Costa Rica is a Central American country. Located in a volcanic region, where there are active volcanoes such as Irazu, it covers an area of 51 100 km2. It is bathed by the Caribbean Sea in the northeast and the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, and is bordered by Nicaragua in the northwest and Panama in the southeast. The most important cities are San José, the capital, with 346 800 residents (2004) in its metropolitan area, Puerto Limón (63 500 residents), Alajuela (48 000 residents), San Isidro de El General (31 900 residents ) and Helpless (40,800 residents).
The climate is tropical with high temperatures throughout the year, with high areas moderated by altitude; it rains in the hottest season, from May to November. Precipitation is very high off the coast of the Caribbean Sea due to the influence of a branch of the warm Gulf Stream.
Costa Rica’s economy is based mainly on exports of coffee and bananas. The other agricultural crops are sugar cane, rice, pineapple, coconut and other tropical fruits, orange, palm oil, corn and beans. The increase in agriculture for export products is one of the causes of the high deforestation that exists in Costa Rica. The country is poor in mineral resources, although it has some deposits of gold and silver, as well as reserves of bauxite, manganese and magnetite. The industrial sector covers the production of food, beverages, paper products, plastic products, cement, bricks, tiles, paintings, varnish, soap and beauty articles. Costa Rica’s trading partners are the USA, Japan, Germany and Venezuela. Environmental indicator:
The population is 4,075,261 residents (2006), which corresponds to a population density of 78.59 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 18.32% and 4.36%. The average life expectancy is 77.02 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.832 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.824 (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 5 074 000 residents. The main ethnicities are white (87%), mestizo (7%), mulatto (3%) and Asian (3%). The religion with the greatest expression is Catholic, practiced by 81% of the population. The official language is Castilian.
Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive in Costa Rica. In 1502, he built the city that is now known as Puerto Limón. The country was never rich and, therefore, in addition to being almost always ignored by the Spaniards, it grew very slowly. At the end of the 18th century, when Spain raised other areas of Central America to riots, Costa Rica was subordinate to Nicaragua. When Mexico declared independence from Spain in 1821, Costa Rica and other Central American countries formed the Empire of Mexico. Two years later, the Union of Central American Provinces was created. In 1890, the first free elections in all of Central America elected José Joaquín Rodriguez as president. For Costa Rica democracy and rights, please check localbusinessexplorer.
In 1949, the army banned and replaced the Civil Guard. That same year, the Constitution was adopted which established legislative, executive and judicial independence in the country. In the 1980s and 1990s, Costa Rica impressed the international community by trying to mediate civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador. This effort won the Nobel Peace Prize for President Oscar Arias Sánchez in 1987. Today, the country is a multi-party democratic republic, in which the president rules with the Legislative Assembly.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Costa Rica, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Costa Rica. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Costa Rica
Presents a collection of city, country, political, and shaded relief maps of Costa Rica, lying between Nicaragua, and Panama. Check out the city map of San Jose.
Costa Rica – Expedia
Finely-detailed map includes tools that allows users to zoom in and out. Locate towns, roadways, land features and bordering countries.
Costa Rica – Falling Rain Genomics
Click through an index of nearly 3,500 towns. Obtain satellite maps and calculations, like latitude and longitude, plus, weather reports.
Costa Rica – InfoPlease Map
Close-up, well-rendered graphical map of Costa Rica clearly shows locations of key cities and towns, plus river systems and water bodies.
Costa Rica – MyTravelGuide.com Maps
View a small, black and white map of Costa Rica, and choose options for larger maps and custom maps.
Costa Rica – National Geographic Map Machine
Features a satellite-enhanced view of the only country in the Western Hemisphere with no army. Peruse map zoom and print options.
Costa Rica – Photo.net Map Index
Provides several maps of this country in Central America. Find out where the highways and parks are.
Costa Rica – World Headquarters Map
Provides several maps that highlight specific attractions of this Central American country.
Costa Rica Map Index
Find maps of Corcovado, Monteverde, Arenal, Costa Rica highways and parks, and the Central Valley.
Costa Rican National Parks Location Map
Locate national parks across Costa Rica. Also browse park descriptions for some areas, including Manuel Antonio National Park.
MSN Encarta Maps – Costa Rica
Close-up, color map presents the country’s physical characteristics and marks key cities and towns, from Microsoft.
Travel Net – Map of Costa Rica
Features an interactive map which shows airports, national parks, and biological reserves. Also posts a list of hotels.