Costa Rica, the Greenest and Happiest Country on Earth
The happy ‘Tico’ Costa Rican spirit
The country’s astounding richness in its wildlife and biodiversity makes a Costa Rica vacation an experience to remember and the nation’s commitment to its natural riches have made the country a world leader in environmental protection and conservation.
But now it seems that Costa Rica’s record has made it more than a natural sanctuary for threatened wildlife, but a world leader in global happiness too.
A study by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) which links countries’ environmental protection to the happiness of their citizens has named Costa Rica as the greenest and happiest country in the world.
The study, called the Happy Planet Index, compares the natural resources that each country consumes with their happiness and quality of life. The report combined ecological impact with other factors including life expectancy and life satisfaction to calculate which country is the most “happy” overall.
According to the Happy Planet Index, Costa Ricans have the highest life satisfaction in the world, thanks to their long life expectancy which is slightly longer than the USA average, combined with their tiny environmental impact, which is 75% smaller than the United States’ per person equivalent.
Costa Rica has become well known throughout the world for its excellent level of environmental protection. Almost one third of the country has been protected by a system of national parks, conservation areas and natural reserves.
Some of the most popular protected areas include the World Heritage Site of Corcovado National Park which is famous for its mangrove swamps, tapirs and macaws, the beautiful beach-side Manuel Antonio National park, and Tortuguero National Park, a favorite nesting ground for endangered sea turtles.
In a separate recent survey the country was voted the number one Latin America travel destination thanks to its astonishing range of national parks protected the world’s biggest concentration of exotic, and often endangered, animal species ranging from poison arrow frogs, green leatherback turtles, the resplendent quetzal and the jaguar.
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