Costa Rica has become one of the most popular travel destinations for international travelers. It is often called "the Switzerland of Central America."
Political Stability – Costa Ricans are very proud of their democracy, one of the oldest in Latin America – over 100 years, and peaceful history. Through its constitution, the country abolished its army in 1948 and invested the resources previously committed to military defense in education and health initiatives. Over 80 percent of the citizens participate in the political process.
The People – Costa Ricans, or “Ticos,” are happy, friendly and gracious people. Their common greeting is “Pura Vida!” There is a prosperous and growing middle class. The 93 percent literacy rate is the highest in Latin America. Education is free and compulsory for all children and youth. The Costa Rican health care system, modeled after the Canadian system, includes both public and private care providers. The life expectancy for Costa Ricans is the same as for Americans.
Costa Rica comprises only 0.01 percent of the earth’s landmass (less than 20,000 square miles), yet it is home to five percent of the planet’s animal and plant species. There are more species of plants and animals per acre in Costa Rica than anywhere in the world. Biodiversity is evident everywhere: 10,000 species of plants, 850 species of birds, 800 species of butterflies, 500 species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. You don’t have to travel far within the country to experience a different and unique ecosystem: mountains over 12,000 feet; active volcanoes; cloud and rain forests; waterfalls and tropical jungles; banana, sugar, pineapple, coffee, and papaya plantations; mangrove forest and coastal swamps; and beaches and marine environments that support a variety of water fowl, fish and crustaceans. Approximately 30 percent of Costa Rica is protected as national parks, biological and archeological reserves, and wildlife refuges.
Dominical is in the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica. Located at approximately nine degrees latitude, the weather is tropical. Temperatures do not vary much from month to month (75 to 85 degrees F. year round).
As in other countries in the tropics, there are two predominant seasons. June through November is the winter season. Mornings and early afternoons are sunny, with rain showers occurring in the late afternoons and evenings. Temperatures are generally in the cooler range (still relatively warm) during the winter months. December through May is considered the summer season. Rain may occur from time to time, but the weather is generally dry and warm.