- 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
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.
Learn how people in this region live such long lives with this photo gallery based on the book Blue Zones.
If forward-looking conservationists prevail, this wanderer of Central America will live on.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Submit your best shots for a chance to be featured in our weekly galleries and to win a grand prize trip for two to Alaska.