Why Are Americans Still Flocking to Costa Rica- Fast Facts.

Why Are Americans Still Flocking to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Beach
Join the 20,000 American expats already living “la pura vida” in Costa Rica

Fast Facts

History: Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including: disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries.

In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country’s democratic development.

Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.

Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama.

Area: 19,730 square miles (51,100 square kilometers). Slightly smaller than West Virginia.

Population: 4,576,562 (July 2011 est.)

Capital: San Jose

Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands.

Government: Democratic republic

Head of State & Government: President Laura Chinchilla Miranda (since 8 May 2010)

Language: Spanish (official), English

Religion: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%.

Time Zone: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Emergency numbers: For police, medical, or fire, dial 911 or 112

Electricity: Costa Rica’s electricity is 120 volts, and American-style plugs are the norm.

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