Costa Rica
in Central America
North America

National active POI Bordering countries
Location Summary
Currency and Currency Code:
Colon - CRC
Spoken languages:
Spanish, English
Local electricity:
120 V - 60 Hz (plugs: A, B)
Mobile phone / cellular frequencies (MHz):
850 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G, 4G
ISO 2-Letter code:
CR
Internet top level domain:
.cr
Country phone prefix:
+506
Local Time (capital):
Timezone:
UTC/GMT offset: hours

Explore Costa Rica

Costa Rica with its capital San Jose is located in North America (Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean). It covers some 51,101 square kilometers (slightly smaller than West Virginia) with 4,930,260 citizens. Spanish and English are the languages commonly used by the people in Costa Rica. Interesting info is sharing borders with Nicaragua and Panama.

Costa Rica is a country in Central America. It is one of the world's most popular destinations for eco-tourists because of its biodiversity, having bewilderingly diverse landscapes, flora, and fauna. From rain forests, to dry tropical and temperate forests, to volcanoes, to Caribbean and Pacific beaches, to high mountains, and marshy lowlands. You have to exercise caution when renting a car in Costa Rica; where it is not uncommon for rental companies to claim damage they insist you inflicted on the vehicle. Try to rent a car through a Costa Rican travel agent. If you are traveling on a package, your agent will sort this out. Spanish is the main language in Costa Rica. All major newspapers and official business are conducted in Spanish. English is used widely in areas populated by international tourists. Costa Rica is one of the countries with more rivers per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world. Anywhere you go you will find some kind of float trip to enjoy nature from a very unique point of view. Most places have potable water, so don't worry about drinking tap water. Bottled water is also available at low prices. The national drink is called guaro, which is made from fermented sugar cane. It is similar to vodka, and is usually drunk with water and lemon. Costa Rica has one of the highest levels of social care in the world. Its doctors are known worldwide as some of the best. International calls are fairly expensive. The cheapest way to make them is over the internet using a service such as Skype at an Internet café.

Impressions from the Costa Rican capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what New Delhi is like. We have selected more pictures from New Delhi on our dedicated gallery page.

Popular Destinations in Costa Rica

Administrative regions of Costa Rica

About the country

The landscape is coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major active volcanoes. The average density of population is about 96 per km². The climate in Costa Rica can be described as tropical and subtropicaldry season (December to April), rainy season (May to November), cooler in highlands. Potential threats by nature are active volcanoes, Arenal (1,670 m), which erupted in 2010, is the most active volcano in Costa Rica; a 1968 eruption destroyed the town of Tabacon; Irazu (3,432 m), situated just east of San Jose, has the potential to spew ash over the capital city as it did between 1963 a, frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides and occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast.

To reach someone Costa Rica dial +506 prior to a number. The local cellular networks are operated on 850 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G, 4G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".cr". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery chaarger), keep in min the local 120 V - 60 Hz (plugs: A, B). The sign for the locally used currency Colon is CRC.

Five horizontal bands of blue (top), white, red (double width), white, and blue, with the coat of arms in a white elliptical disk placed toward the hoist side of the red band; Costa Rica retained the earlier blue-white-blue flag of Central America until 1848 when, in response to revolutionary activity in Europe, it was decided to incorporate the French colors into the national flag and a central red stripe was added; today the blue color is said to stand for the sky, opportunity, and perseverance, white denotes peace, happiness, and wisdom, while red represents the blood shed for freedom, as well as the generosity and vibrancy of the people.

Flag of Costa Rica

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. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. In 1949, 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.

Geography

Area
Total (World Rank: 130) 51,100sq km
Land (World Rank: 128) 51,060sq km
Water (World Rank: 145) 40sq km
Forest (World Rank: 70) 25.50%
Comparative slightly smaller than West Virginia
Note includes Isla del Coco
Coastline
1290
Landborder
661
Elevation
Highest point (World Rank: 46) 3,819m
Agricultural land
Total (World Rank: 115) 37.10%
Arable (World Rank: 151) 4.90%
Permanent crops (World Rank: 49) 6.70%
Permanent pastures (World Rank: 70) 25.50%
Irrigated land (World Rank: 93) 1,015sq km
Map reference
Central America and the Caribbean
Environment
Issues
  • - air pollution
  • - coastal marine pollution
  • - deforestation and land use change
  • - fisheries protection
  • - largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture
  • - soil erosion
  • - solid waste management
Agreement party
  • - Biodiversity
  • - Climate Change
  • - Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • - Desertification
  • - Endangered Species
  • - Environmental Modification
  • - Hazardous Wastes
  • - Law of the Sea
  • - Marine Dumping
  • - Ozone Layer Protection
  • - Wetlands
  • - Whaling
Agreement signed Marine Life Conservation
Hazzards
  • - active volcanoes
  • - Arenal (1,670 m), which erupted in 2010, is the most active volcano in Costa Rica; a 1968 eruption destroyed the town of Tabacon; Irazu (3,432 m), situated just east of San Jose, has the potential to spew ash over the capital city as it did between 1963 a
  • - frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides
  • - occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast
Location
Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
Climate
tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
Terrain
coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major active volcanoes

People

Population
Total (World Rank: 123) 4,930,260
Deathrate (World Rank: 200) 0.47%
Birthrate (World Rank: 119) 1.55%
Growthrate (World Rank: 97) 1.16%
Migration rate (World Rank: 59) 0.08%
Fertility rate (World Rank: 135) 1.89%
Median age
Male (World Rank: 103) 30.80
Female (World Rank: 104) 31.80
Age structure
0 14 male (World Rank: 116) 570,063
0 14 female (World Rank: 116) 544,502
15 24 male (World Rank: 117) 410,993
15 24 female (World Rank: 115) 394,865
25 54 male (World Rank: 117) 1,092,500
25 54 female (World Rank: 115) 1,078,460
55 64 male (World Rank: 107) 220,879
55 64 female (World Rank: 115) 232,530
65 x male (World Rank: 108) 177,882
65 x female (World Rank: 114) 207,582
Health
Infant mortality rate (World Rank: 151) 0.80%
Life expectancy total (World Rank: 57) 79years
Life expectancy female (World Rank: 57) 82years
Life expectancy male (World Rank: 55) 76years
Physicians per 1000 (World Rank: 108) 1.15
Hospital bed per 1000 (World Rank: 139) 1.20
Sanitation access total (World Rank: 77) 94.50%
Obesity adult (World Rank: 48) 25.70%
Drinking water access (World Rank: 85) 97.80%

Energy

Electricity
Production (World Rank: 98) 10,380,000,000kWh
Consumption (World Rank: 97) 9,113,000,000kWh
Export (World Rank: 61) 643,000,000kWh
Import (World Rank: 78) 537,000,000kWh
Source fossil (World Rank: 194) 21.00%
Source nuclear (World Rank: 26) 62.00%
Source renew (World Rank: 36) 17.60%
Refined products
Consumption (World Rank: 99) 54,000bbl / day
Import (World Rank: 78) 53,140bbl / day
Natural gas
Consumption (World Rank: 174) 1
Carbon footprint
7616000

Nation

Budget
Education (World Rank: 12) 8% of GDP
Health (World Rank: 34) 9% of GDP
Surplus (World Rank: 152) -5% of GDP
National symbol
yiguirro
National colours
white
Adjective
Costa Rican
Noun
Costa Rican(s)
Background
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. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. In 1949, 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.
Flag description
five horizontal bands of blue (top), white, red (double width), white, and blue, with the coat of arms in a white elliptical disk placed toward the hoist side of the red band; Costa Rica retained the earlier blue-white-blue flag of Central America until 1848 when, in response to revolutionary activity in Europe, it was decided to incorporate the French colors into the national flag and a central red stripe was added; today the blue color is said to stand for the sky, opportunity, and perseverance, white denotes peace, happiness, and wisdom, while red represents the blood shed for freedom, as well as the generosity and vibrancy of the people

Economy

Gdp
Purchasing power parity (World Rank: 91) 80,680,000,000USD
Real growth rate (World Rank: 53) 4.30%
Per capita purchasing power parity (World Rank: 101) 16,400USD
Source agriculture (World Rank: 122) 5.50%
Source industry (World Rank: 138) 21.50%
Source service (World Rank: 55) 73.00%
Labourforce
Total (World Rank: 118) 2,206,000
In poverty (World Rank: 99) 21.70%
Products
Industries
  • - clothing
  • - construction materials
  • - fertilizer
  • - food processing
  • - medical equipment
  • - plastic products
  • - textiles
Agriculture
  • - bananas
  • - beans
  • - beef
  • - coffee
  • - corn
  • - dairy
  • - melons
  • - ornamental plants
  • - pineapples
  • - potatoes
  • - poultry
  • - rice
  • - sugar
  • - timber
Exports
  • - bananas
  • - beef
  • - coffee
  • - electronic components
  • - medical equipment
  • - melons
  • - ornamental plants
  • - pineapples
  • - seafood
  • - sugar
Imports
  • - capital equipment
  • - construction materials
  • - consumer goods
  • - petroleum
  • - raw materials

Communication

Phone
Landline total (World Rank: 83) 827,000
Landline per 100 (World Rank: 103) 17.00
Mobile per 100 (World Rank: 15) 165.00
Assessment 0
Internet
Users (World Rank: 94) 3,217,280
Population (World Rank: 86) 66.00%

Transport

Air
Airports paved (World Rank: 44) 47.00
Airports unpaved (World Rank: 33) 114.00
Rail
Total length (World Rank: 124) 278
Road
Total length (World Rank: 90) 39,018
Paved length (World Rank: 74) 10,133
Unpaved length (World Rank: 54) 28,885
Water
Total length (World Rank: 76) 730