Costa Rica Express

Costa Rica, officially known as the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country located in Central America. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Geography

Climate

Costa Rica boasts a diverse climate due to its varied topography. The coastal regions experience a tropical climate with high humidity and temperatures ranging from 21°C to 32°C (70°F to 90°F) year-round. Inland areas, particularly in the highlands, enjoy a more temperate climate with cooler temperatures.

Fauna

Costa Rica is renowned for its rich biodiversity, with lush rainforests, cloud forests, and diverse ecosystems. The country is home to a vast array of wildlife, including exotic birds like toucans and scarlet macaws, as well as mammals like sloths, monkeys, and jaguars.

Longest Rivers

The longest river in Costa Rica is the San Juan River, which forms part of the country’s northeastern border with Nicaragua. Other significant rivers include the Tempisque, Grande de Tárcoles, and Reventazón rivers, which play crucial roles in irrigation, transportation, and hydroelectric power generation.

Highest Mountains

Costa Rica is known for its rugged terrain and numerous volcanic peaks. The highest mountain in the country is Cerro Chirripó, standing at an impressive 3,820 meters (12,533 feet) above sea level. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and is a popular destination for hikers and mountaineers.

History

Prehistory

Costa Rica has a rich pre-Columbian history, with evidence of human habitation dating back over 10,000 years. Indigenous tribes such as the Chorotega, Boruca, and Bribri inhabited the region, practicing agriculture, hunting, and fishing.

Spanish Colonization

In the early 16th century, Spanish explorers arrived in Costa Rica, led by conquistador Gil González Dávila. The region was subsequently colonized by the Spanish Empire, and Costa Rica became a part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala. However, due to its rugged terrain and lack of significant mineral wealth, Costa Rica was largely overlooked by the Spanish colonizers.

Independence and Modern Era

Costa Rica declared its independence from Spain in 1821, along with the other Central American colonies. It briefly joined the First Mexican Empire before becoming a part of the United Provinces of Central America. In 1838, Costa Rica became fully independent and established itself as a sovereign republic. Since then, the country has enjoyed relative political stability and has become known for its commitment to democracy and human rights.

Demographics

Costa Rica has a population of approximately 5.1 million people, with a diverse mix of ethnicities and cultures. The majority of the population is of European and mestizo descent, with significant Afro-Caribbean and indigenous populations. Spanish is the official language, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion.

Administrative Divisions

Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces, each with its own governor and administrative structure:

  1. San José
  2. Alajuela
  3. Cartago
  4. Heredia
  5. Guanacaste
  6. Puntarenas
  7. Limón

Each province is further subdivided into cantons and districts, which are governed by local municipalities.

10 Largest Cities by Population

  1. San José
  2. Alajuela
  3. Cartago
  4. Heredia
  5. Liberia
  6. Puntarenas
  7. Limón
  8. San Francisco
  9. San Isidro
  10. Quesada

Education Systems

Costa Rica has a well-developed education system that is largely funded by the government. Primary and secondary education are free and compulsory, and the country boasts a high literacy rate. The University of Costa Rica, located in San José, is the oldest and most prestigious institution of higher education in the country.

Transportation

Costa Rica has several international airports, with Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José being the busiest. The country also has an extensive network of highways and roads, although infrastructure in rural areas may be less developed. There is currently no railway system in Costa Rica.

Country Facts

  • Population: 5.1 million
  • Capital: San José
  • Language: Spanish
  • Religion: Roman Catholicism
  • Currency: Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
  • ISO Country Codes: ISO 3166-1 alpha-2: CR, ISO 3166-1 alpha-3: CRI
  • International Calling Code: +506
  • Top-Level Domain: .cr