About Costa Rica
During his fourth and last voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus reached our Caribbean coast in late 1,502 and discovered this beautiful land. Impressed by its natural beauty and motivated by ideas of incredible Indian gold treasures, he named this lovely new land "Costa Rica" (Rich Coast).
Indeed, Columbus was right about this new God-gifted rich land. However, its richness does not derive from gold, but certainly from its incredible jewels of Nature. Our natural treasures include green plains and valleys, high mountain ranges, impressive volcanoes, beautiful Pacific Ocean, fabulous Caribbean Sea, pristine sandy beaches, wonderful coral reefs, dense tropical jungles, mystic cloud forests, marvelous rain forests, amazing waterfalls, gorgeous rivers and lakes, peninsulas and bays, islands and islets; all of them featuring abundant, lush vegetation and exotic wildlife.
THE COUNTRY: Costa Rica is a beautiful tropical country located on the Central American isthmus between 08º2'26" and 11º13'12" North Latitude and 82º33'48" and 85º57'57" West Longitude. Its territory covers a surface of 51,100 km² (19,739 square miles). The population is almost five million citizens. Approximately 30% of the national territory is protected by the government and private organizations. These Protected Areas include: National Parks, Biological Reserves, Wildlife Refuges, Indian Reserves, Forest Reserves, National Monuments and Private Ecological Preserves.
THE CLIMATE: Costa Rica presents a wide variety of altitudes and temperatures. The territory rises from sea level along the coastlines to 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in the Central Valley, up to 1,500 m (5,000 ft) on the Central Mountain Range and over 3,000 m (9,800 ft) on the high mountain ranges. The highest point in Costa Rica is Mount Chirripó at 3,820 m (12,534 ft). Therefore, this country does not have just a simple and defined climate, but a large number of micro-climates.There are only two well-defined seasons in Costa Rica: the rainy season and the dry season. Costa Rica's lovely "summer" or dry season is mainly from December to May and the rainy or "green" season is basically from May to November.
POLITICAL DIVISION: Costa Rica is administratively divided into seven (7) Provincias: San José (Capital of the country), Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limón. Each Province is divided into several Cantones and each Cantón is comprised by several Distritos.
Did You Know That ...
* Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948.
* Current president Oscar Arias was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1987 (during his first administration 1986-1990) for his project and negotiation of the Esquipulas peace treaty for Central America.
* 23% of the national budget is assigned to education
* There are more than 200 Volcanic sites in Costa Rica, a few exhibiting some sort of volcanic activity. Only 9 are commonly known: Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja, Miravalles, Orosi, Tenorio, Poas, Barva, Irazu, and Turrialba.
* Approximately 30% of the territory of Costa Rica is protected land
* Atenas, a village just North-West of San José was rated by the National Geographic Magazine as having one of the best climates of the world.
* There is a roadside lookout point on Mount Buenavista (Cerro de la Muerte) on the Inter-American Hway, where, on a clear day, if you look one direction, you will see the Caribbean coast line and its exotic vegetation, now if you turn to the other side, you will see the Central Pacific coast line and its unique vegetation.
* There are more butterflies in Braulio Carrillo National Park than on the entire European Continent
* There is more diversity of flora and fauna in Costa Rica than in North America and Europe combined.
* Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world for sport fishing of Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi (Dorado) and other species. (Many of the World records for these fish are in Costa Rica)
* The Costa Rican expression "Pura Vida" (literally "pure life") has these and other meanings: Hello, I'm fine, good bye, yes, ok, very good, excellent, thanks, you're welcome.
for more information visit: www.visitcostarica.com