Costa Rica, the land of nature lovers and dream dancers, is located in the tropics of Central America, between Panama and Nicaragua. Here are some travel tips and comments for your trip to Costa Rica. Here are some helpful travel tips and information for your next Costa Rica trip at the sea.
Basically, Costa Rica, with few restrictions, can be visited all around the year! There are two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season lasts from May to November, the dry season from December to April. But even in the rainy season, the sun shines most of the time and nature flourishes all the more magnificent. The average annual temperature is around 21 degrees Celsius in San Jose and 25-29 degrees Celsius along the coast. The warmest temperatures are found on the Pacific coast. In the mountains, it is of course correspondingly cooler. Due to its location between 8 ° and 11 ° north latitude Costa Rica is situated in the tropics, however, the precipitations differ significantly. In San Jose it rains about 1867 mm annually, in Puerto Limón on the Caribbean coast almost twice as much with 3518 mm annual rainfall.
Costa Rica shares a border with its northern neighbor, Nicaragua and its southern neighbor Panama. In the West, the North Pacific encounters the land, in the east the Caribbean Sea. Costa Rica is located on the Central American land bridge in 8 ° to 10 ° north latitude, and is about 20% larger than Switzerland, but one of the smaller countries in Central America. At its narrowest point, the country measures about 120 km. The highest elevation of the country is Chirripo Grande with 3,810 m. A part of large Costa Rica is still forested, although it has been cleared strongly in earlier times. In the lowlands of the Caribbean coast evergreen rain forests are widespread, while on the Pacific side at the same height naturally occur dry forests and savannas.
The country can be topographically divided into several major areas: in the Central Valley, the volcanic mountain ranges of the Cordilleras, the alluvial plains of the Caribbean coast, the central Pacific coast and the dry Guanacaste Peninsula in the Northwest. Furthermore, the country is administratively divided into seven provinces: Alajuela (north of the capital), Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas and San Jose (area around the capital). Of these provinces Guanacaste has the best climate.
Strongly influenced by its geographic location, a biodiversity has arisen in Costa Rica that is, compared to the land area, probably unique in the world. There have been counted more than 13,000 species of plants, 2000 species of butterflies, 4500 species of moths, 162 species of amphibians, 220 species of reptiles, 1600 species of fish and over 850 species of birds.
This biological diversity is preserved as much as possible in Costa Rica by climate protection, nature protection and forest conservation, which are seen as an important part of public policy and consistently implemented. Approximately 27% of the area of Costa Rica is protected and there are 26 national parks spread across the country. In 2006, the Environment Agency Minae got strong powers by applicable securities laws, but it has little control capabilities.
Population and language
Costa Rica has a population of 4.6 million people, of which approximately 94% are descendants of European immigrants and about 5% are Africans, Asians and Indians. Foreigners make up 9%, but there are a high number of unreported illegal immigrants. The country's official language is Spanish, with some Costa Rican idiosyncrasies. On the Atlantic coast, due to immigrants from Jamaica, also English and an English-based Creole are widely used, similar to the Jamaican patois.
Costa Rica is a presidential republic. Every four years, the president is directly elected by the people and initially cannot be re-elected after one term. In the elections on 7 February 2010 a woman was elected as head of state for the first time in the history of Costa Rica. With 46.78 percent of the vote Laura Chinchilla Miranda of the social democratic-liberal ruling party Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) was clearly elected to lead the country. The unicameral parliament consists of 57 members and is elected every four years by proportional representation.
The last presidential election was on the 6th of April 2014. The candidate of the Party of the Civil Action PAC, Luis Guillermo Solis, reached a record vote of 1,3 million votes in the run-off election. After all, a total of 77.8% voters casted their ballots for him. This result was a big surprise. Solis, who had never worked in a political office, promised to fight against corruption as soon as he is in office.
Costa Rica is one of the safest countries of Central and South America. Nevertheless, some basic safety rules should be followed here as well. Problems that may affect the tourists are mainly thefts. Robberies with violence or kidnappings rarely occur to tourists. But unfortunately thefts by force of arms are more and more common. During an attack with a weapon, you should not defend yourself in any case! An important phone number which you should remember is the 911. This is the free number of the tourist police, which also works in English. Y should call there if you have any problems with theft etcetera.
Costa Rica is the number 1 in ecotourism, but you can acknowledge the numbers of the tourism authority only with a lot of humor, as the global economic crisis, particularly among Americans, is also reflected in Costa Rica.
For more information, visit Travel Guide and facts.
And if you want to read some interesting reflections about the jungle, go to Costa Rica Travelnews Blog.