- San José; 1,085,000
- 51,100 square kilometers (19,730 square miles)
- Spanish, English
- Roman Catholic, Evangelical
- Costa Rican colon
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $8,300
- Literacy Percent:
Costa Rica Facts Flag
Located in Central America, Costa Rica has coastlines on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. The tropical coastal plains rise to mountains, active volcanoes, and a temperate central plateau where most people live (San José, the capital, is here). The only country in Central America with no standing army, it enjoys continuing stability after a century of almost uninterrupted democratic government. Tourism, which has overtaken bananas as Costa Rica's leading foreign exchange earner, bolsters the economy. A quarter of the land has protected status; the beauty of rain forest preserves draws more and more visitors.
- Industry: Microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials
- Agriculture: Coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar; beef; timber
- Exports: Coffee, bananas, sugar, pineapples, textiles
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
Surfers and wannabes have been flocking to the Guanacaste Province, and for good reason.
Explorer Enric Sala's dream trip is to dive Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Learn more about this trip and others in our Ultimate Adventure Bucket List.
A laid-back approach to travel highlights Guanacaste's Pura Vida mentality.
2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Show us your best photos of nature, cities, and people from your travels around the world.