Costa Rican Institute of Tourism Plaza se la Cultura,
Calle 5, Avendia Central and Segunda
Costa Rica
Tel: 506 3223 1733
Costa Rica

Physical geography

Costa Rica has 51,110 square km of territory. The highest regions of Costa Rica are found to the centre of the country while the lowlands which are more extensive and flat, extend to the Caribbean Coast to the northeast and to the northwest on the Pacific side. The Pacific Coast is more dissected, forming many bays, capes, cliffs and inlets. The Costa Rican mountain ranges form an independent group, part of the Central American massif. Three of the ranges run roughly from northwest to southeast, with a fourth (the Central Range) crossing them at the widest part of the country, thus forming a huge cross. Two volcanic ranges dominate Costa Rica. To the south lie the country's highest mountains, the Talamanca Range, with Chirripo, the highest mountain, standing at 23,821 metres. The Caribbean coastline stretches for 212km and the Pacific for 1,016km. Costa Rica has a larger percentage of its total area set aside in parks and reserves than any other country in the world. The country is made up of seven provinces, with San Jose, the capital, being the most densely populated.


Climate ranges from tropical dry forest temperatures remain relatively stable throughout the year at between 14 and 22°C in the high central valley and 22 and 29°C in the lowlands and with winter being the wet season. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Demography</H3> Approximately three million inhabitants. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Religions</H3> Catholicism is the official religion. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Languages spoken by nationals</H3> Spanish. Other languages such as English, French, German and Italian are frequently spoken. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Time</H3> Six hours earlier than GMT. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Currency</H3> The national currency is the colon. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What one should not fail to see</H3> San Jose - the capital, many wildlife and nature reserves, Rincon de la Vieja and Arenal volcanoes, Lake Arenal, tour along the rivers, Coco Island, beaches. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday sports</H3> Swimming, fishing, white water rafting, birdwatching, mountain hiking, diving, surfing, windsurfing. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to eat and drink</H3> Restaurants in Costa Rica offer the tourist a wide variety of international cuisine and for those wishing to try native cuisine there are many places which serve typical regional dishes. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to buy</H3> Costa Rican craftsmanship can be found in a wide range of goods such as replicas of pre-columbian objects up to modern, elegant designs. Wood and clay sculptures, pottery, leather goods, jewellery and wickerwork are also to be found. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main travel routes</H3> Flights from more than 17 airlines land each day at Juan Santamaria International Airport. Domestic airlines services are available between important points within the country. Air taxi and charter aircraft are also easily obtained. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><P><I> We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Costa Rica thanks to the co-operation of the Costa Rican embassy in London. <!-- End of article --> <P> <CENTER><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="4"></CENTER> <P> <CENTER><A HREF=#TOP><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteTopbut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A> <A HREF="../../../watanetwork/NTOs/Countrieslist/"><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteNTObut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A></CENTER> </TD> </TR> </TABLE> </BODY> </HTML>