There are many reasons why Costa Rica is considered one of the happiest countries in the world. In the HPI (“Happy Planet Index”) ranking, the country made it to number 1 out of 140 with a score of 44.7. But what is the reason for this excellent result? And why is the quality of life in Costa Rica so special?
First of all it should be mentioned, that the HPI index rates the different countries according to the criteria of life expectancy, wellbeing and ecological footprint. Other criteria, such as gross domestic product are thus ignored and evaluating by this, would rather shame to the country – because per capita the GDP is less than a quarter of all Western European and North American countries, and income is heavily dependent on tourism, agriculture and export. But money isn’t everything – and the Ticos seem to know that.
What is working out in Costa Rica?
A lot! For example, since 1949 the country has forbidden to set up an army. And it neither needs one, because a peaceful and democratic treatment is a matter of course and the land hasn’t even any enemy. But this shouldn’t be interpreted as doing nothing: In Colon, a city not far from San José, there is the campus of “United Nations University of Peace” and of course there are quite a lot of other benefits the country can shine with. For example, in terms of environmental protection: as a measure against increasing climate change, climate neutrality and a reduction in the ecological footprint should be achieved by the year 2021. In addition, half of the national territory is forested, a quarter of the land area is even under conservation and 90 percent of the electricity comes from renewable energy sources. As you can see, the Costa Ricans have invested a lot in environmental and climate protection and have become true prigs – and the residents are very proud of that!
To brim over with healthiness in old age
It looks like a good climate is also good for your health, because it is not for nothing, that the life expectancy of the Ticos and Ticas is 79 years. Particularly the Nicoya Peninsula around the province of Guanacaste has proved to be extremely livable: an above-average number of inhabitants of this region have been over 100 years old! And not because of advanced medicine, but much more through a modest but happy lifestyle in the countryside, in the middle of herds of cows and banana plantations. I can only confirm that Guanacaste really is a ripsnorter and I would really recommend it to anyone to visit this wonderful area during a stay in Costa Rica.
Why exactly Guanacaste?
Incidentally, the region takes its name from the Guanacaste tree, which is particularly prevalent in this part of the country. Costa Rica Guanacaste extends for the most part across the Nicoya Peninsula and thus along the Pacific coast. A life on the coast seems already very attractive and probably it offers everything your heart desires: the sun, the noise of the sea, deserted beaches – in plain language: tranquility and relaxation. For one or the other this is already quite enough but also those of you, who are looking for some more action won’t get a raw deal because the wild Pacific brings some violent waves with it and thus there are a lot of hot surfing spots, distributed over the peninsula. Furthermore you can also go canoeing, wild water rafting, canopy or horseback riding and of course all kinds of water sports – such as diving, snorkeling, sport fishing, dolphins and whale watching etc. – are offered. And for the party people among you, there are countless bars, clubs and cocktail lounges in Sámara, Tamarindo or Mal Pais.
In addition to the beautiful and diverse beaches you will also find a uniquely untouched nature. These include mythical rivers, which run through the mangrove forests and are invigorated by crocodiles, such as the Rio Tempisqué. But also breathtaking volcanoes can be visited, for example the Rincón de la Vieja, a national park where you can observe a variety of volcanic activities. Sizzling mud holes, boiling hot water springs and many other natural spectacles definitely make the park worth a visit! And last but not least: The tropical rainforest with its fascinating flora and fauna.
Insider tip: Hotel Paraiso del Cocodrilo
Finally, I can only suggest one thing: A visit to the accommodation Costa Rica Paraiso del Cocodrilo near Sámara in Guanacaste. Because here you will find all the things described above in an adjacencies surrounding. The hotel is located about 7km from Sàmara and so you can easily escape the hustle and bustle of the surfer town and calm down in an idyllic natural oasis. The nearest beach, Playa Buena Vista, is only a 10-minute walk away. Next door to it are a lot of other beaches, such as the Playa Barrigona, a beautiful, white-sanded beach which you know probably from the pictures of books. On the way there you can even find a spectacular waterfall. In addition the hotel is a true animal paradise: coatis and squirrels climb around the palm trees of the hotel garden, iguanas roam under the roofs of the hotel restaurant, howler monkeys are sitting in the tress on the way to the beach, parrots steal the fruits of the planted fruit trees and there is even a turtle camp at Playa Buena Vista, where you can see turtle babies almost every day, running into the sea for the first time in their life. And if you feel like going on a tour, then there is a wide range of activities offered in Sámara.
I hope now it should have become relatively clear why Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world… PURA VIDA ❤