Costa Rica History
For more than 12,000 years, different indigenous groups such as the Chorotega inhabited the lush territory, which now makes up Costa Rica. In 1502, during his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus arrived in the village of Cariari (now Puerto Limon) and encountered natives swathed in Gold Jewelry. It is said that he named the land Costa Rica (translated in English: Rich Coast) because of the promise of gold. However, it was not until 1560 that the first Spanish settlement, consisting mainly of adventurous pioneers, was established.
Then in 1821, along with the rest of the Central American countries, Costa Rica declared its independence from Spain. Coffee and banana cultivation became the countries most important economic activities and main source of income. In 1948 the country abolished its military, investing its scarce resources in education and public health instead. This contributed to the country’s remarkable social indicators, especially literacy rates and life expectancy. Today, more than 25 percent of the country territory is protected as National Parks and a main attraction for visitors from all over the world. Eco tourists, adventure tourists, nature lovers, birdwatchers and researchers come to Costa Rica to enjoy its great biodiversity and natural beauty. Furthermore, the country has beautiful beaches and active volcanoes and hot springs that attract tourist looking for relaxation..
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