Costa Rica is located in Central America and borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. A chain of volcanoes and mountains—part of the Andean-Sierra Madre chain—runs the length of the country and separates the Caribbean Sea on the east coast from the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.
In addition, Costa Rica has over 1,000 miles of gorgeous white-and-black sand beaches, copious amounts of sunshine, world-class sport fishing, snorkeling and surfing!
51,100 km² (19,730 square miles).
Costa Rica is approximately the size of West Virginia. The highest point is Cerro Chirripo 3,810 meters/12,460 feet a.s.l.
|Founded:||15 September 1821|
U.S. dollars are accepted in all places of business and are available at most ATMs. Other currencies can be easily exchanged.
San Jose, Costa Rica
San José is the capital city of Costa Rica and is the gateway to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts as well as Costa Rica’s rainforests. The city is located in the Central Valley and has a population of 1.2 million people. Situated at 1,150 meters (3,773 feet) above sea level the city lies between three volcanoes. San Jose is a modern city and benefits from the most developed economy in all of Central America.
San Jose uses a modern grid system for its streets and avenues, so is generally easy to find your way around. Note that people do not use street numbers, but instead use landmarks and other buildings to refer to where something is located—so directions are given as “100 meters south and 50 meters east…” — with a little practice the system actually works quite well.
San Jose offers an excellent selection of both traditional Costa Rican food and international fare. In San Jose, you can enjoy delicious and inexpensive local meals at a number of restaurants and at the central market. Prices range from as little $2 for a huge plate of traditional food to very expensive and elegantly prepared international dishes. And of course don’t forget to try Costa Rica’s world-famous coffee.
San Jose has a number of shops, malls, and art galleries, and here you can buy excellent souvenirs, clothes, cigars, and coffee. The Central Market is also something not to be missed.
San Jose offers a large variety of restaurants, casinos, and dance clubs and has a lively nightlife as well as some good places to relax and listen to either traditional or modern music.