Costa Rican Coast, Beaches and Coastal Wildlife

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Costa Rica’s coast extends for 800 miles together the Ocean Pacific and the Caribbean Sea. It shows a wide range of colors from dark black to white shiny sands as well as the waters. You can find brownie waters from the silt washed down by rivers to neon light blue that literarily takes your breath away. There is also a variety of beaches like the perfect one for surfers with continuous waves or strong swirls to the pool like for children and snorkeling.

The pacific coast is rugged; therefore it presents a lot of bays, gulfs and rocky headlands, sandy and rocky beaches. In most of the beach shore the vegetation reaches the ocean and blend in a wonderful scene. Depending on the area, it could be dry forest and all its browns or the exuberant rain forest with hundreds of shades of green. There are some coral reefs along the pacific coast, but the Caribbean Sea is the one that boasts having the best ones.

Life is abundant, from the 8 species of sea turtles in the world, 6 come to lay their eggs in Costa Rica’s shore and, together with the turtles, other important marine life come to breed in these waters like some species of whales and dolphins. The Caribbean coast can in some areas stretch for miles with no irregularity at all. It also presents stronger waves and rip tides to consider before taking a swim. However, they show their particular beauty and mood that differ a lot from the Pacific one.

Even though Costa Rica is a small country, it possesses the 5% of the entire world’s living species. It has twice the bird species than US and Canada together and more butterflies than the whole continent of Africa. The country has 12 well defined and documented “Life zones”, each with its own climate, topography, flora and fauna. This flora and fauna along Costa Rica’s coast varies from dry forest with the deciduous flora that sheds its leaves during dry season in the north of the Pacific coast in the province of Guanacaste to the ever humid lowland rain forest in the south by the bottom of the province of Puntarenas better known the area as Osa or southern zone. Between these two well marked areas you can find the Central Pacific coastline as a transition area. The presence of lowland rainforest with its different layers of microclimates and life hosts tapirs, jaguars, sloths, kinkajous, snakes, dantas, titi monkeys, white faced monkeys, red-eyed frogs, leaf-cutter ants, many species of butterflies and a great variety of insects. The dry forest holds anteaters, bats, iguanas, birds, mammals and many others that meet together in this area.

Another important habitat that you will find on the coastline is the wetlands. This ecosystem is present in the three areas, the North, Center and South of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. It is usually at the deltas of rivers and its major characteristic is the presence of lagoons, mangroves, canals and swampy grounds. It shelters an enormous amount of life such as the roseate spoonbills, crocodiles, caimans, lotuses, and many aquatic-life. This kind of habitat exhibits luscious vegetation and makes the landscape seem as movie-like scenery.

You can choose living next to the waves and the sea salty breeze or on a hill with a deep blue ocean view home. Whether you live on the coast or more in-land you will always be gazed by the beauty of Costa Rican beaches their life and landscape around them.


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