Costa Rica Culture

Costa Rica Geography and Culture

North America


Costa Rica borders Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and southwest. The Island of the Coco in the Pacific Ocean, belongs to Costa Rica.The coast of the Caribbean Sea, 212 kilometers long, extends from northeast to southeast and with it two sections are distinguished: Río San Juan-Limón (which runs from the border with Nicaragua to the city of Limón) and Limón-Río Sixaola (from the city of Limón to the border with Panama). The first section is a long coastline that separates the sea from a series of freshwater lagoons that are fed by multiple rivers. In this area are the Tortuguero Canals, a natural system of canals and navigable lagoons of more than 110 kilometers long that are the habitat of seven species of turtles. Limón, one of the main ports in the country, is located in the center of the eastern coast. [38] The Pacific coast of Costa Rica has an extension of more than 1200 kilometers of coastline, presents a variety of landscapes, islands, gulfs, points, mangroves, inlets and peninsulas that extend from border to border, from Bahía Salinas to Punta Burica and that they originate a large number of wide beaches. [38]

The land limits of Costa Rica are defined with Nicaragua by the Cañas-Jerez treaty of 1858 and the Cleveland Award of 1888, and with Panama by the Echandi-Fernández treaty of 1941. The maritime limits with Colombia are defined in the Facio-Fernández treaty of 1977 and the Gutiérrez-Lloreda treaty of 1984, with Ecuador in the Gutiérrez-Terán treaty of 1985 and with Panama in the Calderón-Ozores treaty 1980. Costa Rica is a very mountainous country and most of the territory is made up of elevations between 900 and 1800 meters above sea level. There are three main mountain systems: the Cordillera de Guanacaste, the Cordillera Central, and the Cordillera de Talamanca. Surrounded by the Central are the Central Valley and the Guarco Valley, where most of the country’s population resides. The Caribbean coastal plain is low in elevation and partially covered with tropical rainforests.

Flora and fauna

Costa Rica has a greater maritime than continental surface since the oceanic area is approximately 589,000 km², which includes Cocos Island which is located about 480 km southwest of the Osa Peninsula, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.. This island was declared a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.

The forests of Costa Rica have rich reserves of ebony, balsa, mahogany and cedar, as well as oaks, cypresses, mangroves, ferns, guácimos, ceibas and palms. The country has more than 1000 species of orchids, being Monteverde (in the center of the country) the region with the highest density of orchids on the planet. In total, Costa Rica is home to more than 10,000 species of plants. Wild animals abound such as the puma, jaguar, deer, monkey, coyote, armadillo and several species of birds, among which the quetzal, the yigüirro and the hummingbird stand out. 46.8% of the total surface of the country is covered with forests and jungles, approximately 25% of the territory is protected; however, the country has one of the highest deforestation rates in the region.

As a country located in Central America according to, Costa Rica is the country with the most variety of flora and fauna in all of Latin America. [39] Costa Rica is home to: 232 species of mammals, 838 species of birds, 183 species of amphibians, 258 species of reptiles and 130 species of freshwater fish. The Savegre River, located in San Isidro del General is the river cleanest in the American continent. Costa Rica currently has 5% of the world’s biodiversity, which is quite significant because, despite being a developing country, it has not only large cities and small towns, but also the space of this nation. so small that jungles develop alongside huge cities.


In terms of its volume of GDP, it ranks 82nd (2013). [40] Regarding the Human Development Index or HDI of Costa Rica, which is prepared by the United Nations to measure the progress of a country, it was 0.763 points in 2013, with which was placed in position 64 of the table of 178 countries that are published [40] .Costa Rica has undergone a strong evolution in its economy, going from being an eminently agricultural country to a service economy. One in seven Costa Ricans works in the agricultural sector. Exports of agricultural products make up 8% of the country’s GDP. Costa Rica’s export earnings from traditional agricultural products such as bananas, coffee, sugar, cocoa and pineapple continue to be important. The production of high quality Costa Rican coffee stands out and its export to the US market where it is highly appreciated. Tourism is the fastest growing industry and since the early 2000s has generated more foreign exchange than any of the major agricultural export products. [41] Ecotourism is extremely popular with foreign tourists visiting the vast number of national parks and protected areas that exist throughout the country. Costa Rica was one of the pioneers in ecotourism and is recognized as one of the few international destinations with true eco-tourism options.

Destination of main exports [42]
Destiny Percent
USA 38.9%
Holland 7.5%
Panama 5.1%
Hong Kong 4.6%
Nicaragua 4.4%
Origin of main imports [43]
Origin Percent
USA 49.8%
China 8.2%
Mexico 6.6%


One of the greatest challenges for Costa Rica for its economic growth, investment attraction and competitiveness lies in infrastructure in all its areas. Costa Rica has a road infrastructure lag of almost 40 years [44] [45] , and many of the infrastructure works that exist, mainly bridges, are in a really critical state. The Central Valley is connected to the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, mainly through highways 1 Interamericana and 27 (Pacific) and 32 (route to the Caribbean). Highway 27 is a recently built, concessioned route and represents a direct connection between San José and the different tourist destinations on the Pacific coast. The capacity of the country’s airports, Juan Santamaría (SJO) and Daniel Oduber Quirós in Liberia, has been exceeded by the growing passenger demand due to the tourism boom, and its expansion through the private concession figure has advanced very slowly. Port capacity has also been very insufficient to keep up with the growth of maritime trade.

Costa Rica Culture