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Costa Rica flag
Republic of Costa Rica
República de Costa Rica
   Costa Rica is located in the southern part of Central America, south of Nicaragua and west of Panama, it is bounded by both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Unlike the neighboring countries, Costa Rica enjoyed lasting political stability which allowed for better development than the rest of Central America; the variety of territory and environment is remarkable, considering the small Costa Rican surface area.
Government type Presidential republic
Area 51,170 km² (19,757 sq mi)
Population 5,044,000 inh. (2022 census)
Population density 99 inh/km² (255 inh/mi²)
Capital San José (352,000 pop., 2,106,000 urban aggl.)
Currency Costa Rican colón
Human development index 0.809 (58th place)
Languages Spanish (official), indigenous languages
Life expectancy M 78 years, F 84 years
Location in North-Central America


Nicaragua NORTH
Pacific Ocean SOUTH-WEST
Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean Sea) EAST


Largest cities
San José 352,000 pop., 2,106,000 urban aggl.
Liberia 67,100 pop.
Limon 60,700 pop.
San Francisco 60,200 pop.
Highest mountains
Mount Chirripó 3,820 m (12,533 ft)
Longest rivers
San Juan 180 km (112 mi) total, including part in Nicaragua
Térraba 160 km (99 mi)
Largest lakes
Lake Arenal 85 km² (33 sq mi)
Largest islands
Calero 152 km² (59 sq mi)
Chira 43 km² (17 sq mi)
Coco 24 km² (9.3 sq mi)


   Costa Rica is divided into 7 provinces, with the 4 largest having an area between nine thousand and eleven thousand km², even if the most populated province is that of the capital, about half as wide, with over 1.5 million inhabitants.

   Only San José exceeds one hundred thousand inhabitants, while all the other major urban centers remain well below this limit; also the distribution of the cities is rather unbalanced towards the area of the capital, where there are 6 of the other 11 towns with at least 30,000 inhabitants.

San José