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Costa Rica

Description of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America. It shares a border with Panama, Nicaraugua, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The country became a popular destination for tourists during the 1980s because of its well established national parks system and number of protected areas. These parks and protected areas cover nearly 24% of the land of the country. This is the largest amount in the world when it comes to a percentage of a country’s overall territory.

Costa Rica is the home of many fauna and flora. There are also many wonderful beaches on both coasts of the country. There is only a short distance to travel either by land or air to get to either side of the country. Costa Rica is also home to many active volcanoes that you can visit safely.

During the 1990s the country was the poster for ecotourism. According to the tourism board of Costa Rica almost half of the people that visit the country engage in some type of ecotourism activity including fauna, flora, trekking, and watching birds as well as visiting some of the rural communities. Many people that choose to visit the country are looking for adventurous activities, which are found all over.

Throughout its history, Costa Rica has managed to stay away from violence and political turmoil that plagued the nations that surround it. The army was abolished during the 1940s and the government is a long standing democracy. The country has remained one of the top Latin American countries in the Human Development index.

Costa Rica ranks third on the 2010 Environmental Performance index. It is first among the Americas. It has been ranked as the happiest nation in the world twice, once in 2009 and again in 2012. The New Economics Foundation also ranked the country as being the greenest on the planet.

Costa Rica offers a diverse climate, culture, fauna, flora, and landscapes. There are dry temperate forests, rain forests, beaches, high mountains, and volcanoes scattered throughout the lands.

Fauna and Flora

One of the reasons that the country is popular among eco-tourists is because of the biodiversity of the lands. A large amount of the country’s land is protected through a system of national parks and conservation areas. It is thought that Costa Rica may hold as much as six percent of the plant and animal species of the world, which is significant considering the size of the country, is about the same as New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

Some of the more impressive plants include the large ficus trees that have epiphytes abounding on each of their limbs that create around 1500 different types of orchids. The animals of the land are impressive as well. There are jaguars, which are the largest cats of the world, and the Margay, which is elusive and often hard to find. There are also many great species of birds including the scarlet and green macaws. There are several unique amphibians such as the giant cane toads or the poison dart frogs that are brightly colored and are sure to catch your attention.

What to See and Do

As mentioned, you should really see the wildlife that the country has to offer. There are mammals including sloths, tapirs, and monkeys as well as many wild cats that roam through the jungles. You can take a guided tour through many of the national parks. You can also view some wonderful plants throughout the country. Bird watching is quite popular when visiting Costa Rica as well.

Once you have witnessed the wildlife of the country you will definitely want to spend some time on one of the fabulous beaches that the country has to offer. Most of the tourist beaches are located on the Pacific side of the country, specifically near the San Jose area. Some of the lesser known tourist beaches are located in the south pacific coast area. If you are looking for a unique beach vacation you should consider some of the smaller beaches located off the beaten path or at the exclusive resorts of the country. Some of the beaches that you may want to visit include Corcovado, Dominical, Montezuma, Jaco, Playa Santa Teresa, Playa Grande, Tortuguero, and Tamarindo.

Some facts about Costa Rica

Population of country 4,516,220 people
Area of Costa Rica 51,100 sq. kilometers
Located on the continent Central America and the Caribbean (NA)
Capital of Costa Rica San Jose
Currency at Costa Rica Colon (CRC)
Domain Zone .cr
Phone country code 506
FIPS code of Costa Rica CS

Gallery of Costa Rica

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Costa Rica video guide

More information about Costa Rica

Climate of Costa Rica:
  • tropical and subtropical
  • dry season (December to April)
  • rainy season (May to November)
  • cooler in highlands
Terrain of Costa Rica:
  • coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes
Costa Rica also has such useful resources as: hydropower.

Top cities of Costa Rica


City Name Population State Coordinates
1 San Jose 335,007 people Provincia de San Jose 9.93333 x -84.08333
2 Puerto Limon 63,081 people Provincia de Limon 10 x -83.03333
3 San Francisco 55,923 people Provincia de Heredia 9.99299 x -84.12934
4 Alajuela 47,494 people Provincia de Alajuela 10.01667 x -84.21667
5 Liberia 45,380 people Provincia de Guanacaste 10.63504 x -85.43772
6 Paraiso 39,702 people Provincia de Cartago 9.83832 x -83.86556
7 Puntarenas 35,650 people Provincia de Puntarenas 9.97625 x -84.83836
8 San Isidro 34,877 people Provincia de San Jose 9.3721 x -83.70399
9 Curridabat 34,586 people Provincia de San Jose 9.91178 x -84.03407
10 San Vicente 34,447 people Provincia de San Jose 9.96016 x -84.04762
11 San Vicente de Moravia 34,447 people Provincia de San Jose 9.96164 x -84.0488
12 San Jose 31,430 people Provincia de Alajuela 10.95173 x -85.1361
13 Purral 30,034 people Provincia de San Jose 9.95808 x -84.0305
14 Turrialba 28,955 people Provincia de Cartago 9.90467 x -83.68352
15 San Miguel 28,827 people Provincia de San Jose 9.87121 x -84.06084
16 San Pedro 27,477 people Provincia de San Jose 9.92829 x -84.05074
17 San Rafael Abajo 27,419 people Provincia de San Jose 9.831 x -84.29008
18 Quesada 27,310 people Provincia de Alajuela 10.32381 x -84.42714
19 Ipis 26,669 people Provincia de San Jose 9.96746 x -84.01326
20 Cartago 26,594 people Provincia de Cartago 9.86667 x -83.91667
21 Chacarita 26,354 people Provincia de Puntarenas 9.98289 x -84.77232
22 San Juan 26,047 people Provincia de San Jose 9.95974 x -84.08165
23 Mercedes 26,007 people Provincia de Heredia 10.00696 x -84.13396
24 Guadalupe 26,005 people Provincia de San Jose 9.94611 x -84.05279
25 Aserri 25,874 people Provincia de San Jose 9.85876 x -84.0923
26 San Rafael 25,410 people Provincia de San Jose 9.92787 x -84.13722
27 San Felipe 24,985 people Provincia de San Jose 9.90488 x -84.10551
28 Patarra 23,983 people Provincia de San Jose 9.88071 x -84.03501
29 Tejar 22,433 people Provincia de San Jose 9.74622 x -84.23368
30 Heredia 21,947 people Provincia de Heredia 10 x -84.11667

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