Costa Rica is located in the southern part of Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama, and bordering the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Caribbean Sea on the east. It has a total surface of 51.100 square kilometers and is divided in 7 provinces; San José with the capital of the same name, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, Limón, Puntarenas y Guanacaste. Costa Rica has a total population of 4.5 million inhabitants. Its official language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken. The official currency is the Costa Rican Colón, but the US dollar is accepted in most businesses, and euros at specific banks.
Its foreign exchange earnings are derived mainly from tourism and exportation of electronics. Other export products include agricultural commodities such as its internationally renowned coffee, as well as beef and dairy products.
Costa Rica receives recognition around the world for its democracy of centuries and peaceful way of life. The president, vice-president and deputies of congress are elected by popular vote for a period of 4 years. The army was abolished in 1948, and since then Costa Rica has redirected the resources destined to this institution to education. Therefore, its literacy rate nowadays is one of the highest in Latin America. Primary and secondary education is compulsory for all citizens. Its inhabitants receive a universal social security, as well as other benefits.
The official religion is Catholicism, but Catholics live together with other religious groups in an atmosphere of respect and harmony, due to the freedom of religion. Costa Rica is sometimes called “the Switzerland of Central America”, because of its economic and social progress and impartiality.
Temperature and life zones: the average temperature is 22º C (72 F) in the Central Valley. The temperatures at the coast and beaches range between 21º and 32º C (70-90 F). In Costa Rica there are more than 12 life zones according to the Holdridge system, due to an abundance of microclimates. This variety of microclimates at the same time is the reason for the abundant and diverse flora and fauna, making the country one of the richest of the world in biodiversity. Because of its greenery and climate, its climate can be considered a spring climate. Since the implementation of the National Park system in 1979, Costa Ricans have had an increasing spirit of conservation, turning the country in a pioneer in eco-tourism. Proof thereof is the fact that nowadays 25,58% of its territory is protected under one of the many conservation forms, such as National Parks, Biological Reserves and Wildlife Refuges.
Airlines: Traveling to Costa Rica is easy. Located in the middle of Central America, this destination is covered by the major global airlines. We are at only 2½ hours from Miami, 10 hours from Madrid and 12 hours from Amsterdam. (Including stopovers)
There are two international airports, Juan Santamaría, located in Alajuela at just 15 minutes from San José and Daniel Oduber located in Liberia, Guanacaste, in the Northern Pacific.
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To learn more about the protected areas of Costa Rica visit the following web site National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).
If you would like more information about the National Parks of Costa Rica, we invite you to use the following link
of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
For a safer trip take into account the following safety recommendations provided by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
To read tips and recommendations on what to do in case of an emergency due to natural disasters please go to the website of National Emergency Comission
Learn more about the Archeological Site of the Spheres, cultural heritage of Costa Rica.
You can find more information of cultural interest on the website of National Commission on Intangible Heritage
Learn about the Cultural Heritage of Costa Rica on the website of Ministerio de Cultura, Juventud y Deporte.