Basic information about the country
- Population: 4 325 838 inh. in 2005
Costa Rica, or more officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a Central American country, between Nicaragua (north) and Panamá (south). It is only 320 km in length between the Pacific coast (West) and the Caribbean coast (East). The capital is San Jose.
Costa Rica’s topography is organized in three parts:
> The central cordillera, which is like the country’s spine. There are a multitude of active and inactive volcanoes: the highest is the Cerro Chiripó (3819 m). The most visited volcanoes are the Volcan Poás (2704 m) which has a green acid water lake in its crater, the Irazú (3432m) with its green acid lake, and the Volcan Arenal constantly active since 1968.
> The Caribbean coast, which is made up of canals, beaches with protected coral reefs and where every site represents a natural place of refuge of peace and beauty.
> The Pacific coast, with the longest beaches of Costa Rica to the north, where the construction projects are more and more numerous, but the south retains one of the biggest forests of Central America, on the Osa Peninsula, where you can find half of the country’s biodiversity.
To conclude, no matter where you are in Costa Rica, you will always be surprised by the complexity and diversity of its geography.
Generally, Costa Rica’s climate is pleasant in summer (dry season) from December to April, as well as in winter (rainy season) from May to November. Indeed, even during the rainy season, it only rains in the afternoon. Costa Rica’s climate is tropical, the average temperature being 22°C (72°F), or a bit higher in the coastal regions.
The country possesses various micro-climates because of the presence of cordilleras, mountains, valleys and the influence of the two oceans. This explains the variety of vegetation in the country. It is important to know that the precipitations are very different from one part of the country to another. In San Jose, it rains about 1867 mm/year whereas in Puerto Limón on the Caribbean coast, it rains 3518 mm/year.
Over the last few years, the climate has changed. For instance, there were unusual rains in January and February last year, during the dry season...
Costa Rica’s fauna and flora are exceptional: they represent about 5% of the worldwide biodiversity (whereas the country represents only 0.03% of the emerged surface).