• Capital City: San José (Metro Area Population: 1.6 million)
• Location and Borders: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
• Administrative Divisions: 7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose
• Area: Total: 51,100 sq km
Land: 50,660 sq km
Water: 440 sq km
• Climate: tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
• Population: 4,134,000
• Demographic Growth Rate: 1.41%
• Industries: microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
• Languages: Spanish (official); Some English is spoken
• Government System: democratic republic
Regions of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is characterized by a very interesting geographical build. For example, the country is cut by a massive chain of volcanoes spanning the entire landmass. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the country is Guanacaste, located in the northern Pacific side of the country and home to many of the most commonly visited beaches. These beaches are known for their smooth sand and relaxing warm waters.
In the central northern region of the country, you will find much of Costa Rica's high altitude cloud forests characterized by rich rainforest and low hanging clouds that make this area so fertile and diverse. This is also the home of some of the most active volcanoes in the country, some of which you can actually see the lava bubbling from on a clear night.
River rafting is also very popular and can be found all over the country. One such popular destination are those rivers near the Caribbean coast. Also home to many beautiful beaches, the Caribbean coast is one of the most important sea turtle nesting regions in the entire Caribbean. Tours through the national parks are conducted at night during later months of the year to see the turtles crawling up the beaches to lay their eggs.
There are also various stunning beaches and national parks in the southern area of the country also bordering the Pacific Ocean. One of the most popular southern Pacific beaches is Manuel Antonio which is popular for its thick rainforest running right up to the beach. This is also a very popular surfing area among many other exciting water sports like diving, snorkeling, and sailing.
Finally, the central valley is home to San José and the vast majority of all those living in Costa Rica. Here you will find beautiful mild weather with clean rains and refreshing breezes. This is also the location of many farms and ranches that contribute to the country's ever growing economy.
Over 23% of Costa Rica's landmass is home to the nation's national parks, nature reserves, natural monuments, and marine protected areas. In all, Costa Rica protects 158 different reserves as well as 10 international wetlands and 2 biosphere reserves. The country is home to over 12,100 different higher plant species as well as 279 unique bird species making this a true bird lover's paradise. In addition, the rainforests of Costa Rica house some 200 mammals and nearly 700 different reptile, amphibian, and fish species demonstrating the lush biodiversity contained within the borders of this truly "Rich Coast".