Geography of Costa Rica

Physical Features

Costa Rica is located in Central America, and borders the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama. The geography of Costa Rica is distinguished for its small size which covers a total area of 51,100 sq km. Of this, water covers an area of 440 sq km, with a coastline of 1,290 km while the land area in Costa Rica is 50,660 sq km. In spite of its small size, the geography of Costa Rica is exceptionally varied. Costa Rica's highest point is Mt. Chirripo which is at an altitude of 3,797 meters.

Another important aspect of the geography of Costa Rica is the volcanoes whereby the country experiences small tremors and small quakes at regular intervals. The country was hit by the last major quake on 22 April, 1991.

Natural Resources and Wildlife

Costa Rica is country with a rich biodiversity and natural resources. The natural resources in Costa Rica are hydro power, wind power, and geothermal power.

An incredible five percent of the world's biodiversity is found within this small country which includes over 800 species of ferns, 1,000 of orchids, 2,000 kinds of trees, and 200 species of mammals.

Population and Places

The current population of Costa Rica is 4,133,884 (July 2008 est). Nearly two-third of the country's population lives in the capital San Jose and the neighboring major cities of Alajuela and Heredie. These cities are situated in the middle of the Meseta Central (Central Valley).

The country is divided into seven provinces which are San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Limon and Cartago. Except for the Guanacaste province whose capital is Liberia, all the other provinces have a capital city of the same name.

Climatic Conditions

Costa Rica is a tropical country which comprises of many distinct climatic zones.

The country does not experience any winter or summer season. The rainy season in Costa Rica starts from May to November, while the dry season is from December to April.

Annual average rainfall in all of Costa Rica is 100 inches with some mountainous areas getting as much as 25 feet on bare eastern slopes.

Temperatures in Costa Rica depends more on altitude than location. The mean temperature is around 72 degrees in the Central Valley, 82 degrees on the Atlantic coast and 89 degrees on the Pacific coast.


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