Costa Rica’s remarkable biodiversity comes wrapped in a rainbow of colors: cloud and rain forest dressed in a hundred shades of green; pristine Pacific beaches of white, beige and black sand; welcoming waterfalls of turquoise and jade; and red and orange from the surrounding volcanoes and romantic sunsets. Its neighbor, Nicaragua, also beckons with smoking volcanoes, lakes, mountains and vast ribbons of rainforest.
Anyone who loves nature and outdoor adventures will savor the wealth of natural attractions that both Costa Rica and Nicaragua offer. Costa Rica sits center stage, the star of Central America because it remains peaceful, has no army, and it enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in the world. The adventure options encompass bird’s-eye views on walks through treetop canopies, skipping across the waves in an ocean outrigger, mountain biking, rafting, horseback riding, hiking, bird watching, world-class sports fishing, zip lining canopy tours and rappelling in waterfalls. There is also the chance to spend time with the indigenous Maleku people of the Arenal and northern regions, learning about their lives and skills in arts and crafts. The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is the largest private reserve in Central America, and has been declared part of the Peace and Water Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Beyond nature and adventure, Costa Rica is also serious about sustainability. It is striving to reach complete carbon neutrality by 2021 – an ambitious but worthy goal.
Nicaragua is arguably the least understood and least visited country on the Central American isthmus. It is also the largest and encompasses a multi-ethnic population that includes indigenous peoples, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The rich mix of cultural traditions has created substantial diversity in art and literature, with noted Nicaraguan poets and writers, including Rubén Darío, Pablo Antonio Cuadra and Ernesto Cardenal. Matagalpa is Nicaragua´s coffee capital and home to nature reserves. Hikers can trek up active volcanoes such as Masaya Volcano’s smoking crater or savor barefoot luxury on a private tropical beach. In the field of archaeology, Nicaragua is enjoying new discoveries that suggest that complex societies were developing in Mesoamerica earlier than researchers had previously believed. It is only a matter of time before Nicaragua’s archaeological treasures are uncovered. As part of the Mesoamerican Biodiversity Hotspot, these two Central American countries combine to offer a wealth of natural and cultural adventures. In short, luxury Costa Rica and Nicaragua tours offers a complete vacation experience.
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