World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Central America

Costa Rica Travelling Guide
Costa Rica Travelling Guide

General background: Costa Rica is a Central American success story: since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred its democratic development. Although still a largely agricultural country, it has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism sectors. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than West Virginia

Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands

Terrain: Coastal plains separated by rugged mountains

Population: 3,834,934 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: White (including Mestizo) 94%, Black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, other Protestant 0.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%

Language: Spanish (official), English spoken around Puerto Limon

Government type: Democratic republic

Capital: San Jose

Legal system: Based on Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Costa Rica's basically stable economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports. Poverty has been substantially reduced over the past 15 years, and a strong social safety net has been put into place. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and high education levels, and tourism continues to bring in foreign exchange. However, traditional export sectors have not kept pace. Low coffee prices and an overabundance of bananas have hurt the agricultural sector. The government continues to grapple with its large deficit and massive internal debt and with the need to modernize the state-owned electricity and telecommunications sector.

Communication/Telephone system: Very good telephone service.

Places of interest: Wildlife and reputation for enlightened conservation draw tourists from all over the world. Costa Rica has some of the region's best surfing. Beaches galore and a climate that encourages slothfulness in all species.

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