About Costa Rica

Located in Central America, Costa Rica has coastlines on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. The tropical coastal plains rise to mountains, active volcanoes, and a temperate central plateau where most people live (San José, the capital, is here). The only country in Central America with no standing army, it enjoys continuing stability after a century of almost uninterrupted democratic government. Tourism, which has overtaken bananas as Costa Rica's leading foreign exchange earner, bolsters the economy. A quarter of the land has protected status; the beauty of rain forest preserves draws more and more visitors.

Fast Facts

Population: 4,331,000

Capital: San José; 1,085,000

Area: 51,100 square kilometers (19,730 square miles)

Language: Spanish, English

Religion: Roman Catholic, Evangelical

Currency: Costa Rican colon

Life Expectancy: 79

GDP per Capita: U.S. $8,300

Literacy Percent: 96

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