Capital: San Jose
Political System: Representative Democracy
Time Zone: EST-1/GMT-6
Country Code: (506)
Location: Between Nicaragua (north), Panama (southeast), Pacific Ocean (west), and Atlantic ocean (east).
Area: 19,729 miles2 (51.100 km2)
Climate: Tropical with two seasons: dry (December-April) and rainy (rest of the year)
Administrative Division: 7 provinces, 81 counties, 463 districts. (source: www.cantatur.org.2006)
Real Estate Ownership: The Costa Rican Constitution guarantees the right to Property ownership to Costa Ricans and Foreigners alike (beachfront/area properties have some restrictions).
Knowing Costa Rica
Costa Rica extends majestically from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, and its distance is barely 200 miles. Its land portion occupies only 20 thousand square miles.
If you travel throughout the provinces of Costa Rica, it’s easy to notice that in no other place you shall find fields with so many variations in their landscape and climate as here.
Costa Rica is one of most highly valued tourist destinations in this planet. This small piece of land includes all of the necessary components to satisfy the taste of thousands of travellers visiting each year.
Costa Rica’s territorial division includes 7 provinces, that is: San José, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limón. Together they offer an attractive tourist destination, of almost limitless possibilities, that include extense rainforests, volcanoes, rivers travelling through the mountains, beaches and natural resources safeguarded by an important organization of national parks and forest reserves.
The fact that more than one million tourists visit Costa Rica each year does not happen by chance. Our country, located in Central America, is an isthmus where life seems to have created its roots. Covering only 0.03% of the surface of our planet, Costa Rica has approximately 6% of the world's biodiversity.
In addition, Costa Rica is characterized by an impressive scenic beauty, consolidated system of protected areas, social and political stability, high educational levels, and efficient infrastructure and services. All these characteristics you can find in a territory of only 51 thousand square kilometers, surrounded by both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, only three to four hours away from each other by land or 45 minutes by air.
The country's strategic position, in the heart of the western hemisphere, the Government's positive attitude towards foreign investment, its infrastructure, access to international markets, and labor quality and cost, make Costa Rica an ideal place to establish commercial operations.
Heritage and Culture
Costa Rican culture is in many ways a reflection of its racial diversity. The predominant influence has long been European, which is reflected in everything from the official language -- Spanish –
to the architecture of the country’s churches and other historic buildings. The indigenous influence is less visible, but can be found in everything from the tortillas that make part of a typical Costa Rican meal, to the handmade ceramics sold at roadside stands.
An important aspect of Costa Rica’s cultural legacy is their love for peace and democracy. The Ticos like to stand out that their nation is the exception in Latin America, where military dictatorships have long dominated politics.
They take pride in having more than one hundred years of democratic tradition, and almost half a century without an army. The army was abolished in 1948, and the money the country saves by not expending in military issues is invested in improving the Costa Ricans’ standard of living, which has fostered a culture of social peace that makes it such a pleasant place to visit.
The Ticos, as Costa Ricans are commonly known, are famous for their hospitality, and are quite happy to live up to their reputation. They are well-educated and hard working people, who are quick with a handshake and a smile. They are well aware of the special land they have, and most likely they will help foreigners when they get lost, even explaining things that might seem bizarre to foreigners, and making their stay as enjoyable as possible.
People say the Ticos are their nation’s greatest asset, and once you’ve experienced their friendliness and spontaneity, you’ll have no doubt to that regard.
Rugged highlands are found throughout most of the country, ranging from approximately 1,000 to 2,000 meters (3,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level). The Guanacaste Mountain Range, Central Mountain Range, and Talamanca Mountain Range are the main mountain ranges extending the entire length of the country. There are several active volcanoes (Arenal Volcano, Irazu Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and Turrialba Volcano) and the country’s highest mountain (Chirripo Hill) with a height of 3,819 m/12,530 ft. The country has a relatively long coastline in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as a number of rivers and streams that attract specialist kayakers and rafters from all over the world.
Costa Rica’s year round climate is pleasant with naturally occurring breezes, cooling down most of the coastal areas. Temperatures in the highlands and mountains are not so cold, especially during day, producing an 'eternal spring' feeling. The average annual temperatures range from 31.7°C (89°F) on the coast to 16.7°C (62°F) inland. The rainy or green season lasts from May to December with noticeably drier days during the rest of the year.
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