This small, breathtakingly beautiful country is a laid-back and peaceful democratic republic (there is no army), without much of an indigenous culture or colonial heritage but exuding a warm, authentic Latin personality.
Costa Rica is a treasure trove for the nature-lover. Separating the lowlands facing the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean is a range of active and dormant volcanoes surrounded by mountain cloud forest, lowland tropical jungle and savannah grasslands. Plantations of its world famous coffee blanket the sunny slopes, while trees laden with orchids are home to quetzals, trogons and hummingbirds.
On the Pacific coast, the jungle creeps down to the shoreline, enlivened by the chattering of monkeys and parrots; the Caribbean shore hosts volcanic beaches and palm-sheltered coves lapped by a turquoise sea.
There is a well-developed, slick and sustainable network of national parks covering much of the national territory and road travel is always scenic. There are many light aircraft services to reach the remoter spots.