About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country located in Central America that has unlimited tourist potential and is ranked as one of the most visited international destinations. One of Costa Rica’s main sources of income is tourism. Costa Rica is a democratic and peaceful country, and it has not had an army since the year 1949.

Although the country is small and it covers only 0.03 % of the surface of the globe, it proudly shelters a 5% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world. 25.58 % of the country is composed of conservation and natural protected territory.

Costa Rica is also an attractive country for investment and it offers great potential for the establishment of important multinational companies, thanks to the outstanding academic level of its population, as well as the high standard of modern services and social and political stability.

Main subjects

History
Geography and Climate
Our People
Infrastructure
Government
Health and Education
Business and Economy
Embassies & Consulates
Events Calendar
  • OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

The official language is Spanish. The second language for a large portion of the population is English.

  • OFFICIAL RELIGION

The official religion is Catholic. Freedom of religious choice is respected.

  • OFFICIAL CURRENCY

Colon

  • NATIONAL SYMBOLS

    Guaria Morada
    The Purple Orchid
    Guarianthe skinneri (Bateman, 1838). It was decreed as the national flower by Agreement number 24 on June 15, 1939.
    Bandera de Costa Rica
    National Flag
    Flag used for civil acts
     
    Arbol de Guanacaste
    Guanacaste Tree
    Enterolobium cyclocarpum. It was declared as the national tree of Costa Rica, on August 31, 1959.
    Escudo de Costa Rica
    National Emblem of Costa Rica
    Enacted since May 5, 1998.
     
    Yig眉irro (Ave Nacional)
    Yig眉irro (Clay-Colored Robin National Bird)
    urdus grayi. It was decreed as the national bird on January 3, 1977.
    Carreta
    Typical Cart
    National Symbol of Labor. It was decreed as the National Symbol, on March 22, 1988.

Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces, these are: San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Puntarenas, Guanacaste, and Limon. Each province is subdivided into regions and these are subdivided into districts.

The country has as a marine territory known as Coco's Island. It is a world-renowned natural reserve, located 548 kilometers from Cabo Blanco in the Pacific Ocean comprised of 2,400 hectares of land and 73,100 hectares of sea.

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A) WATER PASSAGES

The most important water passages in the country which serve the purpose for everyday transportation as well as a route for tourists are:

  • The Tortuguero Canals and Barra del Colorado, on the Northern Caribbean
  • The Sarapiqui River, on the Northern zone
  • The Matina River, on the central Caribbean
  • Part of the San Juan River, on the border with Nicaragua
  • The Cold River, the Caño Negro Lagoons, and Los Chiles on the Northern zone
  • The Sierpe River, on the Southern zone
  • The Tempisque River, on the Gulf of Nicoya

Other rivers of great importance are:

  • On the Caribbean: Pacuare, Reventazon, Caribbean Chrripo, Estrella, and Sixaola
  • On the Pacific: Bebedero, Grande de Tarcoles, Coto, Chirripo, and Parrita

B) AIRPORTS

The main airport is the Juan Santamaria International Airport, located in Alajuela. This airport is only twenty minutes away from San José.

Other important airports are:

  • The Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, located in Liberia, Guanacaste.
  • The Tobias Bolaños Airport located in Pavas, San José, for local as well as international flights.

There are also landing fields for local flights situated in different parts of the country such as: Limon, Tortuguero, La Fortuna, Tamarindo, Samara, Tambor, Quepos, Palmar North, Golfito, and San Vito.

C) HIGHWAYS AND ROADS

The whole country is adequately connected by internal infrastructure. The main artery is the Interamerican Highway, which connects the two borders from Pe帽as Blancas all the way to Paso Canoas. The Cerro de la Muerte (Death Mountain) region has the road with the highest elevation in the country with an altitude higher than 3,200 meters above sea level.

From Puntarenas to Limon: 246 kilometers by land


From Peñas Blancas (on the Nicaragua Border) to Paso Canoas (on the Panama Border): 534 kilometers by land


HIGHEST PEAK: Chirripo summit of 3,819 meters above sea level.


HIGHEST VOLCANO: Iraz煤 Volcano


LARGEST VOLCANIC CRATER: Poas Volcano crater. It has a diameter of 1,320 meters with a depth of 300 meters.

ELECTRICAL SERVICE: Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

Ninety seven percent of the national territory has electrical service. The voltage in residential areas is 110v.


OFFICE HOURS

Government sector: From 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. National Banks: From 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Some banks offer their services after regular hours until 7:00 p.m. and others that are located in some shopping centers are open on Saturdays.


PRIVATE SECTOR

From 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Commerce in general, opens Saturdays and Sundays up to mid-day.


NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

    • January 1st: New Years Day
    • April 11th: Juan Santamaria Day, National Hero.
    • Holy Thursday and Good Friday: Religious activities.
    • May 1st: International Labor Day.
    • August 15th: Mothers Day.
    • September 15th: Independence Day.
    • December 25th: Christmas Day.

OTHER HOLIDAYS

    • July 25th: Annexation of Guanacaste Day.
    • August 2nd: Virgin of the Angels Day.
    • October 12th: Christopher Columbus Day.
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