101 list

  • 101 Most Important things to know about Costa Rica.

    Everything you need to know before coming to Costa Rica

    Probably you are asking yourself What are the most important things about Costa Rica?Here are some interesting answers:

     

    THE COUNTRY

    1. Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America.

    2. Costa Rica’s capital is San Jose, located in the center of the country. San Jose is the political and economical center of the country.

    3. It is located 10º North of the equator and 84º West of the Prime Meridian; 9°55′N and 84°4′W.

    4. The country has a land extension of 51.100 km2 and 589.000 km2 of territorial waters.

    5. Costa Rica official language is Spanish; there are other languages spoken in the country, such as Mekatelio or Limon Creole (55.000 people)and some other indigenous languages.

    6. Costa Rica oficial religion is Catholicism.

    7. Costa Rica has 7 provinces: San Jose, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas y Guanacaste.

    8. Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos and Ticas, or Costar Ricans.

    9. It is said to be one of the happiest countries on Earth according to a British organization called New Economic Foundation, which used theHappy Planet Index in an independent study of 143 nations around the world.

    10. There are 4,509,290 Costa Ricans (2009), with a population density of 85/km2.

    11. San Jose province has a population of 1.547.760 people.

    12. Costa Rica is a democratic country with elections every 4 years.

    13. Costa Rica is a neutral country that does not take sides in any world`s war or conflict.

    14. Costa Rica is a friendly and peaceful country.

    15. Costa Rica`s Time Zone is UTC-6.

    16. Costa Rica country code is +506, and the Internet TLD is .cr.

    17. Costa Rica`s popular saying is PURA VIDA.

     

    HISTORY

    18. Costa Rica was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502 in his third trip. The first place he landed in Costa Rica was what is now known as Limón.

    19. Costa Rica was a Spanish Colony until September 15, 1821, and recognized as an independent country by Spain in 1850.

    20. The first president of Costa Rica was Juan Mora Fernandez from the Liberal Party (1825-1833)

    21. Costa Rica has had 125 years of uninterrupted democracy.

    22. The official hero of Costa Rica is Juan Santamaria. He burned the Meson de Guerra in Rivas where the Filibusters, commanded by William Walker, were hiding. Costa Rica`s victory was based on that action on April 11, 1856.

    23. Costa Rica`s President is Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014); the first woman elected president of Costa Rica.

    24. Costa Rica has no army. It was abolished by President Jose Maria Figueres in 1948.

    25. Costa Rica invests the money that is supposed to go to the army, in education and health.

    26. Costa Rica`s former President Oscar Arias is a Peace Nobel Price winner. He won the price in 1987 based on his participation in the peace process of the Central American countries.

    27. The main indigenous groups in Costa Rica are Cabécares, Huetares, Bribris, Malekus, Bruncas, Térrabas and Chorotegas among others.

    28. Costa Rica`s official dates are April 11th (Juan Santamaria Day), July 25th (Guanacaste Day), August 2nd (Virgen de Los Angeles Day), September 15th (Independence Day).

    29. The Costa Rican flag was designed under the French Revolution ideals of freedom and it was first used in 1848.

    30. The colors of the Costa Rican flag have different meanings: blue means the sky and the opportunities, white means happiness and peace, and the red means the warmth of the people of Costa Rica.

    31. The National Anthem, titled “Noble Patria, Tu Hermosa Bandera”; it reflect how proud are Costa Ricans of their country (composed by Manuel María Gutierrez in 1853).

    32. The coat of arms was created in 1849 and had its last major change on October 21, 1964, where two more stars were added.

    33. The Costa Rican Constitution was created on November 7, 1949.

    GEOGRAPHY

    34. Costa Rica has both, Pacific coast and Caribbean coast.

    35. Costa Rica borders with Nicaragua to the North and with Panama to the South.

    36. Costa Rica has 1.016 km (631.31 miles) of Pacific coastline and 212 km (131.73 miles) of Caribbean coastline, with a total of 1.290 km (801.56 miles) of coastline.

    37. The rainy or green season in Costa Rica begins in May and ends on November, and the dry season begins in late December and ends on April.

    38. Costa Rica`s temperatures vary very little; they go from 17 ºC (62 ºF) to 27 ºC (80 ºF) approximately.

    39. There are 7 active volcanoes in Costa Rica: Irazu, Poas, Turrialba, Rincon de la Vieja, Tenorio, Arenal, and Miravalles.

    40. There are more than 212 volcanoes in Costa Rica, most of them are dead or dormant.

    41. The highest volcano in the country is Irazú Volcano with 3.431 meters (feet).

    42. The highest point in Costa Rica is Mount Chirripó (Cerro Chirripó), which has an altitude of 3.819 meters (feet). It is located in the province of Limon.

    43. Costa Rica most important island is Cocos Island, which is also a National Park. It was declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1997.

    44. The biggest lake in Costa Rica is Lake Arenal, although this is a manmade lake. There are other smaller lakes, such as Lake Cote, Rio IV Lagoon and Hule Lagoon.

    45. Costa Rica`s largest river is Grande de Térraba River.

    46. Costa Rica`s most important caves are Barra Honda (Guanacaste) and Venado Caves (Alajuela).

    47. Costa Ricans claim that the Poas Volcano crater is the largest in the world, with a diameter of 1.7 km (1.05 miles).

     

    ECONOMY

    48. The official currency of Costa Rica is the Colon.

    49. The exchange rate for the Colon regarding the Dollar is $1 = C500 (Oct 2013).

    50. Costa Rica`s main exportation products are Coffee, Banana, Pineapple, Ornamental flowers and Tourism.

    51. Costa Rica`s public transportation system is great, with routes all around the country.

    52. There are three land official immigration posts, two in the border with Panama, and one located in the border with Nicaragua.

    53. Costa Rica has around 18% of poverty (2009).

    54. Costa Rica has a 96% of literacy, ranking 54 from 160 countries.

    55. The indigenous population of Costa Rica is the 1% of the total population.

    CULTURE

    56. Costa Rica`s traditional dish is the Casado, which includes some kind of meat, beans, rice, salad, picadillo, and plantain.

    57. Gallo Pinto is another very common dish in Costa Rica, which is a mixture of rice and black or red beans cooked together.

    58. The folkloric symbols of Costa Rica are “La Carreta” , “Los Boyeros”, and “La Gigantona” among others.

    59. The most important archeological discovery of Costa Rica, which continues to be a mystery, is the stone spheres or Diquis Spheres, which date from 200 BC.

    60. Costa Rica traditional folkloric dance is Punto Guanacasteco, which depicts courtship.

    61. The official sport of Costa Rica is soccer and in second place is mountain bike and cycling.

    62. The two main soccer teams in Costa Rica are Saprissa and La Liga.

    63. Costa Rica`s official tree is the Guanacaste.

    64. Costa Rica`s official bird is Yiguirro (Turdus Cray).

    65. Costa Rica´s Patron Saint is La Virgen de los Angeles.

    66. Among the most famous artists of Costa Rica are Francisco Amighetti, Gonzalo Morales Suarez, and Rodolfo Stanley.

     

    ENVIRONMENT

    67. Costa Rica is mostly known because of its true concern about the environment.

    68. The first National Park of Costa Rica was Poas Volcano National Park in 1955.

    69. Costa Rica`s smallest National Park is Manuel Antonio National Park.

    70. Costa Rica`s largest National Park is La Amistad National Park.

    71. Costa Rica has 26 National Parks, and some of the most known are Manuel Antonio, Poas, Irazu and Arenal.

    72. The percentage of protected areas in the country is around 25%.

    73. Costa Rica is a mega diverse country, especially in the Corcovado area, south part of the country.

    74. Costa Rica is a nesting point for thousands of sea turtles. The turtles that nest in the Caribbean side are the Green Turtle and Leatherback, and the sea turtles that nest on the Pacific side are Hawksbill and Olive Ridley.

    75. There are over 90 endemic species in Costa Rica.

    76. There are 44 endangered species in Costa Rica.

    77. La Amistad National Park, located in the south of Costa Rica, is a shared park with Panama.

    78. Monteverde, located in the Alajuela Province, is the place with the highest density of orchids of the world. Costa Rica has 100 different orchid species.

    79. Savegre River, located in the San Jose Province, is the cleanest river of the American Continent.

    80. Costa Rica produces energy under 5 different types of technology: eolic, hydric, thermal, geothermic and solar energy.

    81. Costa Rica ranks 3º on the Environmental Performance of 163 countries around the world, according to a Yale University study.

    82. Addresses are given in meters; 100 meters is equivalent to a block.

    TOURISM

    83. One of the most important touristic activities of the country is adventure, including white water rafting, canopy, etc.

    84. The most visited sites in Costa Rica are Manuel Antonio, Arenal, Tortuguero , Tamarindo, San Jose and Monteverde.

    85. The most visited national park in Costa Rica is Manuel Antonio National Park and in second place is Poas National Park.

    86. Costa Rica`s archeological site open for tourism is Guayabo, located in Turrialba.

    87. Costa Rica is famous for its white water rafting in many rivers of the country but especially in Pacuare River. It is located in the Limon province and it is a level III-IV and ranks among the top ten most scenic rivers for white water rafting of the world according to National Geographic.

    88. Costa Rica`s most important surfing spots are Jaco, Mal Pais, Dominical and Tamarindo.

    89. Costa Rica`s most interesting river is Rio Celeste, an actual light blue river product of the combination of two different chemicals from volcanoes.

    90. The most important scuba diving sites in Costa Rica are Cocos Island, Caño Island, and Cocos Beach in Guanacaste.

    91. There are two international airports in the country: Juan Santamaria International Airport (around 12 km from San Jose), and Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste (around km from San Jose).

    92. The airport exit tax is $28 per person.

    93. There are many different restaurants and bars in San Jose. International Gastronomy options include Indian, Lebanese, Italian, French, German, Nicaraguan, and American.

    94. Costa Rica`s national beer is Imperial.

    95. Costa Rica`s main Museums are: the Golden Museum, the Jade Museum, the Museum of Contemporary art among others.

    96. The most visited beaches are Tamarindo, Montezuma, Samara, Papagayo and Manuel Antonio.

     

    VARIOUS

    97. Costa Rica uses 120 volts of electricity.

    98. The small town mini markets are called “Pulperias ”.

    99. Ticos and Ticas use the word “maje” or “mae” to refer to a friend, a pal or other person.

    100.Taxis in Costa Rica are red and they use a “Maria” or taximeter to set the amount to pay for a ride.

    101.Franklin Chang Díaz is a famous Tico that works for NASA and has gone in spatial trips.