Costa Rica

Costa Rica literally meaning “Rich Coast”, officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a country in Central America. It has a population of around 4.5 million, of whom nearly a quarter live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, San José.

Like the rest of Central America, Costa Rica never fought for independence from Spain. On September 15, 1821, after the final Spanish defeat in the Mexican War of Independence (1810–21), the authorities in Guatemala declared the independence of all of Central America. That date is still celebrated as Independence Day in Costa Rica even though, technically, under the Spanish Constitution of 1812 that had been readopted in 1820, Nicaragua and Costa Rica had become an autonomous province with its capital in León.

A pioneer of ecotourism, Costa Rica draws many tourists to its extensive national parks and protected areas. In the 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Costa Rica ranked 44th in the world and second among Latin American countries after Mexico.  Costa Rica ranks third of sixty countries covered in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index. In the sustainable tourism category, Costa Rica is ranked first.

Costa Rica is a rugged, rainforested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Though its capital, San Jose, is home to cultural institutions like the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity. Roughly a quarter of its area is made up of protected jungle, teeming with wildlife including spider monkeys and quetzal birds.

Basic Information

Capital: San Jose
President: Luis Guillermo Solis

Currency

Costa Rican Colo’n (CRC)

Boundaries

Costa Rica is located on the Central American isthmus. It borders the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Costa Rica also borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south-southeast.
Costa Rica also comprises several islands. Cocos Island stands out because of its distance from the continental landmass, 480 kilometres (300 mi) from Puntarenas, but Isla Calero is the largest island of the country.

Languages

Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica. A number of indigenous languages such as Cabécar, Bribri, and Maléku are also spoken there

Climate

The Pacific coast around Guanacaste, on the other hand is hot and dry, perfect for the many world-class beaches. Costa Rica itself has an average temperature of 70 F to 81 F. Due to its proximity to the equator, it has no real summer or winter. It does however have a rainy season from May to November.

Major Religions

In Costa Rica around 70.5% of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholics .

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