Nowadays you feel quite safe in Costa Rica. During your trip to Costa Ricayou will notice the gentle way of life and zest for living, characterised by its inhabitants famous "Pura Vida". Have a great trip in a country that is very different to the rest, and where political ambitions seem to about nature and humanity.
After its pre-Colombian period, followed by Spanish colonisation from 1502, Costa Rica obtained its independence in 1821 and became an important exporter of coffee and bananas. In 1869 they introduced compulsory free schooling, abolished the death penalty a few years later, and then abolished the army in 1949. All of which shows that Costa Rica has been a leader in many things. Very quickly their presidents decided to enforce measures to protect the environment which have also favoured tourism.
A lot of travellers who prefer to respect the environment and its inhabitants choose Costa Rica as a destination. Its numerous National Parks and plant and wildlife reserves are very well preserved and are unique. For example, Corcovado National Park, on the Osa peninsula, shelters numerous animals and tropical birds in the heart of an astonishing jungle. But during your journey around Costa Rica you'll also discover incredible parks like Tortuguero, Cahuita, and Arenal Volcano, to mention just a few, because the country has at least 26! To give you a few figures, Costa Rica has 6% of the world's species and 25% of its territory is classed as National Parks, reserves or protected zones, of which three are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Tourism dominates Costa Rica. It is the number one tourist destination in Central America. Most visitors come from North and central America and about 14% of them are European. The country's whole economy is dependent on the sector which attracts more than 2 millions visitors a year. And it is the eco-tourist sector that attracts the most because, in pioneering it, Costa Rica is one of the few places that offers this type of tourism. The other major sectors of the Costa Rican economy are agriculture (often chemical free) and cutting edge high tech.