Christopher Columbus anchored off Uvita Island in front of what is now Limón, Costa Rica, in September 1502 in his fourth exploratory voyage to the Americas. Although he never actually came ashore, he claimed the region the Spanish Crown, himself and his descendents, assuming that the land held vast deposits of precious metals. He baptized the splendorous landmass Costa Rica (Rich Coast), but, much to his disappointment, the earth never yield appreciable quantities of gold or silver.
Visitors are now attracted to this Coast of Plenty by Columbus’ first impression, its wealth of natural beauty, its abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna and its famous “eternal springtime” climate.
The Spanish colony lasted for more than 300 years, but on September 15, 1821, Costa Rica and the rest of its Central American sister colonies, declared its independence from Spain. After initially forming part of the Central American Federation, Costa Rica proclaimed itself a free and independent Republic in 1848. It has since enjoyed relative prosperity and political stability, including more than a century of continuous democratic rule.
Democracy began in Costa Rica in the economic form before it ever became the political choice, when the coffee growing industry was turned over the middle class country folk, rather the kept in the hands of the wealthy, and overly occupied, cattle rancher elite.
Source: Costa Rica Hotels & Travel Guide