Dialing code +506
ISO 2 code CR
ISO 3 code CRI
Capital San Jose
Main Language Spanish
Currency Colon (CRC)
GDP $48.5 billion 87th
Population 4,516,220 123rd


Continent North America
Location Central America bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean between Nicaragua and Panama
Land 51,100 km2 130th
Terrain Coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones of which several are major volcanoes
Climate Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
Natural Hazards Coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones of which several are major volcanoes
Note: Four volcanoes two of them active rise near the capital of San Jose in the center of the country; one of the volcanoes Irazu erupted destructively in 1963-65

Neighbouring Countries

Nicaragua Panama


Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors including: disease from mosquito-infested swamps brutal heat resistance by natives and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821 Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America but this federation disintegrated in 1838 at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread. In January 2008 Costa Rica assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008-09 term.
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Life Expectancy 77.58 years 46th
Median Age 27.5 years 104th
Birth Rate 17.43 births/1,000 population 110th
Death Rate 4.34 births/1,000 population 191st
Sex Ratio 0.86 male(s)/female 55th
Literacy 94.9% 87th

4.5 million


Roadways 35330 km 93rd
Railways 278 km 122nd
Airports 149 35th
Waterways 730 km 73rd
Heliports None
Airports paved 2 52nd


Currency Colon (CRC)
GDP $48.5 billion 87th
GDP per capita (PPP) $11600 86th