Costa Rica


Costa Rica! What a wonderful place to learn Spanish. Sun, beach and sea!

Total immersion is the best way to learn a language, especially if combined with:

  a good grammar learning system,(see on the Grammar pages on this site...

  an efficient and rapid vocabulary learning system (if you are not learning 200 words a day you are using an outdated system, and burning up a fair bit of your time.

. . .take a few days to study up on the vocab before you launch off!

  . . . and an onsite course with a good teacher.

For more information on how to learn Spanish in Costa Rica click on the link.
Learn Spanish in Costa Rica!

For truly extensive and up-to-date information on all aspects of living, investing, visiting, experiencing Costa Rica check out the website of Scott Oliver, Founder and manager of

He is a Brit, who did ten years in New York on Wall Street and has now left the rat-race for the pleasures and joys of Escazu, from where he publishes his extensive website, providing expert information about living, investing, real estate and business in this Central American paradise....

Click here for

Here are a few hundred fun facts for you to bone up on before you scoot off to Central America to learn Spanish.

Information on Costa Rica

A Central American success story with only brief periods of violence marring its democratic development since the late nineteenth century.

Mainly an agricultural country there are now strong technology and tourism sectors.The standard of living is relatively high. Land and property ownership is widespread.

Geography information on Costa Rica

Geographical Position: Middle America, by Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Panama and Nicaragua.

Latitude & Longitude: : 10 degrees North, 84 degrees West.

51,100 square kilometres
Water: 440 square kilometres
Land: 50,660 square kilometres

Land boundaries:
639 kilometres
neighbouring countries: Nicaragua 309 kilometres border, Panama 330 kilometres border.

Coastline: 1,290 kilometres

Climate information on:
Tropical and subtropical; dry season from December to April; rainy season from May to Nov. Cool climate in highlands .

Terrain: coastal plains are separated by mountainous terrain including major volcanoes.

Elevation highs & lows:lowest elevation: Pacific Ocean at sea levelhighest elevation: Cerro Chirripo 3,810 metres.

Natural resources: hydroelectric power.

Land use:
cultivated land:
cropping land: 5%
other: 90% (1998 estimate)

Irrigated land: 1,260 square kilometres (1998 estimate)

Natural hazards :Earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, landslides; volcanic activity

Geography information:
4 volcanoes, 2 active, near San Jose. MtIrazu erupted 1963-65 causing destruction.

People information on Costa Rica

Total population: 3,900,000 (July 2003 estimate)

Age Distribution: -:under age 14 yrs: 30%
between 15 & 64 yrs: 64%
age 65+: 5% (2003 estimate)

Median age:
Total: 25 years
male: 24 years
female: 25 years (2002)

Rate of Growth of Population: 1% (2003 estimate)

Birth Rate:
19 births per thousand population (2003 estimate) Mortality Rate:
4 deaths per thousand (2003 estimate)

Net Rate of Migration:
0 migrant(s)per thousand population (2003 estimate)

Rate of Infant Mortality:
Total: 10 deaths per thousand live births
female: 9 deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate)
male: 11 deaths per thousand live births

Life Expectancy:
Total population: 76 years
male: 73 years
female: 79 years (2003 estimate)

Name given to People: Costa Rican

Racial groupings: European (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, other 2%

Religious Groupings:
Roman Catholic 76%, Evangelical 13%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1%, other Protestant 0%, other 4%, none 3%

Languages: Spanish (official), some English in areas

Literacy: : definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 96%
male: 95%
female: 96% (2003 estimate)

Government information on Costa Rica

Republic of Costa Rica - Republica de Costa Rica

System of Government : Democratic Republic Capital: San Jose

Independence: 15 September 1821

National holiday: Date of Independence: 15 September 1821Constitution: 7 November 1949

Legal & Law System: : based on Spanish civil legal system.

Voting system: : universal at 18 years of age.

Head of State : President who is both the Head of state and head of government.

Cabinet of country: Cabinet is selected by the President.

Election system: Vote for 4 year terms.

Economy information on Costa Rica

Strong and stable economy whose mainstays are tourism, agriculture, electronic products exports. Major reductions in poverty.

GDP: - $USD32 billion (2002 estimate) GDP growth rate: 2% (2002 estimate) GDP per head of population: - $USD8,500 (2002 estimate)

GDP make-up by sector:
agriculture sector : 9%
industrial sector: 30%
service sector: 61% (2002 estimate)

Population below level of poverty: 20% (1999 estimate)

Household income by %age share: lowest 10%: 1% highest 10%: 34% (2001)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9% (2002 estimate)

Labour force: 1 million (1999) Labour force - by occupation: agriculture sector 20%, industry 22%, services 58% (1999 estimate) Unemployment rate: 6% (2002 estimate)

Budget Figures:
revenues: $USD1 billion
expenditures: $USD2 billion

electronics and electronic goods, food processing, textiles, apparel and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastics

Industrial production growth rate: 2% (2002 estimate)
Exports: $USD5 billion (2002)
Exports - partners: US 49%,
Netherlands 5%, Guatemala 4%, Nicaragua 3%, Puerto Rico 3% (2001)

Imports: $USD6 billion (2002)
Imports - partners: US 53%, Mexico 5%, Venezuela 4%, Japan 3%, Colombia 2% (2001)

Debt external: $USD4 billion (2002 estimate)

Currency: colon (CRC)

Currency code: CRC

Communications information on Costa Rica

Telephones - main lines in use: 450,000 (1998)

Radio Stations : AM 50, FM 43, SW 19Television broadcast stations: 6 (1997)

Internet Code: .cr

Transport, Travel to Costa Rica, Tourism

Railways : Total: 950 kilometres

Roading :
Total: 37,273 kilometres
paved roading: 7,827 kilometres
unpaved roading: 29,446 kilometres (1998 estimate)

Navigable Waterways : 730 kilometres

Pipeline Distances : petroleum products 176 kilometres

Commercial Harbours/Ports : Caldera, Golfito, Moin, Puerto Limon, Puerto Quepos, Puntarenas

Airports-Aerodromes : 151 (2002)

Military information

Military groupings & departments : no regular local military forces; Air Section, Ministry of Public Forces (Fuerza Publica)

Military Spending - dollar figure: $USD69 million (FY99) Military Spending - percent of GDP: 1% (FY99)

International Issues

Navigation rights of Rio San Juan with Nicaragua.

Flag of Costa Rica

Click here for the Flag of Costa Rica and its history, information and facts.

Map of Costa Rica

Click here for the Map of Costa Rica and its history and facts.

History of Costa Rica

Click here for the History of Costa Rica and historical facts.

Info sourced and adapted from the CIA Factbook .

Learn Spanish Help. Copyright 2011.

Andorra | Argentina | Belize | Bolivia | Colombia | Chile | Costa Rica | Cuba | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | El Salvador | Gibraltar | Guatemala | Honduras | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama | Peru | Puerto Rico | Spain | Uruguay | Venezuela |

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