Cruise ships regularly make their turns through the western caribbean the small country Costa Rica on. North of Nicaragua and in the south of Panama In earlier times it was often mocked as the “banana republic”.
It was about the banana as a fruit, not about the political situation. In September 2011 the German Foreign Office the Republic of Costa Rica declared as "a model country in the Central American context". We like to hear that. It’s a lot easier for us on our cruise in Puerto Limón, the port city on the Caribbean Sea.
Costa Rica - Puerto Limon ahead
The one between Caribbean sea and the Pacific Ocean lying state offers on 51.100 km² area (the area of Lower Saxony is only slightly exceeded) diverse landscape forms. Most noticeable are the volcanic mountains of the Mountain ranges, the highest peaks of which rise up to 3.819 m (Cerro Chirripo). In the Caribbean region, however, wide, flat alluvial plains have developed. Most people live in the cooler central highlands. Two thirds of the approximately 4,3 million inhabitants settle here. San José, the capital of the state, is also there.
As usual in the Caribbean region, the crusader asks himself, "Who discovered it"? And, as is so often the case, the answer is "Columbus discovered it". In 1502 he was the first European to set foot on what is now Costa Rica. From 1560 the country was consistently colonized. Costa Rica gained independence from Spain in 1821.
Back to the bananas: bananas were once upon a time. Tourism, especially ecotourism, is now the most important economic factor. And who would have thought that, high-tech is the number 2 currency earner. Intel deserves special mention in this sector. Agriculture, which was once so important, is declining. Nevertheless, the country is still the world's second largest banana exporter. 2,7 million tons are produced here every year. Other agricultural products are (increasingly) pineapples, coffee, papayas, melons and macadamia nuts as well as ornamental plants. Ecologists feel, it should be noted at this point, that pineapple cultivation is extremely critical because of the pesticides used and the inadequate working conditions. In contrast, the ecological and working conditions on the banana plantations are said to have improved noticeably.
Costa Rica - banana plantation
Costa Rica - Preservation Bath
Despite the negative effects of the intensive cultivation of pineapples and bananas, politicians act in exemplary fashion in the areas of nature conservation and forest protection. Almost 50% of the country is covered with forest and more than a quarter of the area of Costa Rica is protected.
Costa Rica - Lush greenery
The day guests who disembark from the cruise ships in Puerto Limón participate in this. In the easily accessible Cahuita National Park you can admire all kinds of climbing, crawling and flying animals. The region around Puerto Limón offers several interesting options for individual tours. More on this under Costa Rica - Sights.
Costa Rica - Entrance to the Cahuita National Park