10 Weird Facts About Costa Rica

Costa Rica facts

I’ve covered many topics on this blog, but today I’d like to dumb it down and share with you some weird facts about Costa Rica.  Whether you’ve been to Costa Rica multiple times, or are looking at visiting for the first time, enjoy these 11 fun facts about my home country and consider visiting!

Costa Rica Fun Facts

#1:  Costa Ricans are Among the Happiest in the World

The Happy Planet Index tracks the happiest countries in the world.  Costa Rica was listed as the top spot in the 2012 report, and is always a perennial top ten finisher.  Many things made this possible, such as the fact that Costa Rica does not have an Army and the money that was slated for that went into education, pensions, and healthcare.

#2:  Costa Rica is the most bio-diverse country in the world

With a total of over 500,000 species of wildlife there aren’t many countries even close to Costa Rica when it comes to biodiversity.  In fact, many of the species are endangered or extremely rare.

#3:  Costa Rica is Great for Bird Watchers

Of that above list of species, over 900 are of birds alone!

Toucans are very common in Costa Rica.

#4:  Gallo Pinto is the National Breakfast

I traded my avocado toast, bacon, and eggs for gallo pinto many moons ago and find it a great way to start my day.  Gallo pinto is a dish that consists of rice and black beans.  It’s in virtually every household in Costa Rica.  I like to top mine with the local Salsa Lizano sauce.

gallo pinto
Gallo pinto with tortillas, a typical Costa Rican breakfast.

Did You Know?  Gallo Pinto means “spotted rooster.”

#5:  There are over 200 Volcanic Formations

Tracked back over 65 million years, these formations largely do not have activity.  However, around 100 of them still do have activity!  Five are categorized as active.  My favorite volcano is the Arenal volcano.

Costa Rica

#6:  Locals Have a High Life Expectancy

A lot of this can be credited to the Nicoya Peninsula, where the Blue Zone diet gets a lot of credit.  The average life span of a Costa Rican is 80 years.  It must be the laid back life style and amazing nature.

Looking to live longer?  Perhaps look at some real estate in Nosara, where people live longer than anywhere in the world, is in the cards!

#7:  There is a Turtle Sanctuary

sea turtle costa rica

Millions of turtles nest in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, and they are fully protected there.  This was created in 1984 as a way to protect turtles from having their eggs poached and it’s the only destination in the world where you can legally harvest turtle eggs.

#8:  1/4 of the Country is Conservation

Protecting the natural beauty of Costa Rica is something the country takes very seriously.  The country boasts 12 ecological zones and over 100 national parks, refuges, protected lands, and reserves.

#9:  The National Anthem is Played Daily on the Radio

Many of the local radio stations participate in playing the national anthem every morning at 7 AM.  This is one of the coolest Costa Rica traditions if you ask me!

#10:  Pura Vida isn’t just a Saying

pura vida costa rica

Translating to “pure life,” this is not only a greeting you’ll hear in Costa Rica, but it’s also a way of living and state of mind.  This is a lifestyle that is the most laid back, “don’t worry, be happy,” vibe I’ve ever experienced.

And for these reasons, and many more, I choose to live in Costa Rica.

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