Costa Rica (República de Costa Rica) is a presidential republic located in Central America. The country is bathed in the west and south-west by the Pacific Ocean, and in the north-east by the Caribbean Sea, it borders Nicaragua in the north and Panama in the south-east. The coasts extend for over 1,200 km, of which more than 1,000 km on the Pacific Ocean side and over 200 km on the Caribbean Sea.
The Pacific Ocean coast is characterized by numerous promontories and peninsulas, with gulfs, bays and white sand beaches. While the Caribbean Sea coast is low and straight. Also part of Costa Rica is Isla del Coco (24 sq km), which is located 500 km from Puntarenas in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.
The country is largely mountainous. Three cordilleras cross it from north to south. The Cordillera de Guanacaste, the Central Cordillera and the Cordillera de Talamanca. Between the last two is the Meseta Central, a fertile plateau, on average 1,000 meters high, where the largest inhabited centers of the country are located.
A COUNTRY WITH A GREAT BIODIVERSITY
The Cordillera de Guanacaste and the Cordillera Central mainly feature volcanic massifs including the Tenorio (1,920 m) and the Miravalles (2,028 m) in the Cordillera de Guanacaste. The Poás (2,704 m), the Turrialba (3,329 m) and the Irazú (3,432 m) in the Central Cordillera. The highest peaks of Costa Rica, however, are located in the southernmost Cordillera de Talamanca where the highest mountain in the country stands, the Chirripó Grande (3,820 m). The country’s main river is the San Juan, which marks the Nicaraguan border and flows into the Caribbean Sea.
Agriculture is the most important economic sector in Costa Rica. Bananas and coffee are the main crops, followed by cotton, tobacco, cocoa, rubber, and sugar cane. Important activities are also the exploitation of timber and the breeding of cattle. Costa Rica is the most industrialized country in Central America. Mainly these are small businesses related to the processing of agricultural products. Tourism is becoming increasingly important, especially ecotourism in the country’s many national parks. This is also thanks to the great biodiversity of the country.
- Area: 51,100 kmq. (Arable 10,4%, Pastures 45,8%, Forests and Woodlands 30,7%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 13,1%)
- Population: 5,000,000 (2019 data) (European 87%, Mestizos (descendants of European and Amerindian) 7%, African e Mulattos (descendants of European and African) 3%, Asian 2%, Amerindian 1%).
- State Capital: San José.
- Language: Official language is Spanish.
- Religion: Roman Catholic90%; Protestant 8%.
- Currency: Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
- Time: UTC -6 hours.
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