Costa Rica is a rugged, rainforested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Though its capital, San Jose, is home to cultural institutions like the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity. Roughly a quarter of its area is made up of protected jungle, teeming with wildlife including spider monkeys and quetzal birds.
- Capital: San Jose
- Government: Democratic Republic
- Currency: Costa Rican colón (₡, CRC)
- Area: 51,100km²
- Population: 4,301,712 (2011 Census)
- Language: Spanish (official), Limonese creole (Mekatelyu) spoken in Limón Province
- Religion: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, other Protestant 0.7%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.3%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%;
- Costa Rica possesses the greatest density of species in the world, and around 25% of its national territory is protected by a system of conservation areas and national parks. It has been stated in various places that Costa Rica may contain as much as 6% of the world’s plant and animal species.
- Costa Rica’s seasons are defined by how much rain falls during a particular period and not to the four seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The year can be split into two periods, the dry season known to the residents as summer, and the rainy season, known locally as winter. The “summer” or dry season goes from December to April, and “winter” or rainy season goes from May to November, which almost coincides with the List of Atlantic hurricane seasons, and during this time, it rains constantly in some regions.
- Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands.
- On 1 December 1948, Costa Rica dissolved its armed forces. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.
Cities in Costa Rica
San José – The capital.
Cartago – Costa Rica’s first capital
Dominical – the South Pacific coast’s largest city, among incredibly biodiversity and natural beauty
Alajuela – location of Juan Santamaría International Airport
Heredia – Coffee plantations
Liberia – Location of Daniel Oduber International Airport and gateway to the beaches of Guanacaste, such as Samara, Nosara, Carillo
Puerto Limón – Main city on the Caribbean side
Puntarenas – Ferry to Nicoya Peninsula
Quesada – the largest city by far in the country’s North, surrounded by hot springs popular with Costa Rican vacationers