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12 fun facts about Costa Rica

Located in Central America, Costa Rica is almost 20,000 square miles in size, with a population of more than 4.5 million people. Officially known as the Republic of Costa Rica, this unique country is bordered by Nicaragua, Panama, the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.

While Spanish is the official language, many people in the country are also fluent in English. San José is the capital and largest city, with nearly one in four residents living in or around San José.

Facts about Costa Rica

Whether you’re planning a vacation or business trip, considering a retirement destination abroad, or just interested in learning more about this beautiful country, follow these 12 fun facts about Costa Rica.

  1. The average life expectancy is about 79 years (compared to 76 years in the US).

  2. The country is widely recognized for having many different species of birds. Estimates suggest that the country has around 850 species of birds. Approximately two thirds of the birds are non-migratory with the remainder traveling on their way to South America.

  3. Costa Rica is recognized as environmentally progressive. It has met all the criteria required to measure environmental sustainability and is ranked 5ththe worldwide by the Environmental Performance Index.

  4. There are six active volcanoes in Costa Rica and more than 60 dormant volcanoes. The Poás Volcano in the Poás Volcano National Park is one of the most active volcanoes in the country. Irazú is the highest volcano in the country, at more than 11,200 feet. The last significant volcanic eruption was over 100 years ago in 1910.

  5. Italian explorer Christopher Columbus traveled along the country’s east coast in 1502 during one of his voyages to the Americas.

  6. Soccer (also known as “futbol”) is by far the most popular sport.

  7. Coffee and bananas are two of the country’s main international exports. Coffee production has a rich history in the country, which began during the 19th century.

  8. Out of 19 countries, Costa Rica is ranked as the safest country in Latin America by Latinvex. This is favorable for tourists visiting the region and for businesses, including nearshore companies with offices in Costa Rica.

  9. The country has seven different provinces: San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limón. The national capital and largest city is San José, located in the province of San José.

  10. Costa Rica is home to one of the most famous cloud forests (also called cloud forests) in the world. A cloud forest is a tropical or subtropical forest that is constantly covered by low-level cloud. The country’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is the largest cloud forest in Central America.

  11. National parks, wildlife and nature reserves make up about a quarter of the land.

  12. The rainy season begins in May and continues until November. During this time, afternoon showers are common.

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