Costa Rica Real Estate
Information about Costa Rica
Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica also comprises several islands. Cocos Island stands out because of its distance from continental landmass (24 km² / 9.25 sq mi, 300 mi (480 km) from Puntarenas coast), but Calero Island is the largest island of the cou...ntry (151.6 km² / 58.5 sq mi).
Costa Rica is composed of seven provinces, which in turn are divided into 81 cantons, each of which is directed by a mayor. Mayors are chosen democratically every four years by each canton's people. There are no provincial legislatures. The cantons are further divided into 7 districts.
With a $1.9 billion per year tourism industry, Costa Rica stands as the most visited nation in the Central American region, with 1.9 million foreign visitors in 2007, which translates into a relatively high expenditure per tourist of $1,000 per trip, and a rate of foreign tourists per capita of 0.46, one of the highest in the Caribbean Basin. Most of the tourists come from the U.S. and Canada (46%), and Europe (16%). In 2005, tourism contributed with 8.1% of the country's GNP and represented 13.3% of direct and indirect employment. Tourism now earns more foreign exchange than bananas and coffee combined.
Costa Rica protects 23% of its national territory within the Protected Areas system. It also possesses the greatest density of species in the world.
San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation. The population of San José Canton is 346,799, though the metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and comprises a third of the country's population. San José exerts a strong influence on a wider range because of its proximity to minor cities (Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago) and the country's demographic assemblage in the Central Valley. The city lies at a mean elevation of 1,161 m above sea level, and enjoys a stable climate throughout the year, with an average temperature of 23C (73F) and annual precipitation of 1800 mm, more than 90% of it falling in the rainy season from May to November. University of Santo Tomás, the first university of Costa Rica was established here in 1843. San José serves as the headquarters of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The city is served by Juan Santamaría International Airport, 23 km west of downtown, in the city of Alajuela.
Limón, also known as Puerto Limón, is the capital of Limón Province in Costa Rica. It is the country's main Caribbean port city, including the terminals of Limón and Moín, and has a population of around 105,000 (including many neighboring small cities). The city, and the province in general, is home to most of Costa Rica's citizens of African descent. Originally from Jamaica, these workers were brought to the area in the late 19th century to build the railroad line from San José to Limón. The rail line boosted the country's banana exports and economy in general. By the time the line was closed, the city was the country's primary harbor. Limón is also home to speakers of Mekatelyu, a creole of English.
San Francisco de Dos Ríos District, the sixth "distrito" of San José Canton, Costa Rica, is one of the administrative units surrounding San José downtown (officially composed by the districts of El Carmen, Merced, Hospital and Catedral). The district is primarily residential and industrial. It's also famous for the numerous motels between its boundaries.
Alajuela is the capital city of the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica. It is also the name of the district (distrito) that includes the city. Alajuela serves as the capital for the canton of Alajuela, an area much larger than the district. It is the birthplace of Juan Santamaría, the national hero of Costa Rica. It hubs the Juan Santamaría International Airport, the main airport serving Costa Rica (IATA: SJO / ICAO: MROC), which is located 3 kilometers south of the city.
Liberia is a city in Guanacaste, Costa Rica located roughly four hours from San José by bus. Over 35,000 people live in the city. Though small by North American standards, it is quite large in comparison to its Guanacastecan neighbors to the southeast, Santa Cruz, and Nicoya. The city center features a modern-style church, as many Costa Rican towns do, facing a plaza surrounded by locally-owned shops and restaurants. Liberia is also home to an expo that takes place in the month July, celebrating the Annexation of Guanacaste on July 25, 1824.
Costa Rican colón (CRC)
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