What to Know About Getting Married in Costa Rica
About Costa Rica
If you want to experience one of the widest assortments of flora and fauna on this side of the world and support the environment while away on your destination wedding, Costa Rica is the place for you. Located between Panama and Nicaragua, this small Central American country has announced plans to be the first carbon neutral country by 2021, and is considered among the greenest countries in the world. Just over five hours from New York and seven from Los Angeles, Costa Rica can be the wedding location of your dreams without compromising your environmental standards.
Situated squarely within the tropics on the isthmus of Central America, Costa Rica does not have traditional seasons. Instead, the wet and dry periods dominate the cycle of the year, the wet season (considered summer) running from May through November, while the dry season (or winter) spanning December through April. The climate of Costa Rica has distinct zones, influenced by the two bodies of water on either of its coasts. To the east, the area of the country that borders the Caribbean Sea is typically wetter and more humid, receiving an average of almost 200 inches of rain every year, with an average temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit. On the west coast, which faces the Pacific Ocean, the average temperature is higher, at 89 degrees Fahrenheit, but significantly drier throughout the year. The two coasts are divided by an area known as the Central Valley, a mountainous region with significantly cooler temperatures, averaging 72 degrees Fahrenheit, making this area home to two-thirds of the country's population.
Though the eastern coast of the country may be hot and humid, this combination is what makes the wide array of wildlife possible. Costa Rica occupies less than one percent of the earth's total landmass, but has five percent of the world's biodiversity. These conditions provide a home for approximately 700 distinct species of birds alone, making the country a popular destination for bird watching enthusiasts.
Multiple national parks provide visitors the opportunity to glimpse one of the four species of monkey living in the area, or one of the four species of turtle that use the country as their nesting grounds. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to over 2,000 different species of plants, including the largest collection of orchid species in a single location.
Costa Rica Destination Weddings
Don't let all of this nature fool you, though. Tourism is a thriving industry there, and Costa Rican destination weddings are becoming more and more popular, with numerous facilities available to handle all of your wedding planning needs. You will need to hire a local lawyer for your wedding to ensure that your ceremony is legally binding, but beyond that, the process is relatively simple.
There are many easily accessible waterfalls in the country that would provide a stunning backdrop for the exchange of your vows, providing unforgettable pictures of your special event. You can also take advantage of the local musical tradition by hiring a guitar or marimba player to add an authentic Costa Rican soundtrack to your ceremony or reception. And what better way to honor Costa Rica's commitment to the environment than by having an eco-friendly wedding favor for your guests, like planting a tree or buying carbon offset credits in each of their names?