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Destination Costa Rica, this page is about many aspects of this Central American country. Here you will find comprehensive information about Costa Rica in its diversity: geography, economy, science, people, culture, environment, government and history.
You will have access to newspapers from Costa Rica and you will find extensive travel and tourism information for Costa Rica.

Poás Volcano, Costa Rica
Photo: © Instituto Costarricense de Turismo

Republic of Costa Rica | República de Costa Rica

Country Profile

Costa Rica Flag
Flag of Costa Rica

The former southern-most province in the Spanish territory of New Spain is a Central American country of largely of European rather than mestizo descent. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred its democratic development. Although still a largely agricultural country, it has achieved a relatively high standard of living. Land ownership is widespread and tourism is a rapidly expanding industry.

border countries: Nicaragua, Panama

related countries: Spain
Where in Central America is Costa Rica?

Official Name:
República de Costa Rica
short form: Costa Rica
int'l long form: Republic of Costa Rica
int'l short form: Costa Rica

ISO Country Code: cr

Local Time = UTC -6h
Actual Time: Thu-Sept-29  14:22

Country Calling Code: +506

Capital City: San José (pop. 354 600, greater metropolitan area 2.1 million)

Other Cities:
Puntarenas (pop. 103 000), Limon (pop. 90 000)

Type: Democratic Republic
Independence: 15 September (1821 from Spain)
Constitution: 7 November 1949

Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea in the north-east and the North Pacific Ocean in the south-west, between Nicaragua and Panama.
Area: 51,100 kmĀ² (19,729 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes.

Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands.

Nationality: Costa Rican(s).
Population: 4.25 million.
Ethnic Groups: European and some mestizo 94%, African origin 3%, Chinese 1%, indigenous 1%, other 1%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 69%, Protestant approx. 18%, none 12%, others 1%.
Languages: Spanish, with a southwestern Caribbean Creole dialect of English spoken around the Limon area.
Literacy: 96%

Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, forest products, fisheries products.
Agriculture products: Coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber.
Industries: Microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products.

Exports partners: USA 14.2%, Guatemala 3%, Nicaragua 2.7% (2003)
Imports partners: USA 23.2%, Mexico 4.7%, Venezuela 3.2% (2003)

Currency: Costa Rican Colon (CRC)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Costa Rica

Republica de Costa Rica
Costa Rica Goverment portal.

Casa Presidencial Costa Rica
The presidency of Costa Rica (in Spanish).

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto
Ministry of External Relations and Culture. (in Spanish)

Diplomatic Missions
Misión Permanente de Costa Rica ante las Naciones Unidas
Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations. (in Spanish)
Embassy of Costa Rica
Embassy of Costa Rica in the USA.
Embassies of Costa Rica around the World
Address list of Embassies of Costa Rica Abroad.
Foreign Diplomatic Missions in Costa Rica
Address list of Foreign Diplomatic Missions in Costa Rica.

Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos
The National Institute of Statistics and Census.

Instituto Meteorológico Nacional de Costa Rica
The National Meteorological Institute of Costa Rica.


 Map of Costa Rica
Detailed Map of Costa Rica.
Google Earth Google Earth Costa Rica
Searchable map and satellite view of Costa Rica.
Google Earth Google Earth San José
Searchable map and satellite view of Costa Rica's capital city.

Map of Central America and the Caribbean
Reference Map of Central America and the Caribbean. 

Costa Rica News

La Nación Digital
Costa Rica Newspaper.
La Prensa Libre
Costa Rica News.
La Republica
National and international news. (Spanish)
The Tico Times
English-language weekly.
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Arts & Culture

Museos de Costa Rica
A guide to Costa Ricas' museums.
Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
The National Museum of Costa Rica.
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Business & Economy

Banco Central de Costa Rica
Bolsa Nacional de Valores S.A.
Costa Rica Stock Exchange.

CADEXCO - Costa Rican Chamber of Exporters

Nature Air
Costa Rica's Domestic Airline.

Costa Rica Bus Tickets
Bus ticket and shuttle service.

Destination Costa Rica - Country Guides

Costa Rica Naturally
A country guide by the Costa Rican Chamber of Tourism
Costa Rica Tourism Board
The official site of the Costa Rica Tourist Board.

COCORI Complete Costa Rica
Articles, photos, maps and general information about visiting, doing business, investing and living in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica!
A Costa Rican portal with general information on Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Tourism and Travel Bureau
A portal to Costa Rica.
Costa Rica
An immigrant point of view of Costa Rica. (in German)
In Costa Rica
General information, including Maps, Culture, History, Economy, Weather and the National Park System.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information


Empresarial University of Costa Rica
Private institution of higher learning.
Universidad de Costa Rica
Universidad Latina de Costa Rica
Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
Costa Rica National Univerity. (in Spanish)

Environment & Nature

Bosque Lluvioso Rio Costa Rica
An US based foundation for rainforest preserve, research and exploratory.
Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad
National Biodiversity Institute, a private research and biodiversity management center.
Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR)
A non-profit organization in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica dedicated to educating people about the connection between nature and humankind.
Parques nacionales
The National Parks of Costa Rica. (in Spanish)


History of the Republic of Costa Rica
Very brief information on Costa Rica's rich history.
History of Costa Rica
Costa Rica's History from Pre-Columbian times to Post-Independence.

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Other Countries of Middle and Central America:
Belize | El Salvador | Guatemala | Honduras | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama

Countries of South America:
Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | French Guiana
| Guyana | Paraguay | Peru | Uruguay | Suriname | Venezuela