Information About Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the most exotic and naturally beautiful places on Earth with rainforests, beaches, mountains, volcanoes, and amazing national parks. Costa Rica is located in Central America with its neighboring countries Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. A chain of volcanoes and mountains, part of the Andean-Sierra Madre chain, runs the entire length of the country and separates the Caribbean Sea on the east coast from the Pacific Ocean on the west coast. Costa Rica has over a thousand miles of beautiful beaches, lots of year-round sunshine, surfing, scuba, trekking, and eco-tourism. It’s the best place on earth—pura vida (“pure life”).
Geography: 51,100 km² (19,730 square miles). Costa Rica is approximately the size of West Virginia. The highest point is Cerro Chirripo 3,810 meters/12,460 feet above sea level
Capital: San Jose
Founded: 15 September 1821
Currency: Colon (CRC). U.S. dollars are accepted in all places of business and are available at most ATMs. Other currencies can be easily exchanged.
Time Zone: UTC -6:00
San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and it’s the gateway to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts as well as Costa Rica’s rainforests. The city is located in the Central Valley and has a population of 1.2 million people. Situated at 1,150 meters (3,773 feet) above sea level, the city is surrounded by beautiful mountains with several nearby volcanoes. San Jose has all the amenities of a large capital city, and offers museums, parks, markets, plazas, and theaters, as well as plenty of shopping and nightlife.
Manuel Antonio and its twin city Quepos is a beach town area and marina located just 3 hours west of San Jose. The population is approximately 12,000 year-round residents, but international tourism makes the place hum with fun and excitement. The entire area is a tropical paradise where the rainforest meets the ocean and white sand beaches stretch out in front of you. Manuel Antonio is a high priority eco-conservation area and there’s easy access to the Manuel Antonio National Park—Costa Rica’s largest protected rainforest, established in 1972.