Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America,
bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the
west and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
Costa Rica, which means "Rich Coast", constitutionally abolished its army permanently in
1949. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 older
democracies. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries
in the Human Development Index (HDI), ranked 69th in the world in 2011.
Also was cited by the UNDP in 2010 as one of the countries that have attained much
higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, and in 2011
was highlighted by UNDP for being a good performer on environmental sustainability,
and better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region.
It was also the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental
sustainability. The country is ranked third in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index.
In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon- neutral country by 2021, according to the New Economics Foundation.
Costa Rica is unequivocally a tropical country, situated between 8° and 11° North latitude, fairly close to the equator.
Although in the mountains above 2000 meters you get much cooler temperatures, the average annual temperature for most of the country lies between 21.7°C (71°F) and 27°C (81°F). The coolest months are from November through January, and the warmest from March through May.
San José, the capital, where over a third of the population lives, stands at approximately 1170 meters altitude and has a mean annual temperature of 20.6°C (69°F). The nation's climate is classically divided into two major
seasons: rainy and dry.
The dry season runs from January through May and the rainy season from May to November
and December. Locally, the seasons were named by the early Spanish colonizers, who compared
them to their own Mediterranean climate, calling the dry months "verano" or summer, and the rainy,
gray and gloomy months "invierno" or winter. It is interesting to note that some of the coldest
temperatures are registered during the early dry season or "summer".
As of 2018, Costa Rica has an estimated population of 5 million. Whites and mestizos make up 94% of
the population, whites being 80% and mestizos 14%, while 3% are Black, or Afro-Caribbean, 1% Native
American, 1% Chinese, and 1% other. Native American or indigenous inhabitants, represent 1.5% of the
population. Most of them live in secluded reservations, distributed among eight ethnic groups:
Quitirrisí (in the Central Valley), Matambú or Chorotega (Guanacaste), Maleku (northern Alajuela),
Bribri (southern Atlantic), Cabécar (Cordillera de Talamanca), Guaymí (southern Costa Rica, along the
Panamá border), Boruca (southern Costa Rica) and Térraba (southern Costa Rica). Spanish is the
official language but English is spoken widely...Pura Vida!