3000 species of orchid
Costa Rica, a tiny country that forms the land bridge between North and South America, is almost too good to be true. It has more species of birds than the continental United States and Canada combined, unmatched flora that includes over 3,000 species of wild orchid alone, world-class rapid rivers, unparalleled sport fishing on two coasts and a world-famous national park system.
In 1503 Columbus landed in what is now Puerto Limon, on his fourth voyage to the New World. he named the area Costa Rica, the ‘Rich Coast’; some say because of the beauty he found there, others because of rumours of gold. Costa Rica was colonised by those relatively few Spanish immigrants who valued natural beauty and their liberty above riches and, since the rugged mountainous land was not suitable for large plantations, Costa Rica developed into a country of independent family farmers. Even now, these form the backbone of the country and this, more than anything else, explains the fact that from the time of its independence (1821) Costa Rica has been the most stable democratic country in Latin America.