Flora and Fauna

Nature Lovers Playground

1 / Fauna

Where the Monkeys Outnumber the Members

Peninsula Papagayo possesses one of the most extraordinary coastal landscapes and biological corridors on the planet. Now comes the opportunity to connect and celebrate this sprawling 1,400-acre peninsula from end to end for the first time—creating the ultimate basecamp for adventure and exploration.

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An Unspoiled World

Tucked between the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean on the other, this extremely diversified, eco-rich land offers an embarrassingly lush landscape of sandy beaches, rugged coastline, cloud-forest havens and rainforest canopies. Celebrating over 100 years of peace and democracy, Costa Rica is a jewel of a country, not to mention one of the most environmentally sensitive. It is the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability and, despite its size, sets aside thirty percent of its land for nature conservation and wildlife.

Nature Unleashed

Consider Costa Rica’s statistics: 857 species of birds; 182 species of amphibians; 235 species of reptiles; 241 species of mammals; and 1,500 species of orchids. And if Costa Rica is nature’s showcase, Guanacaste is its showpiece. Ostional Wildlife Refuge, on the Pacific coast of Nicoya Peninsula, is the most populous nesting site for olive ridley turtles in the world. This is only one of 161 national parks and wildlife refuges in the country, many of them in Guanacaste. In the Gulf of Papagayo thrives a coral, guiri guiri, found nowhere else in the Pacific. In the waters of Santa Elena Peninsula, wind and water anomalies, called upwellings, draw nutrients from the depths to the surface to create some of the richest biological conditions possible. At Peninsula Papagayo, where the ocean meets the estuary, old-growth mangroves nearly 100 feet tall form a womb of the sea: rich ecosystems in water, the treetops, and on land.


There’s no place like Peninsula Papagayo.

Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticos (males) or Ticas (females).

The Guanacaste is Costa Rica’s national tree and the clay-colored thrush is the national bird. The national flower is the guaria morada, an orchid.

Costa Rica has a population of 4.5 million and a life expectancy of almost 77 years, one of the highest in the world.

There are 800 miles of coastline in Costa Rica between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces: San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon.

Irazu is the tallest volcano in Costa Rica at 11,259 feet.

Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet’s surface.

A soda is a small, informal restaurant that serves traditional meals like chicken, rice, beans and salad for $2-$3 a plate.

A pulperia is a neighborhood store that sells essential foodstuffs like canned goods, eggs, milk, bread and some produce.

The Tempisque River Bridge (known locally as El Puente de Amistad) that connects the mainland to the Nicoya Peninsula was a gift from Taiwan.

Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com
Source: CostaRica.com

The Ticos, as they’re called, have a national identity of deep-rooted egalitarianism, a value not easily held in a world of competing interests.

Jocelyn fujii
Voices of Guanacaste

One or more images on this page originally appeared in the book “Voices of Guanacaste,” and are presented here courtesy of photographer Tony Arruzza.