Costa Rica, or the Republic of Costa Rica, as it is officially named, is a country in Central America. It is bordered by Panama to the south-southeast, the Nicaragua to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Are you planning to travel to Costa Rica for a vacation? Then you'll definitely need some information about the same. Here are some interesting facts that you can look into.
A Brief History of Costa Rica
The first inhabitants of Costa Rica were around four hundred thousand (400,000) Indians. Christopher Columbus explored Costa Rica in 1502. Costa Rica then saw the Spanish conquest in 1524 and slowly came under the Spanish administration, becoming a Spanish province. Though Costa Rica achieved its freedom from the Spanish in 1821. Costa Rica joined other newly independent Central American provinces and formed a Federation.
But border disputes broke out and Costa Rica's northern Guanacaste Province was annexed from Nicaragua. In 1838, long after the Central American Federation ceased to function in practice, Costa Rica formally withdrew and proclaimed itself sovereign. With the first truly free and honest elections in 1899 an era of peaceful democracy began in Costa Rica that continues till today (barring a couple of instances, 1917 and 1948).
Geography and Climate
The total land area of Costa Rica is nineteen thousand five hundred and sixty square miles (19,560 sq mi). The total area of Costa Rica is nineteen thousand, seven hundred and thirty square miles (19,730 sq mi). Costa Rica's terrain is a coastal plain, separated by mountains. The two mountains, Cordillera de Talamanca and Cordillera Central form the spine of the country.
Politics and Economy
It has put into place the seven-year expansion plan in the high-tech industry. Tax exemptions are offered to companies and individuals who wish to invest in the country, already a financially sound decision due to the increasing levels of education in the native population.
Flora and Fauna
Costa Rica has a rich flora and fauna. It is home to a variety of animals and plants. Almost twenty-five percent of Costa Rica consists of reserves and protected forests. The Corcovado National Park is one such park in Costa Rica that is internationally known for its biodiversity. The National Park is known for its abundance of wildlife, with tapirs and big cats amongst some of the species residing in the Park.
Another park of ecological interest is the Tortuguero National Park, which is home to the howler, spider, white-throated Capuchin monkeys and the three-toed sloth. The parks have around three hundred and twenty species of birds. The Tortuguero is also home to many turtles, with the Giant leatherback, the loggerhead turtle and the hawksbill residing at the park.
Quick Facts and Travel Info
- Christianity is the major religion in Costa Rica, with some ninety-two percent (92%) of all Costa Ricans being Christians.
- Costa Rica is a democratic republic. It is one of the first countries to have abolished its armies. The country has had almost fifty-nine years of uninterrupted democracy, the longest time in all of Latin America.
- In terms of the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index, Costa Rica ranked second among Latin American countries. Costa Rica ranks as the greenest country in the world, according to the New Economics Foundation.
- The unit of currency in Costa Rica is the colon (CRC). Around 500 colones make up a US dollar.
- One of the pioneers of this concept, Costa Rica is considered to be one of the few true ecotourism destinations in the world. The main complaint by tourist visiting this place is the bad condition of their roads and transport infrastructure.
- Costa Rica is renowned for its national parks and beaches. There are 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Costa Rica. The most popular being Manuel Antonio, Guanacaste and the Cocos Island.
Costa Rica which means Rich Coast is a peaceful oasis in a troubled region. This tiny nation has stunning natural beauty, prime waves and the Pura Vida (Pure life or Good life) is seductive. The variety of its ecosystems, all on display in a relatively small area, makes Costa Rica a great and fulfilling place to explore.