Costa Rica General Information

Costa Rica General Information

Initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to: disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a settlement was established in the cooler central highlands.

Initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to: disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a settlement was established in the cooler central highlands.

In 1821, Costa Rica became one of the Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country’s democratic development. In 1949, Costa Rica dissolved its armed forces. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries.

Capital of Costa Rica

San José

Currency Colon, exchange rate:

1 US$ = 506.00 Costa Rican Colons, C (1 January 2012).

Administrative divisions

7 provinces; Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose.

Population

4.1 millions growth rate 1.4% (2007 est.). Ethnic groups: White (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%.

Languages

Spanish (official), English.

Religions

Roman Catholic 76%, Evangelical 14%, other 7%, none 3%.

Climate

Tropical and subtropical, dry season from December to April, rainy season from May to November, cooler in highlands.

Geography

51,100 sq. km. Coastal plains separated by rugged mountains, including over 100 volcanic cones. High proportion of reserved and protected land.

National Anthem

Watch to the National Anthem of Costa Rica

Public holidays

January 1 – New Years Day.
March/April – Holy Saturday and Good Friday.
April 11 – Juan Santamaria.
May 1 – Labor Day.
July 25 – The annexation of Guanacaste.
August 2 – Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles.
August 15 – Mother’s Day.
September 15 – Independence Day (1821 from Spain).
October 12 – Columbus Day.
December 25 – Christmas Day.

Newspapers

La Nación |  La Prensa Libre |  La Republica |  Semanario Universidad | Telenoticias |  The Tico Times Online

Natural resources

Hydropower.

Industries

Microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products.

Agriculture products

Bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes, beef, timber.

GDP

US$ 50.9 billion, growth rate 7.9%, per capita US$ 12,500 (2006 est.).

Exports

US$ 8.2 billion (f.o.b. 2006 est.). Bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, textiles, electronic components, medical equipment.