Sand, Surf, and Sun: A Costa Rica Photo Gallery

 
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Although Costa Rica has been a victim of severe deforestation, the government has set aside 19 percent of its land for national parks and reserves—a greater percentage than any other country in the world.  
Credit: Corel 
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One-tenth of the world's bird species inhabit Costa Rica. The Buffon's Macaw is just one of 850 avian creatures known to frequent this Central-American haven. More than 600 are resident species; the rest visit in the winter.  
Credit: West Stock 
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Early carts used for transporting coffee were simply plain wooden wagons. But at the height of the coffee boom, a cart maker's wife livened up her husband's wheels with some paint and starburst designs and a tradition was born.  
Credit: Corel 
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Costa Rica's tropical rainforests are home to some of the toughest plants and animals. While gentle giants like the T-rex couldn't handle the heat, more than 950 species of beetle have been discovered in just one species of tropical tree.  
Credit: Corel 
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The sign in Poas Volcano National Park reads: 'El Volcan Poas se encuentra en actividad, usted ingnesa al Parque Nacional bajo su propio riesgo.' Below, the ominous translation: 'Poas Volcano is in activity/ You enter under your own risk.'  
Credit: Corel 
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Spider monkeys, which roam Costa Rica in bands of 30 to 40, rarely descend from the highest canopies of the tropical forests. Lucky hikers may catch a glimpse of the fast animal as it swings from tree to tree using its arms, feet, and tail.  
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Exotic wildlife rules this playground. Despite their natural splendor, some of Costa Rica's beaches—which extend for miles—have remained virtually undiscovered by humans.  
Credit: Corel 
 
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