Overland Journeys: Central America Explorer

Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for travellers to Central America. It has a pristine natural environment that includes cloud forest, volcanic landscapes and superb stretches of beaches on both its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Its numerous national parks are home to a wide variety of habitats and species, ranging from turtles to monkeys to the Quetzal bird. The country is also an ideal spot for those seeking adventure thrills with excellent white-water rafting, diving and surfing possibilities as well as the chance to zipline through forest canopies and ascend active volcanoes. Explore in depth highlights of Costa Rica.

Travel Information for Costa Rica
Time zone:GMT -6 (Central America time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Spanish
Currency: Costa Rican colones (CRC)

1 = 631, $1 = 566, £1 = 753

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.crInternational Dialling Code:    506

For help planning your trip to Costa Rica including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Costa Rica trip planning page.

Further information on Costa Rica

Discover more about Costa Rica - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of costa_rica

Total area: 51,100 sq km (440 sq km under water)

Coastline: 1,290 km (Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): Nicaragua (309km), Panama (330km)

Climate: Tropical and subtropical climate. Dry season from December to April is very hot and humid in coastal lowlands but cooler in highlands. Rainy season from May to November brings threat of hurricanes along Caribbean coast and flooding of lowlands. Earthquakes and active volcanoes are also a threat.

Highest mountain: Cerro Chirripo (3,810m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Costa Rica from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldFree -
Democracy IndexFull democracy 24/167
Economic FreedomModerately Free 51/179
Press FreedomSatisfactory situation 16/179
ILGA LGBT rightsSome rights -
Corruption PerceptionsLow corruption 47/174
Overall Ranking:    32/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Republic of Costa Rica     Status: Independent Country

Population: 4,755,234 (rank: 122/196)     Density: 93 people/sq km (rank: 86/196)

Ethnic groups: white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%

GDP (PPP): $61.43 billion       GDP per capita: $12,900 (rank: 79/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.