Health care in Costa Rica is very good and sanitary standards are high. First-class hospitals are found throughout San José and some of the other largely populated areas.
The water is safe to drink in all areas of the country.
If you want
to bring your dog or cat, you will need to get in touch with the Consulate
of Costa Rica in your country, bring a health certificate from a Veterinarian
plus all vaccination given to your pet, or a certified of this by the
doctor. Once you have all these papers, the Consulate will seal all your
documents; that will allow your pet to come into any country.
The country's exemplary system of national parks and preserves embraces a vast array of habitats, covering more than 14% of the national territory. They aim to ensure the survival of Costa Rica's spectacular biological diversity, its 850 species of birds, 205 species of mammals, 376 types of reptiles and amphibians, and more than 9,000 species of flowering plants, among them 1,200 varieties of orchids.
The possibilities for outdoor diversions here are equally diverse. Rivers winding down the country's valleys churn through steep stretches that are popular white-water rafting routes; others end up as languid jungle waterways appropriate for animal watching and sport fishing. The miles of beach backed by coconut palms that line the Caribbean and Pacific coasts are ideal for shell collectors and sun worshipers (and when the sun goes down, many are visited by nesting sea turtles).
The oceans hugging those coasts hold intricate coral formations, rugged islands, colorful schools of fish, and plentiful waves, which provide the perfect playground for skin divers, anglers, surfers, and sea kayakers.
Anyone not well acquainted with Costa Rica may assume it suffers the same problems as El Salvador, icaragua, and other Central American countries. However, Costa Rica, a sturdy democracy, has managed to avoid political unrest and remain a peaceful nation. The country has no army, for example - it was abolished in 1949.
Ticos, as Costa Ricans call themselves, are fiercely proud of their history and culture, but they are also a remarkably polite and accommodating people.