About Costa Rica

About Costa Rica

Central America
Population: 4.9 million
Coordinates: 9.749° N, 83.753° W
Area: 51,100 sq km

Capital City: San Jose
National Holiday: September 15
Currency: Colon
Bordering Countries: Nicaragua and Panama.

Costa Rica Travel Guide Overview

Costa Rica is a Central American country bordering with Nicaragua to the north and with Panama to the south.  The Caribbean Sea is on the east coast and the Pacific Ocean is on the west coast of the country. The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose. Costa Rica is a tropical country with two seasons. The dry season is generally from December to April. The green season is generally from May thru November when it can rain for a few hours or much heavier. The plentiful rain of the green season accentuates the lush vegetation, flora and fauna of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is considered the jewel of Central America. It has a reputation for being an oasis of calm among its turbulent neighbors. The country's natural beauty, biodiversity and wildlife draw tourists from all over the world.  The country’s emphasis on conservation and sustainability make Costa Rica one of the best places in the world to experience the tropics naturally and with minimal impact on the environment.  The government of Costa Rica makes a real effort to preserve the country's image as a haven for ecotourism.

Facts At A Glance:

Full country name: Republic of Costa Rica
People: 96% Spanish descent, 2% African descent, 1% indigenous Indians, 1% Chinese
Language: Spanish, Creole English and Indian dialects
Religion: 85% Roman Catholic, 14% Protestant
Government: Democratic
Time: GMT/UTC minus 6 hours
Electricity: 110V, 60 Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Major industries: Tourism, electronics, coffee, bananas, sugar, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Major trading partners: USA, China, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and Canada

Visa Requirements:
Visa requirements for Costa Rica and travel restrictions change rapidly so check http://www.costarica-embassy.org for updates regarding travel requirements. All foreign citizens entering Costa Rica must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date they enter the country.

Safety:
Tourists are encouraged to use the same level of caution that they would exercise in major cities or tourist areas throughout the world. Tourists should avoid urban areas that are known to have high crime rates. They should also avoid deserted properties or undeveloped land, should walk or exercise with a companion, should avoid responding in kind to verbal harassment, and should bear in mind that resort areas popular with foreign tourists can also be common venues for criminal activities.

Vaccinations:
Please refer to the Center for Disease Control for updated required vaccinations at www.cdc.gov.

Location and Map

Costa Rica is located in Central America with entrance to the Pacific coast and the Caribbean Sea. Its neighbors are Nicaragua and Panamá. The main international airport is in San Jose, Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).

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