- OFFICIAL NAME = REPUBLIC OF COSTA RICA
- NATIONALITY = COSTA RICAN(S)
- CAPITAL = SAN JOSE
- MAJOR TOWNS = ALAJUELA AND CARTAGO
- CONTINENT = NORTH AMERICA
- LANGUAGE = SPANISH (ENGLISH)
- POPULATION = 4,857,274 MILLION
- CURRENCY = COSTA RICAN COLONES
- AREA = 51,100 SQ KM (19,730 SQ MILES)
- HIGHEST POINT = MOUNT CHIRRIPO 3,821 METERS (12,536 FEET)
- MAIN MOUNTAINS = CERRO DE LA MUERTE AND MOUNT CHIRRIPO
- MAIN RIVERS = REVENTAZON AND SAN JUAN RIVERS
- CLIMATE = HOT ALL YEAR ROUND (TROPICAL)
- CALLING CODE = DIAL 011+506+PHONE NUMBER
- TIME ZONE = GMT-6 HOURS
- RELIGION = MAINLY CATHOLIC (EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS)
- INDEPENDENCE = SEPTEMBER 15TH, 1821 (FROM SPAIN)
- NATIONAL HOLIDAY = INDEPENDENCE DAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH
- GOVERNMENT = DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
- NATIONAL SPORT = FOOTBALL (SOCCER)
- MAJOR INDUSTRIES = FOOD PROCESSING, FERTILIZERS, TEXTILES AND CLOTHING
- NATURAL RESOURCES = THE AGRICULTURAL LAND AND CLIMATE
- AGRICULTURE = BANANAS, PINEAPPLES, COFFEE, SUGAR, RICE, CORN AND POTATOES
A BRIEF HISTORY OF COSTA RICA !!!
Like all their neighbors in Central America, the Spanish arrived in Costa Rica in 1502. Numerous Spanish expeditions followed, but due to resistance of the the native tribes the Spanish had to wait until 1561, when Juan de Cavallon led a successful expedition and established the settlement of Cartago.
Over time and with a population of of around 20,000, most of whom were descendants of the original settlers, more towns started to appear.
As Spanish settlements expanded, so did the exploitation of the natives as an economic resource. The population of the natives plummeted, mainly from mistreatment and the diseases that the Europeans brought over with them.
The Spanish would go on and rule this land for nearly 300 years. This all changed in 1821, when Costa Rica, together with many other Central American colonies declared independence from Spain.
In 1838, Costa Rica proclaimed itself sovereign and it became an independent country.
Nowadays, Costa Ricans enjoy the benefits of political stability and peace.
SHORT FACTS ON COSTA RICA !!!
When Christopher Columbus and the Spanish explorers arrived on these shores in 1502, he named the land Costa Rica, which means “rich coast” in Spanish. Is is believed he called it this name when he saw the gold worn by the local tribes. Unfortunately for Columbus and for those who followed, there was little gold in the country.
The Civil war that broke out on March 12th, 1948, lasting for 44 days, was a dark period in Costa Rica’s history. More than 2,000 lives were lost over accusations of voter fraud during presidential elections, which led to an uprising.
Since the Civil War of 1948, Costa Rica has had no army, so instead of spending money on military, it wisely spends it on education (schools are free) and health.
Costa Rica, like the United States, holds elections for its presidency every four years.
Costa Rica is divided up into seven provinces: San Jose, Cartago, Heredia, Alajuela, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon.
Costa Rica has over 800 miles (1,287 km) of glorious coastline.
Around 25% of the country has protected rainforests and reserves, which gives tourists more than 100 different protected areas to visit.
Costa Rica attracts more than three million tourists every year, making tourism one of the main sources of income for the country.
The ideal time to visit Costa Rica is from December to April. This is the dry season and the most popular time for exploring rainforests and relaxing on their beautiful beaches.
While Costa Rica is a rather small country, it is rich with wildlife, with its thick jungles teeming with all kind of animals. There are more than 230 species of mammals, 900 species of birds, plus you have over 12,000 species of plants and so much more.
Costa Rica is the hummingbird capital of the world, with more than 50 different hummingbird species calling it their home.
The hummingbird can beat their wings 80 times a second and is the only bird that can fly backwards.
Around 90% of Central America’s butterfly species live in Costa Rica.
Scientists reckon there are more than 300,000 different types of insects, and 2000 different types of spiders living in Costa Rica.
The orchid is the national flower of Costa Rica. There is more than 1,200 different species of orchids to be found growing here.
Costa Rica enjoys a tropical climate all year round due to its proximity to the equator. It has no real summer or winter, however it does have a rainy season from May to November. The dry season is from December to April.
Costa Rica, like many other Central American countries, suffers from occasional earthquakes an volcanic eruptions. It has over 100 volcanic formations, and seven of these are active. Arsenal Volcano, in Costa Rica, is known as one of the world’s most active Volcanoes.
Costa Ricans best know national dish is “gallo pinto”, which is a mix of black beans, white rice and salsa lizano.
These days, Costa Rica is famous for their gourmet coffee beans, thanks to their rich volcanic soil. They are considered to be among the finest beans in the world.
Oscar Aarias Sanchez is the most famous person in Costa Rican history. He won the Nobel Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end civil wars, which was happening at the time in several other Central American countries.
Costa Rica is consistently ranked as one of the happiest places on Earth, according to the Happy Planet Index. Costa Ricans love to drink beer and dance, making it a nation of laid back, friendly, happy people.
In Costa Rica, the literacy rate is 96% and the life expectancy is 79 years.
Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “Ticas” (females) and “Ticos” (males). Foreigners are sometimes called “Gringos” (males) and “Gringas” (females).
Flight times to San Jose, from London (11 hours), Sydney (15 hours) and New York (5 hours).
The Costa Rican football team qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 1990. It was held in Italy and they made it to the last 16. Since then, they have competed in 3 more world cups. In Brazil, 2014, they had their best tournament ever, when they finished top of their group that consisted of three heavyweights in world football, England, Italy and Uruguay, before losing on penalties to the Netherlands in the Quarter-finals.
The nickname of the Costa Rica football team is “Los Ticos”.