holiday season, a 6.0 version with higher alcohol content was produced. Due to its popularity, production of Pilsen 6.0 was continued through mid-2008. At that point, it was replaced with Pilsen Red. It has a 5.2% alcohol content and a hint of red coloring. Bavaria is offered in Light, Dark or Gold. Dell Inspiron Mini 9N (all 8.9 series) Battery
The Dutch beer, Heineken, is also produced in Costa Rica. Import beers can be found in some markets, but are common only in parts of San José or larger tourist towns.
Costa Rica produces an excellent rum: Ron Centenario and the Flor de Caña rums made in Nicaragua are also widely available. Dell Inspiron XPS M140 Battery
Costa Rica is an active member of the international community and, in 1983, claimed it was for neutrality. Due to certain powerful constituencies favoring its methods, it has a weight in world affairs far beyond its size. The country lobbied aggressively for the establishment of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and became the first nation to recognize the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Human Rights Court, based in San José. Dell Inspiron XPS M1710 Battery,Dell Inspiron Z100 Battery
Then-President Óscar Arias authored a regional plan in 1987 that served as the basis for the Esquipulas Peace Agreement and Arias was awarded the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Arias also promoted change in the USSR-backed Nicaraguan government of the era. Costa Rica also hosted several rounds of negotiations between the Salvadoran Government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), Dell Latitude 110L Battery
aiding El Salvador's efforts to emerge from civil war and culminating in that country's 1994 free and fair elections. Costa Rica has been a strong proponent of regional arms-limitation agreements. Former President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez recently proposed the abolition of all Central American militaries and the creation of a regional counternarcotics police force in their stead. Dell LATITUDE C500 Battery,Dell LATITUDE C510 Battery
With the establishment of democratically-elected governments in all Central American nations by the 1990s, Costa Rica turned its focus from regional conflicts to the pursuit of neoliberal policies on the isthmus. The influence of these policies, along with the US invasion of Panama, was instrumental in drawing Panama into the Central American model of neoliberalism. Dell LATITUDE C540 Battery
Costa Rica also participated in the multinational Partnership for Democracy and Development in Central America.
Regional political integration has not proven attractive to Costa Rica. The country debated its role in the Central American integration process under former President Calderon. Dell LATITUDE C610 Battery,Dell LATITUDE C640 Battery
Costa Rica has sought concrete economic ties with its Central American neighbors rather than the establishment of regional political institutions, and it chose not to join the Central American Parliament. President Figueres promoted a higher profile for Costa Rica in regional and international fora. Costa Rica gained election as President of the Group of 77 in the United Nations in 1995. Dell LATITUDE C800 Battery,Dell LATITUDE C810 Battery
That term ended in 1997 with the South-South Conference held in San Jose. Costa Rica occupied a nonpermanent seat in the Security Council from 1997 to 1999 and exercised a leadership role in confronting crises in the Middle East and Africa, as well as in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is currently a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Dell LATITUDE C840 Battery,Dell Latitude CP Battery
On Jan. 1 2008 Costa Rica started its third year term on the Security council.
Costa Rica strongly backed efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, which led to the restoration of the democratically elected Government of Haiti in October 1994. Dell LATITUDE CP SERIES Battery,Dell LATITUDE CPI Battery
Costa Rica was among the first to call for a postponement of the May 22 elections in Peruwhen international observer missions found electoral machinery not prepared for the vote count.
Costa Rica is also a member of the International Criminal Court, without a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military (as covered under Article 98) Dell LATITUDE CPIC Battery,Dell Latitude CPID Battery
Tourism in Costa Rica is one of the fastest growing economic sectors of the country and by 1995 became the largest foreign exchange earner.Since 1999, tourism earns more foreign exchange than bananas, pineapples and coffee exports combined. The tourism boom began in 1987, with the number of visitors up from 329,000 in 1988, through 1.03 million in 1999, to a historical record of 2.2 million foreign visitors in 2011. Dell LATITUDE CPIR Battery
In 2010 tourism contributed with 5.5% of the country's GDP and 21.2% of foreign exchange generated by all exports. In 2009 tourism attracted 17% of foreign direct investment inflows, and 13% in average between 2000 and 2009; it was responsible for 13.3% of direct and indirect employment in 2005, and according to a 2007 report by ECLAC, tourism contributed to a reduction in poverty of 3% in the country. Dell LATITUDE CPM Battery,Dell LATITUDE CPT Battery
Since the late 1980s Costa Rica became a popular nature travel destination, and its main competitive advantage is its well-established system of national parks and protected areas, covering around 23.4% of the country's land area, the largest in the world as a percentage of the country's territory, and home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, in a country that has only 0.03% of the world's landmass, but that is estimated to contain 5% of the world's biodiversity. Dell LATITUDE CPTC Battery
The country also has plenty of beaches, both in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, within short travel distances, and also several volcanoes that can be visited with safety. By the early 1990s, Costa Rica became known as the poster child of ecotourism, with tourist arrivals reaching an average annual growth rate of 14% between 1986 to 1994. According to the Costa Rican Tourism Board, Dell LATITUDE CPTV Battery,Dell LATITUDE CPX Battery
46% of international tourists visiting the country in 2009 engaged in activities related to ecotuorism, which includes trekking, flora, fauna, and bird watching, and visits to rural communities. However, most visitors look for adventure activities. Costa Rica was included by Ethical Traveler magazine in the 2011 and the 2012 list of The Developing World's 10 Best Ethical Destinations. Dell LATITUDE CPXH Battery,Dell LATITUDE CPXJ Battery
Costa Rica stands as the most visited nation in the Central American region, with 2.1 million foreign visitors in 2010, followed by Panama with 1.3 million, and Guatemala with 1.2 million visitors. The number of tourists visiting Costa Rica surpassed the 2 million landmark in 2008, and tourist-related income reached US$ 2.1 billion that year. Dell LATITUDE D400 SERIES Battery
As a result of the global economic crisis, international arrivals began falling since August 2008, as the number of U.S. citizens visiting the country shrank, and this market segment represented 54% of all foreign tourists visiting Costa Rica. The combined effect of the economic crisis and the 2009 flu pandemic resulted in reduction of tourists arrivals in 2009 to 1.9 million visitors, Dell LATITUDE D505 SERIES Battery,Dell Latitude D510 Series Battery
an 8 percent reduction as compared to 2008. In 2010 the number of visitors rose to 2.1 million, barely exceeding the previous peak reached in 2008,and a historical record of 2.196 million in 2011.
Costa Rica reached the 44th place in the world ranking, classified as the second most competitive among Latin American countries after Mexico, and ranking fifth in the Americas. Just considering the subindex measuring human, cultural, and natural resources, Costa Rica ranks in the 33rd place at a worldwide level, and 6th when considering just the natural resources criteria. Dell Latitude D620 Battery
The TTCI report also notes Costa Rica's main weaknesses, limited number of cultural sites (104th), time required to start a business (125th), poor condition of ground transport infrastructure (111th), and poor quality of port infrastructure (132nd).
Tourists from North America andEuropean countries made up 61% of all international visitors, and visitors from Central America represented 30.2%.According to a 2006 survey, visitors from theCaribbean Basin and South America travel to Costa Rica mainly for business or professional purposes, while a majority of Americans, Canadians and Europeans visit the country for leisure. Dell Latitude LSH Battery,Dell LATITUDE LST Battery
Word of mouth from friends and family, with an average of 58%, was the leading reason for visiting Costa Rica for vacations and leisure. The main visitor's complaint is the poor condition of the roads.
Comparative performance in the Latin American market
The following table presents a comparison of Costa Rica's tourism industry performance with selected countries from the Caribbean Basin and South America, Dell LATITUDE PP01 Battery
includingBahamas, Cuba, and several of the top ten Latin American countries according to their 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), which are competitors in the nature travel market segment.
Ecotourism is extremely popular with the many tourists visiting the extensive national parks and protected areas around the country. Dell LATITUDE PP01X Battery
Costa Rica was a pioneer in this type of tourism and the country is recognized as one of the few with real ecotourism. As of 2006, a total of 54% international tourists visited national parks or protected areas, visiting at least two such natural refuges, and it goes up to three for European visitors.Dell LATITUDE PPX Battery,Dell Latitude X1 Battery
In recent years, several of its top travel service providers have been internationally recognized for their commitment to planet-positive tourism. Examples include Nature Air and Hotel Punta Islita as winners of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, sponsored by the World Travel and Tourism Council(WTTC), and Lapa Rios Ecolodge as winner of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Standard-Setter. Dell LATITUDE X200 Battery
The "Bandera Azul" Program
Implemented in 1996 and inspired in a similar program developed in Europe in 1985, the "Bandera Azul Ecológica" (Ecological Blue Flag) Program is intended to promote development while curbing the negative impacts of mass tourism by helping the local community to work against pollution and protecting the environment. Dell LATITUDE X300 SERIES Battery
The program evaluates the environmental quality of coastal areas, in terms of the quality of the beaches and sea water, access and quality of drinking water, water and waste management, security, and environmental education. Depending on the degree of compliance against the optimal criteria established, a certain number of stars are awarded to the Blue Flag. Dell PRCISION M60 MOBILE WORKSTATION Battery
After the first evaluation, ten beaches were awarded the distinction, which usually is highly publicized to potential visitors. In 2008, based on the evaluation carried out in 2007, 59 beaches kept the distinction while eight beaches lost it. In 2009, out of 81 applicants, only 61 beaches won the distinction, and just two obtained the maximum 5 stars, Playa Blancain Punta Leona and Playa Langosta in Santa Cruz. Dell Precision M20 Series Battery,Dell PRECISION M40 Battery,Dell PRECISION M50 Battery
Voluntary Certification Program
Developed in 1997 by the Costa Rican Tourism Board, the public agency responsible for tourism development and regulation in the country, a voluntary Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program (known as CST) was introduced in order to turn "the concept of sustainability into something real" by "improving the way in which the natural and social resources are utilized, Dell Precision M90 SERIES Battery,Dell Precision Mobile Workstation M20 Battery
to motivate the active participation of the local communities, and to support the competitiveness of the business sector." The program was aimed for all types of businesses in the tourism industry, but it began only with lodging providers. By 2007, a total of 108 parameters are considered for the CST evaluation. Dell PRECISION WORKSTATION M50 Battery
As of October 2009, out of approximately 3,000 hotels and tours operators, only 105 have a Certification for Sustainable Tourism. Some tour operators in the U.S. and Europe promote several small hotels that hold this certification through their travel packages. Dell Vostro 1400 Battery
Ethical Traveler Destination
Costa Rica was included in both the 2011 and 2012 lists of The Developing World's 10 Best Ethical Destinations. This is an annual ranking produced by Ethical Traveler magazine, which is based on a study of developing nations from around the world to identify the best tourism destinations among them.Dell Vostro 1700 Battery,Dell Winbook N4 Battery
The benchmarking uses categories such as environmental protection, social welfare, and human rights.
Costa Rica was absent from the list for several years because World Vision considered the country among the world's most notorious destinations for sexual predators. Dell XPS GEN 2 Battery
Even though the problem has not completely disappeared, Ethical Traveler included Costa Rica back on the 2011 list of ethical destinations due to the government's serious efforts to address human trafficking through increased public awareness campaigns, creating a new office devoted to human trafficking, and training officials. Dell XPS M1330 Battery
Beaches and adventure
Most of the main attractions are nature related, a combination of ecotourism with leisure and adventure activities: sun, sea and sand (55%); floraand wildlife watching (44%); visiting volcanoes (43%); trekking (41%); bird watching (30%); canopy tours (26%);bungee jumping from bridges (11%); Dell XPS M1710 SERIES Battery
surfing (11%); snorkeling (10%); and rafting (7%). Cultural activities such as visitingmuseums, art galleries and theaters corresponds to 11%, and business travel corresponds to 17%.
Costa Rica, together with Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Brasil, and Chile, is among the Latin America countries that have become popular destinations for medical tourism. In 2009 Costa Rica received 30,000 international tourists seeking for medical treatment, and spent around US$250 million. Most medical travelers came from the United States and Canada. Dell Inspiron 1525 Battery Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEA20 Battery
During 2010, the number of patients rose to 36,000 international tourists, with 40% of them receiving dental care services. Costa Rica is particularly attractive to American tourists because of its proximity and short flight, the quality of medical services and its health care system, and lower medical costs. Sony VAIO VPCEB10 Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM Battery
The country has 20 medical centers, including small clinics and private hospitals, with international certification, including three hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International.
Americans tourist prefer Costa Rica, together with Mexico and Panama, for dental services or cosmetic surgeries. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/BI Battery
Costa Rica offers 30% to 50% savings as compared to U.S. costs for quality dental and cosmetic surgery services, and is attractive for those U.S. citizens without health insurance or seeking procedures not covered by their health insurance plans. Foreign patients also find lower-priced nonsurgical procedures and tests, as an example, Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/WI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX Battery
a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in Costa Rica costs from $200 to $300, compared to more than $1,000 in the United States. In average medical costs are 70% lower than in the U.S. Due to the country's natural attractions, many health tourists combine their treatment with ecotourism and offer an opportunity to their family or companions to be entertained while the patient undergoes the medical procedure. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/BI Battery
In many beach areas, but especially in the towns of Tamarindo and Jacó, a real estate boom took place when many foreigners from developed countries began buyingbeachfront properties and building holiday and vacation houses and condominiums. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/WI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX Battery
These developments completely changed the life style in these towns, and property prices are now so high that it became prohibitive for Costa Ricans to own beach front properties. Also, the lack of planning for these developments is having a negative social impact on small communities, as in some cases they are forced to move to places with less adequate infrastructure and where not enough job opportunities exist. Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/BI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/T Battery
Hotel siting and construction
Also there have been isolated controversies regarding the site location and construction of hotels and beach resorts invading the 50 metres (160 ft) protected maritime public zone; also a case of one hotel located within a protected area; Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/WI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX Battery
and a few cases of resort development with severe negative impacts to existing flora and fauna, by dumping construction wastes damaging coral reefs or filling mangroves. As a result of these and other similar controversies, the Environment Law 7554 was passed in 1995 to require environmental impact studies before a hotel or any other development is authorized to begin construction. Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/BI Battery
Another source of pollution is due to dumping untreated sewage into rivers that feed into the beach towns. In 2007 the Constitutional Court order the national and 34 local governments to stop dumping sewage into the Río Grande de Tárcoles, to restore the watershed to its unpolluted condition and to adopt an integrated solution to the wastewater problem. Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/T Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX Battery
Towns such as Jacó where tourism and real estate development has grown ten-fold since 2004 suffered a backslash in September 2008 when the government blamed the local government of Garabito for high levels of bacteria on the beach.
More recently, controversy took place with the construction of the Sardinal-El Coco-Ocotal aqueduct by private developers, Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/BI Battery
as the community of Sardinalprotested violently because they fear that scarce drinking water will be diverted for the tourism developments whose owners are financing the pipeline.As of May 2008, construction works were stopped by order of the local municipality. Developers and the government authorities have explained the aqueduct is public, and that it will benefit not only the tourism developments but also the surrounding communities.Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/WI Battery
Controversy still persists regarding the real capacity of the Sardinal aquifer.
The rapid growth of tourism also has the consequence of the country becoming a popular destination for sex tourism. Despite the government and industry efforts, child sex trade has been also a problem. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/BI Battery
A study estimated that "up to 10% of tourists who come to Costa Rica engage in sex tourism", with as many as 10,000 sex workers involved, many of whom are immigrants. Also it was reported that about 80% of the sex tourists are from the US. This is largely due because prostitution is not illegal, but many of the activities surrounding it are indeed illegal, such as pimping. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/WI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX Battery
Costa Rica is located on the Central American Isthmus, surrounding the point 10° north of the equator and 84° west of theprime meridian. It borders both the Caribbean Sea (to the east) and the North Pacific Ocean (to the west), with a total of 1,228 km of coastline (212 km on the Caribbean coast and 1,016 km on the Pacific). Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/BI Battery
Costa Rica shares a border with Nicaragua to the north (309 km long border) and with Panama to the south (330 km long border). The area of Costa Rica is 51,100 km² of which 50,660 km² is land and 440 km² is water, making it slightly smaller than the U.S. stateof West Virginia. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/WI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX Battery
The nation's terrain is coastal plain separated by rugged mountains, the Cordillera Central and the Cordillera de Talamanca, which form the spine of the country and separate the Pacific and Caribbean watersheds. Costa Rica claims an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) and a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles (22.2 km; 13.8 mi). Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/B Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/G Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/L Battery
The country has a tropical and subtropical climate and is part of the Neotropic ecozone. It is part of many ecoregions, including Costa Rican seasonal moist forests, Bocas del Toro-San Bastimentos Island-San Blas mangroves, Mosquitia-Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast mangroves, Southern Dry Pacific Coast mangroves, Central American dry forests, and Talamancan montane forests. Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/P Battery
An inlet from the Pacific the Gulf of Nicoya contains several small islands, the largest of these being Chira Island with a population of around four thousand.
Costa Rica's dry season in most places is from December to April, while the rainy season is from May to November. On the Caribbean coast, however, December is by far the wettest month. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/B Battery
The highlands areas are always cooler. The lowest elevation levels in the country are on the western and eastern coasts, at sea level. The highest point is Cerro Chirripó, a volcanic mountain with an elevation of 3,810 m (12,500 ft) (part of Chirripó National Park). On a clear day, it is possible to see both the Caribbean and the Pacific from the peak. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/G Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/L Battery
Like all Central American countries, Costa Rica is considered part of a biodiversity hotspot. According to the INBio, about 4.5% of the world's biodiversity can be found in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is home to about 12,119 species of plants, of which 950 are endemic. There are 117 native trees and more than 1,400 types of orchids, a third of them can be found in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/P Battery
Almost a half of the country's land is covered by forests, though only 3.5% is covered by primary forests. Deforestation is a devastating process, with more than 8,100 ha of forest being lost annually. The main reason for such high deforestation levels is to make plains for cattle ranching.
Wildlife diversity is very high; there are 441 species of amphibians and reptiles, 838 species of birds, 232 species of mammalsand 181 species of fresh water fish. Sony VAIO VPCEB190X Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB19FX Battery
Costa Rica has high levels of endemism; 81 species of amphibians and reptiles, 17 species of birds a
Some of the country's most endangered species are the Harpy eagle, the Giant anteater, the Golden toad and the Jaguar. IUCN reports the Golden toad as extinct.
The country is noted for its national park system, administered by SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion, or "National System of Conservation Areas"). Sony VAIO VPCEB1AFX/B Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB1AGX Battery
This agency oversees the 26 national park, and more than 160 protected areas in Costa Rica. The other types of protected areas in Costa Rica are National Wildlife Refuges, Biological Reserves, Protection Zones, and Absolute Nature Reserves. Together the protected areas comprise over one-fourth of Costa Rican territory. 9.3% of the country is protected under IUCN categories I-V. Sony VAIO VPCEB1AGX/BI Battery
Tortuguero National Park
The creation of the Tortuguero National Park in 1970 gave much needed protection to one of the region's most important and unique natural resources: a 22 km stretch of shoreline that serves as the principal nesting site for sea turtles. Sony VAIO VPCEB1BGX/BI Battery
Costa Rica is party to many environmental treaties, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Environmental Modification, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Sony VAIO VPCEB1CGX/BI Battery
the Montreal Protocol, the Ramsar Convention, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, theDesertification Convention, the Endangered Species Convention, the Basel Convention, the Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Convention on Marine Dumping, theComprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Sony VAIO VPCEB1DGX/BI Battery
It has signed but not ratified the Convention on Marine Life Conservation and the Kyoto Protocol.
Central America gained independence from Spain on September 15, 1820. Sony VAIO VPCEB1EGX/BI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB1FGX Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB1FGX/BI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB1GGX Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB1GGX/BI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCEB1HGX Battery