General tourist information about Costa Rica, with all the things to know before leaving for a trip or vacation in this state of Central America.
Costa Rica in a nutshell
- Capital: San Josè
- Area in square kilometers: 51,100
- Population: 4,467,626 (2007)
- Catholic religion
Where is it
The Republic of Costa Rica is a state of Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, is washed by the Caribbean Sea to the east, west and southwest by the Pacific Ocean.
The territory is crossed by the Guanacaste Cordillera, the Central Volcanic Cordillera and the Talamanca Cordillera. The highest altitudes are reached by Colle Chirripo '(3,820 m.) And the Irazù volcano (3,432 m.).
In the Central Cordillera and Guanacaste there are impressive and spectacular volcanoes, such as the Poàs, the Arenal, the Rincòn de la Vieja and the aforementioned Irazù.
Between the cordillera extends the Central Valley, a large and fertile plateau ranging from 450 m. at 1400 m. altitude, where most of the population lives.
The coasts of the Caribbean Sea are low and united, those of the Pacific Ocean are more articulated with slopes and cliffs that form bays and inlets.
In Costa Rica there are numerous national parks and protected areas for the protection of the great biodiversity of this country.
The hydrographic network of Costa Rica is made up of numerous rivers characterized by the shortness of the path and the fairly high flow.
They arise from very high reliefs and their use serves to cover most of the country's energy consumption.
The major rivers are partly navigable.
The main rivers on the Pacific Ocean side include: Tempisque, Tarcoles, Parrita, Térraba, Coto and Colorado.Recommended readings
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Among the rivers that flow on the Caribbean side we find the Reventazon, Parismina, Pacuare, Matina, Sixaola, San Juan.
Costa Rica's climate is tropical with a dry season from December to April and a rainy season from May to November.
There is no marked difference in temperature between one season and another.
The climatic conditions vary according to the geographical factors, the climate of the coastal strip is warmer and more humid than that of the Central Valley and that of the mountain ranges above 2000 meters above sea level, while the Caribbean coast is the area where it rains the most .
The majority of Costa Rica's population is made up of whites of European origin, especially Spanish, and a group of mestizos.
Minorities are represented by communities of blacks, Chinese and Indians.
In Costa Rica it is necessary to move the clock hands 7 hours behind Italy.
Costa Rica's official language is Spanish.
Costa Rica's economy is characterized by an important tertiary sector, which contributes to the formation of most of the GDP, of which the most important activity is represented by the tourism sector.
The industry is present in the medical equipment, electronics and textile sectors.
These factors, typical of advanced economies, are found in the economy of Costa Rica, a developing country.
The agricultural sector should also be highlighted with the production and export of coffee, bananas, pineapples and melons.
When to go
The best time to visit Costa Rica is the dry season from December to April.
The period not recommended, due to the abundance of rains, corresponds to the months of September and October.
To enter Costa Rica you need a passport with a residual validity of at least 6 months from the moment you arrive in the country, and you must have a return flight ticket. A visa is not required for up to 90 days of stay.
- The international code to call from Italy to Costa Rica is: 00506
- The international prefix for calling from Costa Rica to Italy is: 0039
In Costa Rica, mobile phones with 1800 MHz (dual band) frequency work and you can easily find internet points to connect to the network.
The electrical current in Costa Rica is 120 V 60 Hz. Sockets type A, B; therefore adapter and current transformer are required.
Money and credit card
The official currency of Costa Rica is the Colon.
US dollars can be used for hotel payments, tours, park entrance tickets.
For small expenses, such as bus tickets, colones are required.
US dollars are also preferred for travelers checks.
The main credit cards such as Visa and Master card are useful for car rentals and are accepted in major hotels, clubs and shops.
How to get
Italy and Costa Rica are connected by non-direct flights organized by various airlines, including Iberia with direct flight Madrid-San Josè, Klm, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest, United, Air France, Lufthansa .
Note that the stopover in the USA is considered to be an entry into the country and therefore all customs procedures required by the USA must be carried out.
The main airports are Juan Santamaria, located 15 km from San Josè and Daniel Obuder which is located in Liberia.
No vaccination is required to visit Costa Rica.
Vaccinations against hepatitis A, antitifica and antimalarial prophylaxis for those visiting tropical forests are recommended.
Furthermore, it is advisable to take out a health insurance before departure which covers, if necessary, medical expenses and repatriation.
It is recommended to drink only bottled water without adding ice, eat vegetables only if cooked and personally peeled fruit, buy mosquito repellent products and other types of insects.
The most popular dance music in Costa Rica falls within the Latin rhythm which includes salsa, merengue, bolero, cumbia and above all the guanacasteco point characterized by the "bomb" verse shouted by male dancers during the song.