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There's nothing like looking through travel guides in the depth of a Canadian winter. It makes me feel a little warmer. Almost immediately, I start to dream about the places I'd someday like to visit.
Costa Rica is now definitely near the top of my list of places to go. This area is about the size of West Virginia with mild subtropical weather year round. As one would expect, there are great beaches with lots of interesting water activities such as snorkeling, diving, whitewater rafting, surfing, wind surfing, swimming, canoeing, and boat tours.
In addition to these beaches, the island also boasts four mountain ranges which include active volcanoes. Evidentially, the sand in these areas is black or light grey from the volcanic obsidian and the pumice. There are tours available to visit some of these areas.
Costa Rica actually has 12 different life zones that serve as the homes for all sorts of interesting flora and fauna species, including sea turtles, jaguars, anteaters, sloths, fruit bars, poison dart frogs and manatees (just to name a few). Visitors have their choice of informal visits or more formalized tours. Some places even allow volunteers.
Explore Costa Rica gives all the details a tourist needs to tailor fit their Costa Rican vacation. This book even includes entertainment opportunities that I would have never known existed: hot air ballooning, geological expeditions, tour of a pineapple plantation, and snake milking demonstrations just to name a few. There is also lots of good advice that will save time, money, and a good deal of frustration.