Costa Rica Geography

Costa Rica offers an almost inexhaustible range of nature and biodiversity for tourists. In this country, around 25 percent are now under nature protection.
Hardly any other country offers more fascinating scenic differences than Costa Rica. Not only sun, beach and sea, but also nature lovers get their money’s worth here. In this country one has the impression that there is a different vegetation every few kilometers.

Anyone who only knows the biodiversity of this country from television will be completely surprised in reality. Over 12,000 alone plant species are native to Costa Rica and several still a ctive volcanoes every visitor will be remembered. Iguanas, parrots, hummingbirds, sloths, crocodiles and much more cavort in
numerous national parks.
In Costa Rica there are dry forests, primeval forest rivers, rainforests and even a 3,810 meter high mountain that sometimes has snow to discover. Otherwise everything is possible on Costa Rica trips from surfing, diving, sport fishing, tennis, golf and horse riding.

Costa Rica is a country of writers. Many famous writers have settled here to be inspired by the flair and the unique landscape. So the Costa Rica served as a template for many stories, novels and poetry. Costa Rica itself also produced some well-known writers and authors. Alfonso Chasé, Carmen Naranjo and Carlos Luis Fallas, among others, come from the country.

Musically, the people of Costa Rica are interested in both traditional and modern. Many different musical imprints and styles can be found here. Although the people of Costa Rica are quite progressive, homosexuality is still one of the taboo subjects in the country. It is simply viewed as morally reprehensible, and up until 1976 it was an offense.

Costa Rica – important key data

Area: 51,100 km² (of which land area 51,060 km², water area 40 km²)

Population: 4.6 million residents (2011 estimate, CIA)

Population density: 90 residents per km²

Population growth: 1.308% per year (2011, CIA)

Capital: San José (340,000 residents, 2006)

Highest point: Cerro Chirripo, 3,810 m

Lowest point: Pacific Ocean and Caribbean, 0 m

Form of government: Costa Rica has been a presidential republic since 1949, the constitution dates from the same year. The parliament consists of 57 members who are elected every four years. The head of state is directly elected and the term of office is 4 years. Costa Rica gained independence from Spain in 1821.

Administrative division: 7 provincias: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose

Head of State and Government: President Laura Chinchilla, since May 8, 2010

Language: The official language in Costa Rica is Spanish, English and Creole are also spoken.

Religion: 76% Catholics, 13.7% Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.3% and a Baha’i minority.

Local time: CET -7 h. In Costa Rica there is no change between summer and winter time. The time difference to Central Europe is -7 h in winter and -8 h ​​in summer.

International phone code: +506


Mains voltage: 110/220 V, 60 Hz. American plugs are the usual standard.

Costa Rica geography and map

According to 800zipcodes, Costa Rica shares borders with its southern neighbor Nicaragua and to the north with Mexico. In the west the North Pacific meets the land, in the east the Caribbean. Costa Rica lies on the Central American Land Bridge at 8 ° to 10 ° north latitude. At its narrowest point, the country measures around 120 km.

The landscape of Costa Rica can be divided into five rooms:

In the middle of the Central American land bridge, three mountain ranges run from northwest to southeast, separated from one another by deep transverse valleys and depressions. The Cordilleras are largely of volcanic origin and have numerous extinct but also still active volcanoes. The three most famous are the Irazú (3,432 m altitude), the Volcán Poás (2,704 m) and the Arenal (1,633 m).

The north-western (Cordillera de Guanacaste) and the middle mountain range (Cordillera Central) consist mainly of young volcanic rocks. While the volcanoes of the Cordillera Guanacaste are considered extinct, several of the volcanic cones of the Cordillera Central are still active. The Cordillera de Talamanca in the south-east with the Chirripó, the highest mountain range in Costa Rica, is a deep, folded mountain range of limestone and various igneous rocks.

At the junction between the three mountain ranges there is a 50 km long and 25 km wide high valley. More than half of the population lives in this climatically moderate Valle Central with the capital San José. Because of its dense population, the fertile soils and the climate, this region is also known as the “heart of Costa Rica”.

Behind the spits and sandy beaches of the Caribbean coast lies a forested and in parts swampy coastal plain up to 150 km wide, which has been heaped up from loose rocks. On the central Pacific coast, savannas also change into swamps.

The fifth region is the low-precipitation north-western Nicoya Peninsula.

The highest point in the country is Chirripó Grande at 3,810 m.

Most of the red tropical soils that occur in Costa Rica are extremely badly weathered and depleted. Due to the nutrient-rich volcanic ash, the natural fertility of the soils in the western and central parts of the country is considerably improved.

A large part of Costa Rica is still forested today. In the lowlands on the Caribbean coast, evergreen rainforests are widespread, while on the Pacific side, naturally occurring dry forests and savannas occur at the same altitude.

Costa Rica Geography

About the author