Costa Rica is known for:

Perhaps, before coming to Costa Rica, you want to do some search on the web to know what to expect. From and inside point of view, Costa Rica is a small country that has so much to offer. So, what is Costa Rica known for?

 San Gerardo de Dota

 

  • Costa Rica is known for its wonderful coffee. Even though, there are other countries such as Colombia and Brazil, which produces greats amounts of coffee, Costa Rica is known to have one of the best coffee qualities in the world. Its standards are very high and there is a great consciousness about the environment and the ecological way to produce coffee, which places the country as supreme exportation coffee.

 

  • Costa Rica is known for its ecological and green culture. Although the country has a lot to improve, Costa Rica has placed a lot of effort on environmental education, and devotes a great deal of government funds to protect the environment. Costa Rica has one of the highest percentages on protected areas in the world, with more of 40% of its land under some sort of protection (National Park, Natural Monument, Refugees, Private Reserves, Botanical Gardens, etc.).

 

  • Costa Rica is known for its peaceful - no army culture. In fact it is the only country in the world which does not have an army. Swiss for example, has a neutral policy, but still have a kind of army. Most countries in the world invest a great percentage of their income to sustain military forces. Costa Rica, in 1948, abolished its army and from that time on has devoted the money to make stronger the country education. So, a visitor will not see army people in the country, tanks, or military planes, but will see police man all over the country. Costa Rica´s former president Oscar Arias, won a Nobel Prize for his works on the peace in Central America.

 

  • Costa Rica is known for its lush green wonderful nature. A land full of volcanoes, crystal rivers, beautiful beaches, lush green forests, waterfalls, and mountains, with both Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, it´s just an enormous garden for those who love nature and enjoy the outdoors.

 

  • Costa Rica is known for its adventure tourism. Costa Rica has everything you can do on a tropical country: white water rafting, canopy-ziplinning, horseback riding, kayak (sea and mangrove), bungee jumping, cannoning, rappelling, surfing, kite surfing, mountain biking, hiking, etc. It offers a great infrastructure of hotels and restaurants for all budgets and tastes, you can choose to have an adventurous vacation or a relaxing one, everything is here for the visitor to enjoy.

 

Written by Caro Goodfellow
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For more information about the country visit About Costa Rica section.

If you want to create a customized tour please check Custom and Family Designed Adventure Tours.

For more information please contact us to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Costa Rica Multi Sport |  Costa Rica Family Tour and Adventure |  Corcovado Adventure and Discovery |  Costa Rica Cloud Forest and Volcano Trails |   Costa Rica Mountain Biking Tour |  Cocos Island Adventure

 

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When visiting Costa Rica, don´t forget to visit any of the numerous city markets present in each big city of Costa Rica. The most important is the Central Market, located in San Jose Downtown and where tourist may experience the real daily life of Costa Ricans. It is one of the most representative places in old San Jose and an icon of Costa Rican Culture.

On colonial times, the small town of San José was called "La Boca del Monte", because it served as the main entrance to the central part of the country. With time farmers settle down with their families on the area founding want later would be San Jose.

Costa Rica´s Central Market is visited for over 20 thousand people every day, giving the place a life of its own. It was founded in 1882 and it has been remodeled several times, but it keeps its labyrinth like structure and many exit doors. It is also a place where you can enjoy typical Costa Rican food, like the "Casados" (rice, beans, salad, cheese, plantains, tortillas and meat), "gallo pinto" (rice with beans) and the deliciously sweet drink "agua dulce" (water with national sugar candy).

The fruits, vegetables, meats, and merchandise are sold on good prices, and while you walk through the hallways, you will enjoy the smell of fresh made tortillas. Like San Jose Central Market, also other cities like Cartago, Heredia, Alajuela, Limon, and Liberia have also a city market. Smallest cities like Grecia have a small market with lots to offer, very clean and with art murals to decorate the place. When you come to Costa Rica, don’t forget to visit one of the markets and experience the Costa Rican culture and history.

Written by Caro Goodfellow

Google+ Banana Adventure Tours
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about the country visit About Costa Rica section.

If you want to create a customized tour please check Custom and Family Designed Adventure Tours.

For more information please contact us to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Costa Rica Multi Sport |  Costa Rica Family Tour and Adventure |  Corcovado Adventure and Discovery |  Costa Rica Cloud Forest and Volcano Trails |   Costa Rica Mountain Biking Tour |  Cocos Island Adventure |  Costa Rica Solo Travel

Currency Exchange Strategies for an Exciting Vacation

Exchanging currency while planning a vacation can save money

Traveling to another country like beautiful Costa Rica is always exciting but it can also be a real test of patience, even if you get some help from a professional. Making a checklist, booking the right flights, hotel rooms and making popular restaurant reservations are the foundation for the trip and an accurate budget is the fuel that makes the trip happen. In order to organize the trip properly a realistic budget should be developed, which includes the value of the currency you’ll use on the trip. If you begin to follow your currency pair’s movement while you’re planning you should be able to save money, avoid currency exchange surprises, and take a great deal of stress out of planning the trip.

If you consult with a professional currency exchange broker while you’re planning, you can design a currency exchange strategy that makes your budgeting process a more accurate exercise. A broker will help you average exchanges or will explain how to use future contracts to exchange money. A currency broker will give you a real time rate without hidden fees, surcharges or inflated exchange rates and the broker is always available to answer questions or to help you use other strategies while you’re on vacation.

 

Banks and credit cards can be expensive exchange strategies

It’s easy to forget that the currency trading market is a for-profit business. Banks could care less about your personal exchange strategy, they’re interested in profit. Banks charge a transaction fee every time you exchange currency and some banks charge an additional 2 or 3% foreign exchange fee, plus they may give you an exchange rate that’s not a real time rate. Their profit is built into the exchange rate. Credit card companies will use an exchange rate filled with profit, plus they charge transaction fees that could cost you 2% to 4%, depending on the situation. Credit cards also add a surcharge to every trip purchase, so you never know how much you’re spending until you get the statement and that’s always budget breaking information.

Airport merchants, hotels and retail shops know you like the convenience of exchanging money with them and they make you pay for it. If you use one or all of those merchants to exchange money, you’ll have less to spend on vacation necessities. A reliable currency exchange broker will assist you if you need to exchange more money while you’re traveling without hidden fees, surcharges or profit filled exchange rates. A broker does make a profit, but you know what it is before you make an exchange, so you can incorporate it into your budget. Once the transaction is complete the broker will overnight your money using a secure delivery service.

 

Other travel tips

Some countries limit the amount of cash you can carry through customs, so check with your broker and stay within the legal limit. Make sure to always carry cash in a money belt, hidden pocket or a leg pouch that’s secure and out of sight. Use hotel safes when you reach your destination and follow local security measures when you leave the hotel or the resort. Remember common sense if your best security tool when you use it.

 

For some visitors it is also part of the adventure, since driving in Costa Rica is so difficult some times!

 

Tips to drive safely in Costa Rica

If you are coming to spend your vacations in Costa Rica, and would like to rent a car to get to know other interesting places in the country, probably you may want to read this article about the best way to drive in Costa Rica and stay safe.

Each country has their own way of driving and respecting the traffic signs. Costa Rica is a small country with many roads that are not in the best condition. There are also gravel roads that lead to some of the most touristic places. Because of its geographical features with steep curvy roads, it is imperative to drive carefully. There are also a lot of big trucks on the main roads that may slow down traffic.

Most countries visa go from 30 to 90 days. While you are legal in the country, you may use the driving license of your country of origin. Past your visa time, it is illegal to drive in Costa Rica. You must carry your driver’s license and passport at all times while driving in the country.

As opposed to some countries, Costa Rica lacks enough street signs, street numbers or names, street lights and even a logical system for addresses. Some main roads begin with two lanes and a little after they become one, causing very often huge lines and traffic jams, so the advice is to be patient. The reason is that there are many cars and not enough roads, or the roads are not wide enough.

San Jose city is the place where you may find a lot of traffic, especially during rush hour, which is usually between 6:00 and 8:30 a.m., and from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Because of this situation, the Costa Rican government has implemented a system where certain days some cars cannot circulate. This is decided by the plate´s number (based on the last number on the license plate, you cannot circulate in San Jose on Mondays when it ends on 1 or 2; on Tuesdays when it ends on 3 or 4, and so on).

Depending on how you look at it, bridges can be very interesting or very scary. They are generally safe but most of them are old and only have on lane, so you have to wait for your turn to go through. Driving at night can be dangerous because of the conditions of the road and the lack of light on those curvy roads.

As for accidents, most of them happen because of high speed and some because of drunk driving, although the government is implementing very high fines for the people who break the law. When there is an accident on the road, the biggest line is on the other side of the accident, by people rubberneck to see what happened. So again, be patient, drive at a normal speed, don’t hurry and allow plenty of time to get to your destination.

 

Road Adventure

 

 

For a more responsible travel

 

Sustainable tourism involves enjoying activities and experiences that will not damage the natural environment and the local community, promoting sustainable travelers with environmental consciousness.

Over the past 30 years, Costa Rica has become an outstanding developer of the so called Green Culture, leader of eco-tourism. The country has gained first place in the region and fifth place in the world. Costa Rica’s culture of peace, even with nature, has been converted into a citizen culture, and the identity of the country itself.  That is why, Costa Rica government as well as all Ticos and Ticas, have taken a special interest in environmental topics, and the creation of environmental policies that secure the natural resources of the country for future generations.

The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) has designed a especial program to control and reward those companies that are committed to protecting the environment and have a sustainable economic activity in tourism. The program was created in 1997 and it is called "The Certification in Sustainable Tourism Program (CST)". It was designed to differentiate tourism sector businesses based on the degree to which they committed with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management. The CST is a pioneer idea in Central America and there are several intergovernmental agreements to expand this idea to other countries in the area.

The Happy Planet Index 2.0

 

Banana Adventure Tours Sustainability Mission Statement

"Banana Adventure Tours will always promote activities that are certified to have the minimum negative impact on nature, working with companies that share the same interests. Our employees will be given sustainable education and awareness, to assure our guests a great service while promoting sustainable touristic practices."

 

Banana Adventure Tours devotes a great deal of energy to make a difference, taking into consideration small important aspects such as:

  • In our office we recycle paper, plastic and cans. First we clean all bottles and cans and we have a special place to organize them before taking them to a recycling place.
  • All the companies we work with and the tours we offer are chosen according to their vision and mission statement, under the premise of Sustainable Tourism.
  • We try to keep our paper work digital, so that we use as little amount of paper as possible; and when we use paper, we reuse it so that will not waste anything.
  • All our marketing is done virtually to avoid the printing of excessive waste.
  • All the employees in our company have training on sustainable tourism.
 
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