Official Name: República de Costa Rica
Short form: Costa Rica
Local Time = UTC -6h
Equivalent to Central Standard Time and Mountain Daylight Time, respectively
Country Calling Code: +506
Capital City: San José (pop. 354 600, greater metropolitan area 2.1 million)
Other Cities: Puntarenas (pop. 103 000), Limon (pop. 90 000)
Type: Democratic Republic
Independence: 15 September (1821 from Spain)
Constitution: 7 November 1949
Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea in the north-east and the North Pacific Ocean in the south-west, between Nicaragua and Panama.
Area: 51,100 km² (19,729 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes.
Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands.
Nationality: Costa Rican(s).
Population: 4.25 million.
Ethnic Groups: European and some mestizo 94%, African origin 3%, Chinese 1%, indigenous 1%, other 1%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 69%, Protestant approx. 18%, none 12%, others 1%.
Languages: Spanish, with a southwestern Caribbean Creole dialect of English spoken around the Limon area.
Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, forest products, fisheries products.
Agriculture products: Coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber.
Industries: Microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products.
Exports partners: USA 14.2%, Guatemala 3%, Nicaragua 2.7% (2003)
Imports partners: USA 23.2%, Mexico 4.7%, Venezuela 3.2% (2003)
Currency: Costa Rican Colon (CRC)