Costa Rica (literally meaning "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. Costa Rica became an independent state in 1838, after gaining its sovereignty from Spain. It has a population of around 4.5 million, of whom nearly a quarter live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, San José. It’s rapidly developing economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism.
Costa Rica is known for its progressive environmental policies, being the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. It was ranked 42nd in the world, and third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, was twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation's (NEF) Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability, and was identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world in 2009. Costa Rica officially plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. In 2012, it became the first country in the Americas to ban recreational hunting.
Rancho Cartagena, located along the Pan-American Highway, within the Guanacaste province, lies in the Northwest coastal region of tropical Costa Rica. The area boasts pristine shoreline, sprawling mountain ranges, volcanoes, multiple national parks and the international Airport at Liberia. With less crowds and better weather than other regions, Guanacaste has a more laid back vibe, making it a great place to call home.