Costa Rica can offer a visitor so much in the way of natural environment and recreational activities. But to truly enjoy it, a basic knowledge of this small country´s history, resources and culture is essential. Costa Rica is a nation developed upon ideals like peace and pacifism. It is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that lacks a national army and maintains a diplomatically neutral stance. Without defense spending, the government has been able to bolster social programs with its excess tax revenue. Universalized health care, social security, and free, mandatory education are just a few of the successful programs that are subsidized by the State. Due to its geographical location, Costa Rica forms a land bridge between the two American continents. This isthmus is the point of convergence of a variety of cultures, and a corridor for the migrating fauna of the region. The protection of this great resource is paramount. Costa Rica is among the world´s countries with the highest volume of protected land in the world. Approximately 25% of the national territory is allotted for the National Park system; biological, marine and land reserves; as well as other natural wildlife areas. Parrita; nestled in between Jaco and Quepos, this laid back Tico town is little known to tourists, with it´s beaches and coastal mountians hidden as you pass through the town, giving an illusion as no commercial value, but it is so much more. The town boasts a new hospital, several banks and resturants. Some of Costa Ricas nicest B&B´s are hidden in clever remote spots that are closley guarded secrets, as they like the quiet laid back atmosphere that is unique to this area. Once you make friends with the local Ticos they will soon become family, they will give your their last stalk of bananas and ask for nothing in return. The caretaker on this property grazes his horses on our farm, stores our car, and asks for nothing.