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Costa Rica

Costa Rica - Fun Facts

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 19, 2010 at 12:57:54 :: Costa Rica

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Poás Volcano Crater is one of the country's main tourist attractions.

Costa Rica, which means "Rich Coast", constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 older democracies.

As of 2010, Costa Rica has an estimated population of 4,640,000. Whites and mestizos make up 94% of the population, while 3% are Black, or Afro-Caribbean, 1% Native American, 1% Chinese, and 1% other.

Interesting facts about Costa Rica:

- The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose, a city with just over one million in population.

- Bananas and coffee are the two primary agricultural exports from Costa Rica.

- Though Costa Rica has its own currency (the Colon), most stores list prices in terms of U.S. dollars since there are so many U.S. tourists and access to U.S. dollars is easy.

- Costa Rican travelers: be wary; Costa Rica is a stopping point along the well-known drug route through Central America. Though drugs and drug trafficking are illegal and punished quite severely, many tourists do get caught up in drug-money schemes, so tourists are warned upon arrival to guard their personal safety.

- Monkeys are one of the most common mammals in Costa Rica – next to bats. There are about four common species of monkeys in Costa Rica, including the Howler monkey, Spider monkey, white-faced capuchin, and the squirrel monkey. Most monkeys live in groups of 10 to 40 with other animals.

- Though Costa Rica is the second smallest Latin American country (it’s only about 30,100 square miles), it’s one of the most culturally and geographically exciting. The country borders the Caribbean and Pacific waters and has a broad mix of low lands and hilly volcanoes. As such hikers and water-lovers will be equally as impressed.

- Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticos (males) or Ticas (females). Americans and Canadians are often called Gringos/ Gringas.

- More than 25% of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife refuges. There are more than 100 different protected areas to visit.

- Costa Rica's official language is Spanish, though a large number of its citizens are bilingual. English, due to its status as the international language of tourists, is the most common second language in Costa Rica.

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UNESCO World Heritage

Costa Rica, Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 17, 2013 at 05:51:51

Location Guanacaste and Alajuela provinces, Costa Rica
Coordinates N10 50 60 W85 37 0
Type Natural
Property 147,000 ha
Date of Inscription 1999

Brief Description ( )

The Area de Conservación Guanacaste (inscribed in 1999), was extended with the addition of a 15,000 ha private property, St Elena. It contains important natural habitats for the conservation of biological diversity, including the best dry forest habitats from Central America to northern Mexico and key habitats for endangered or rare plant and animal species. The site demonstrates significant ecological processes in both its terrestrial and marine-coastal environments.

Photos from Landolia

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Area de Conservacion Guanacaste Junquillal Bay, Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map

Costa Rica, Panama, Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 17, 2013 at 05:38:13

Location Provincias de Bocas del Toro y Chiriqui, Panama; San Jose, Cartago, Limon and Puntarenas Provinces, Costa Rica
Coordinates N9 24 25.5 W82 56 19.7
Type Natural
Property 570,045 ha
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description ( )

The location of this unique site in Central America, where Quaternary glaciers have left their mark, has allowed the fauna and flora of North and South America to interbreed. Tropical rainforests cover most of the area. Four different Indian tribes inhabit this property, which benefits from close co-operation between Costa Rica and Panama.

Photos from Landolia

La Amistad National Park Cloud forest, La Amistad International Park

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Costa Rica, Cocos Island National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 31, 2009 at 15:50:32

Location Province of Puntarenas, South Eastern Tropical Pacific, Costa Rica
Coordinates N5 31 60 W87 4 0
Type Natural
Property 199,790 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description ( )

Cocos Island National Park, located 550 km off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is the only island in the tropical eastern Pacific with a tropical rainforest. Its position as the first point of contact with the northern equatorial counter-current, and the myriad interactions between the island and the surrounding marine ecosystem, make the area an ideal laboratory for the study of biological processes. The underwater world of the national park has become famous due to the attraction it holds for divers, who rate it as one of the best places in the world to view large pelagic species such as sharks, rays, tuna and dolphins.

Photos from Landolia

Cocos Island Islet Manuelita, Cocos Island

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map

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