Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east.  Costa Rica, which means “Rich Coast,” constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949.  Costa Rica covers an area of a 51,100 km² and is about the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined with a population of 4,576,560 people.

Costa Rica is world famous for its eco-tourism and this is a country that I defiantly want to experience everything the country has to offer.  My plan is to zig zag across the country and do my best not to miss a thing.  There are quite a few destinations planned for this country. 

One of the biggest things I hope to experience on this bike ride is to be able to interact with sea turtles.  I hope that I am in the right areas at the right times of the year for either egg laying or hatching season.  I suspect Costa Rica will provide me with the best opportunities to see these animals in their natural habitats but I will take advantage of any interaction with sea turtles in any country that I ride through.

Monteverde Cloud Forest – Monteverde is considered a major ecotourism destination in Costa Rica.  The area is perhaps best known for the Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde and numerous other reserves, which draw considerable numbers of tourists and naturalists interested in mountain and tropical biodiversity.

In Newsweek’s 100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear, Monteverde appears as the Americas’ #14.  Monteverde has been called by National Geographic “the jewel in the crown of cloud forest reserves.”

Tortuguero National Park – Tortuguero National Park is a national park within the Tortuguero Conservation Area.  The park is located in the Limón Province of north-eastern part of the country.  The park has incredible biological variety, due to the existence within the reserve of eleven different habitats, including rainforest, swamps, beaches, and lagoons.  Tortuguero is very humid, and receives up to 250 inches of rain a year.

It is the third-most visited park in Costa Rica, despite the fact that it can be reached only by airplane or boat.  At this time I am unsure if I will go by boat or plane or both. 

Corcovado National Park – Corcovado National Park is among the wettest and most rugged of Costa Rica’s lowlands found in the south-eastern corner of the country.  It is found in one of the most inaccessible parts of the country and is one of the premier sanctuaries for wildlife in the country.  It was established in 1975, and encompasses an area of 425 km².  It is the only national park that has all 4 species of monkeys found in Costa Rica – the Central American spider monkey, Central American squirrel monkey, mantled howlers and white-faced capuchins.


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