Rainforest is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Costa Rica. This is a tourist destination popular with many Americans due to the close proximity, reasonablely low cost to travel, and well, because of the rainforest!
Approximately 6 million people live in Costa Rica. Half of the country's population reside in and around the capital city of San Jose. Access to most of the popular attractions can be accessed from the capital city.
The country is unique in that it is one of the few sovereign countries with no standing army. It was abolished after the civil war of 1948.
Around 3 million tourists visit this country every year with the majority, or 1/3 of that number, coming from the USA. It was surprising to me that tourism only comprises about 5% of their economy.
Costa Rica has become a bit too touristy for my taste, but I did enjoy the natural beauty of the rainforest. During the trip I documented some of the inhabitants encountered within the forest.
Canopy of the rainforest. This is a thickly wooded area. I'll cover a "canopy tour" taken from a cable car ride at another time
Ah... the beautiful Toucan. What's a trip down there without seeing these beautiful birds?
Bird appears to be drying his wings in the wind. It reminded me of the Anhinga birds we have in Florida.
Can you spot the tiny green frog in the center of the photo?
How about this red one?
There was no shortage of tiny creatures throughout the forest.
The rainforest of Costa Rica is vast. It covers the majority of the country. The forest receives between 80 to 260 inches of rain each year!
Of course that leads to a very humid environment. The temperatures can exceed 100 F (37 C) during the day but can be a cooler 60 F (15 C) at night.
Plant life, of course, is as diverse as the small creatures that inhabits its domain.
Is that an alligator or a crocodile?
Various lizard types are found here. Hey this guy looks like he might grow up to be the Creature of the Black Lagoon!
Why it's the American crocodile silly! Alligators are not found in Costa Rica.
And then there's all those pesky insects. Hey, who said that ant can't carry that rubber tree plant? He's got more than high hopes!
I enjoy these nature destinations very much, however, Costa Rica has become too commercialized in this industry. There are better locations in the world where remote travel can be done independently without the influx of tourists. Or perhaps I didn't give this place enough of a chance to explore independent travel?