Costa Rica with its 51,100m² and coastline bordering the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is bounded to the north by the Republic of Nicaragua and to the south by the Republic of Panama. The country has three mountain chains: The Central Volcanic Cordillera, the Talamanca Cordillera, and the Guanacaste Cordillera.
With the exception of the Intermountain Central Valley, the rest of the country comprises large plains situated in the north, north-west and south-west. The country is divided into seven provinces, in turn subdivided into cantons and districts. Most of the few Costa rica islands are situated in the Gulf of Nicoya above the pacific Ocean. Of them, mention should be made of the Isla of Chira, an old native settlement which today has few scattered townships of farmers and stockbreeders.
There is also the Coco Island lying some 500 km off the coastline in the Pacific Ocean. The island id the furthermost possession of the country and today has been declared a National Park. Even today it provides inspiration for many legends concerning priceless treasures buried there many centuries ago, when pirates plundered the Spanish colonies.
Costa Rica's climate is very stable and has only two very clearly defined seasons: the dry and rainy seasons. Rains come between April and November, Temperatures range between 37ºC in the coastal areas and 0ºC on the highest peaks of the country, such as the Cerro Chirripó in the Talamanca Cordillera (3,820 m). The Intermountain Central Valley with an average temperature of 20ºC and average height above see level of 1,000 m, covers 3,250 m² and the mayor part of the country's largest cities as well as most population, are to be found there.
The whole country is crisscrossed by roads and tracks which link up all the urban centres of the Republic. There is also a railway left that transports tourist from San José to Puerto Caldera on Sundays. All other railways were abandoned after the 1991 earthquake. There is also a network of air transport all over the country by means of innumerable aerodromes and airports.
The Inter-American highway, built during World War II with the cooperation of the United States, crosses the country from north to south, thus linking it to the rest of the continent.
The hydrography of Costa Rica is of utmost importance. Indeed, so substantial is the amount of hydroelectric power produced by the country that it can cover not only its own energy needs but is able today to export electric energy to other neighbouring countries.
The country is small in size and therefore has few large rivers (some of them being the Reventazón, the Térraba, the Río Grande de Tárcoles and the Tempisque), but the topography of the country provides excellent opportunities to derive greatest benefits from the use of waters.
Text and pictures by Ricardo Vilchez Navamuel. The team of 1-CostaRicaLink wishes you the best of times in our little paradise called Costa Rica.
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