Costa Rica

COSTA RICA 

General Info

COUNTRY NAME: Conventional long form, Republica de Costa Rica / Republic of Costa Rica, Short form, Costa Rica.

SIZE: 51,100 square kms (19,714 square miles)

POPULATION: 4,8  million,

CAPITAL CITY: San Jose.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION: 7 provinces: San Jose, Cartago, Heredia, Alajuela, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon.

LOCAL TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT minus 6 hours.

LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Spanish is the official language, although English is widely spoken in the business community and at most tourist destinations. English is spoken around Puerto Limon as part of the culture.

Costa Rica is a democratic and peaceful country, and it has not had an army since the year 1949.

In total, Costa Rica comprises 51,100 square kilometres (19,700 sq mi) plus 589 square kilometres (227 sq mi) of territorial waters.

Because Costa Rica is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the climate is tropical year round.There is no winter or summer as such and most regions have a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April

This is a small country (it covers only 0.03 % of the surface of the globe), it proudly shelters a 5% of the existing biodiversity in the planet. 25.58 % of the country is protected under a conservation category.  

Costa Rica is known for its progressive environmental policies, being the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. Ranked 42nd in the world, and third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index. In 2012, it became the first country in the Americas to ban recreational hunting.

Climate: tropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November)

Climatic Region Temperature(Average Yearly) Precipitation(Average Yearly) Relative Humidity
Central Valle 19º y 22 ° Cº 1.500 to 2.500 mm 82%
North Pacific 25º y 28 ° Cº 1.400 to 2.500 mm 60% - 65%
Southern Pacific 25º y 30 ° Cº 3.000 to 4.000 mm 81% - 91%
Caribbean Zone 27º y 30 ° Cº 3.000 to 4.500 mm 86%

FONT: INSTITUTO METEOROLOGICO NACIONAL

COSTARRICANS (TICOS)

Costa Rica is known for its civilized way of life. It is no exaggeration to call the country an oasis of peace. This a fundamental part of the Costa Rican character. Costa Rica is the seat of the University for Peace as well as the Interamerican Court of Human Rights. This fact empathizes the trust placed in the country's political and social stability by the international community. Costa Ricans are characterized by three distinct cultural life styles; that of the peasants and farmers of the Central Valley, of the inhabitants of the plains of Guanacaste and of the Caribbeans of the Province of Limon.
Their ethnic origins are a mixture, being a blend of the native inhabitants of the area (although to a lesser extent than in other Central American countries), of the Spanish colonists and of Afro-Caribbean immigrants which began entering as of the last century. The Costa Rican is both friendly and hospitable, the obvious product of his freedom. Costa Rica is one of the oldest democracies in America, as well as being a free and independent republic. Its inhabitants not only enjoy complete political stability, but also their nation's long standing commitment to democratic freedom. Peace is the most precious possession of Costa Rica's people. The country abolished its army half way through this century, the Rural and Civil Guards being sufficient to protect the citizens. Costa Rica was twice nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and this was awarded, in 1987, to the incumbent President of the Republic, Dr. Oscar Arias. This award was a truly merited recognition of the Costa Rican way of life.

The social impact of this democratic tradition is easily seen. In 1869 a compulsory public education system was established, one that involves public institutions at all levels. In this, the government supplies the necessary funds for medical and educational programs; both services having achieved outstanding successes. Due to the educational efforts, 93% of the adult population is literate. Medical services, especially in the area of preventive medicine, has reached high levels of achievement in both rural and urban areas. Life expectancy is between 72 and 75 years of age, an excellent average for Latin America.

HEALT TIPS

You are unlikely to encounter any serious diseases in Costa Rica. Sanitary standards are high and the health system is excellent.
No vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica as epidemic diseases have been all but eradicated throughout the country. Infectious hepatitis, a serious problem throughout Central America, is reported only rarely in Costa Rica.

Drinking water is safe in all the major towns and cities; in other parts of the country it should be boiled first, but you can buy bottled water all around the country to be sure.

Costa Rica has one of the best standards of health and hygiene in the region.

Costa Rica is well known for providing world-class healthcare and beauty services. The experience is enhanced by relaxing accommodations during your stay.

Costa Rica has long been renown for it's plastic surgery. World-class clinics and doctors will provide you with the finest treatments. Packages include relaxing stays in natural locations.

If you want inexpensive high-quality dental care, Costa Rica is the place to go. Patients from abroad have benefited for years from the unparalleled value of the sophisticated dental clinics.